With the media on fire the past three days with continued coverage of Lindsay Lohan’s self destructive (and property destructive) behavior, and her subsequent run to rehab, debate has turned to who is really to blame?
As I wrote yesterday, neither Dina, nor estranged papa Michael, are exactly positive role models for the twenty year old, much less her younger siblings, Michael, Ali, and Dakota. Dina parties equally as hard, and is often photographed at Lindsay’s side as they sweep from one bar to the next. And Michael was just released from yet another stint in prison.
Could the blame lie with her manager? Publicist? Agent?
No. If anything, these poor people spend the lion’s share of their time earning their commissions and salaries by constantly covering the girl’s ass in the press. And just like Britney Spears’ handlers – their livelihood depends on not pissing off the cash cow, lest the udders dry up and they get kicked off the farm. So no, I do not hold them personally responsible. They are employees.
What about the bar and club owners who have ignored age laws regarding clientele for years, allowing an endless procession of underage celebs past the velvet ropes that their establishment might make The Buzz in the next issue of US Weekly?
Look, here’s the reality. The girl is rich. The girl is spoiled. The girl is almost 21 years old. And any screw ups she makes are completely hers to own. Just because there is access to cocaine does not mean one is required to roll up a C note and snort it in a bathroom stall. Even if a bar owner is happy to guard a private room in back so that the underage star can party with impunity, does not mean one has to automatically down a bottle of Bombay Sapphire.
Yes, that old drum I like to beat is out again.
Just as Paris Hilton will be finding out within a week as she enters prison in California, your actions – good, bad, ugly – all have consequences – good, bad, and yes, sometimes ugly.
Which brings me to the sad drunk driving death of St. Louis Cardinals’ relief pitcher Josh Hancock.
In case you are unfamiliar with the particulars: He spent the evening of April 28 drinking into the wee hours of April 29 at which point he got into his SUV, entered Highway 64 in St. Louis, and killed himself when he ran into the back of a tow truck which was attempting to retrieve a stalled out vehicle.
Oh yeah – he was not wearing a seatbelt. He was talking on his cell phone. He was speeding. And his blood alcohol was nearly twice the legal limit.
Marijuana was also found in his vehicle.
Add to this the fact that on May 1, 2007, it was reported that Hancock had been involved in another minor, likely drunken, accident involving his GMC Denali - three nights before his fatal crash involving a rented Ford Explorer.
Again, while his death is sad, what is more tragic is that his death was stupid. His death was of his making.
PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY for which he paid the ultimate price.
Yet somehow, his family doesn’t see it that way.
They have filed lawsuits against the bar/restaurant where he was drinking prior to the crash, and also against – are you ready? – the towtruck driver, and the owner of the stalled out vehicle.
Fine. There is a certain amount of culpability if a bartender continues to serve a patron long after it becomes evident he/she is impaired. I understand that. But the towtruck driver? Who, I might add, had not been called to the scene, but who was passing and stopped as a Good Samaritan gesture.
And to sue the person whose car stalled? Like, how dare he allow his car to stall when he should have known an inebriated local sports figure was going to come careening through at any moment?
Puh-leez. What’s next? Sue the Geo Prism manufacturers? The state of Missouri for not making the roads wider to accommodate his swerving?
Listen, I realize his family is grief stricken at the loss of a beloved son. I understand the need to place blame when such an emotional injustice is incurred.
But hiring an opportunistic lawyer and trying to throw blame at anyone and everyone in the hopes it will stick anywhere but the guilty party, is simply wrong.
Just as all the drinks he consumed didn’t bring him back home safely, neither will years of litigation.
The man was 29 years old. Well past the age of fraternities and sophomoric irresponsibility.
The cold, hard, brutal truth is that he drank too much, got in a vehicle, and killed himself.
The true blessing is that he did not take any innocent bystanders out of this world with him.
His family needs to mourn their loss and then step forward and offer his behavior up for examination, as a cautionary tale to all the other young people who look at celebrities, sports heroes, and the like, and think they are really cool, hip, role models, despite incessant partying, boorish and diva-ish behaviors.
I’m sure Lindsay’s bank balance and Josh’s triumphs on the mound make them seem untouchable, but in the end, they are human – like you, like me.
And despite piles of money, or deafening cheers, human beings sometimes die, needlessly, stupidly.
At least you’re still alive Lindsay. And if Josh could give you one piece of advice, I dare say it would be this: Get your shit together once and for all before you permanently strike out too.