Monday, March 17

Jim Irsay, Marilyn Monroe ~ How do we decide who to ridicule and who to support?

We are all aware (now) of the Indianapolis Colts' owner Jim Irsay's arrest Sunday. If not, the head
of the football team faces four preliminary counts of Class D felony possession of controlled substances and one count of operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

He was pulled over in Carmel, Ind., by police and failed several roadside tests for sobriety. Preliminary does not mean he will be officially charged, of course. That remains to be seen.

Many people are rallying around Irsay, wishing him to get help for his addiction(s) and citing his numerous good deeds. I also wish him to beat his demons and can think of nothing worse than not being able to break away from something controlling your every moment. Popular Indianapolis Star sports writer Bob Kravitz says it very well (read by clicking here) in his column.

So... here's my question. Why do we poke fun, roll our eyes and laugh at comedians using Lohan as the butt of too many jokes? Why is it funny about some, yet horrific with others?

Robert Downey, Jr., has become Hollywood's darling, after being in and out of confinement for various drug-related situations. A superior actor, we can only be awed by his strength to also kick his own personal demons.
Lindsay Lohan, also good (at one time) in the acting occupation, has been fighting her alcohol addiction and other demons to an unsuccessful note, unfortunately.

We forgive America's Sweetheart, Reese Witherspoon, in an instant for her and her husband driving intoxicated and becoming belligerent with police, but condemn Mel Gibson for his alcohol addiction and ranting.


Why can't we find sympathy in our hearts for the Gibsons and Lohans of the world? Why must we ridicule them instead of root for them and support them in their attempts to fight a demon most could not beat?

Is it that we like them prior to their so-called antics to forgive and support? We adored little Lindsay in the remake of The Parent Trap, and now shrug and laugh at her issues. We weep for the damage to the wonderful songstress and actress Judy Garland, who died due to alcoholism, but make fun of Anna Nicole Smith, who passed away from drug use.

So many have lost their lives to alcohol and drugs: Whitney Houston, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Marilyn Monroe... too many to list.

Shouldn't we support all of them in their attempts to kick the addiction? What is the differentiating factor? Is it because some give to charities while others squander their wealth? I have no idea and reach out to you for your ideas on the subject.

Bottom Line: What determines whether we, as a society, support or ridicule the famous person battling addictions? I would enjoy hearing your thoughts in the comments section, or otherwise.

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel, food, wine and spirits columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Catch her as Indy’s Personal Lifestyle Adviser on Indy Style, WISH8 (CBS). Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at and Gotta Go is published on, and in magazines. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

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