Do not care.
I’m not saying I don’t care.
I’m saying you shouldn’t.
There’s no reason to.
Yeah, yeah. I’ve heard the whine. It’s, like, soooo inspirational that this homeless guy has a chance to turn his life around. And fine, I’m happy for him that he has that chance. But I don’t care and you shouldn’t care.
Last week, Ted Williams – not the one with actual accomplishments – became an internet sensation. That’s the modern day version of blowing a film producer.
Oh, I’m not doing anything? Well, I’m going to snap my fingers and be famous!
When this whole thing hit the news it was all under the title of “Golden Voiced Homeless Man Offered Job”. I swear I thought it was a less unattractive version of Susan Boyle and that the guy was going to sing some Motown classics and then make a guest appearance on American Idol.
But instead all he does is talk in a voice that looks like it should come out of someone else. Before this video, I’m nearly certain that no one was clamoring for the next great radio commercial voice. How do I know this? Because unless you’re in the radio business or you stalk Casey Kasem or you produce Republican fear machine political ads, you probably don’t even know the difference between one radio voice and another.
If you do, it’s only because of the ideas that are coming out of the mind behind the voice. What pearls of genius do you think Ted Williams is ready to impart? Different ways to store your urine? The best ways to tell no one is looking so you can steal shit? How to absolve yourself of the guilt of fathering seven children and then abandoning them?
Let’s all take a step back from how happy we’re supposed to be and realize exactly what’s happening here. We’re making some minor hero out of a guy who abandoned his family and seven children as a result of a cocaine/crack addiction and spent the last 14 years homeless – being arrested for drugs, robbery, and forgery. Everyone is blaming his addictions for these problems, but it’s probably just as likely that he did all this because he simply isn’t (or wasn’t) that great of a guy.
He says he’s been clean for two years now. If that’s true, it’s kind of remarkable that he was just arrested in May for first degree theft. His rap sheet spans nearly two decades. He’s a convicted felon. There are reports that he was pimping out a woman in July. And how do you not try get off the streets in two years if you’re clean from alcohol and drugs and you’ve left your criminal past behind? Instead, you just stand out there and ask people for money to let them bask in the majesty of your “God given” vocal talent?
And why does he get a free pass? Because he sounds like a radio DJ? Are you fucking kidding me? If you close your eyes during the video, he only sounds sort of like a radio DJ. It’s not amazing. It’s not a “talent”. It’s just a voice. Being able to talk like that isn’t like being able to paint a beautiful painting. It’s like being able to jump high.
We’ve gotten so dumb that I bet if there was a video of a child molester doing a 360-degree slam dunk, we’d probably think that was a great story of redemption too. Maybe the Cavs will sign that guy after the Williams publicity stunt fades. I mean, they still haven’t replaced Lebron.
This isn’t a “feel good story”, it’s a feel-bad-for-you story.
He’s being led around the country like a freak show circus clown. “Awww. Isn’t this guy pathetic? Hey, guy. Do the voice! Aww, he did it. Man, that’s great.”
Then again, maybe being a drug addict who mistreats people is exactly the way to achieve radio success.
It worked out well for Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh.
Are we, as a society, so desperate for something to feel slightly good about that this qualifies? How much worse can it get?