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How Corrupt Is Too Corrupt And Where Do You Fall On The Corruption Scale?

Updated on February 17, 2009

The more I read the news the more I come to what to some may seem a cynical conclusion. Whether it be Blagojevich’s selling Obama’s senate seat to the highest bidder or all of our lawmakers tacking on their pet projects to the stimulus bill it just makes me wonder how corrupt all of us are and what is the barometer for corrupt enough (to justify to ourselves that we’re justified because the end justifies the means)? And when will we stop making the Blagojevichs of the world our modern day pariahs simply so we ourselves don’t have to look at ourselves in the mirror of truth that will display our own corruption? How corrupt is too corrupt and where do you fall on the corruption scale? – Don’t Get Me Started!

Let’s face it, it’s pretty easy to be angry at the people in power or the people with money, right? They’re an easy target but what I’m talking about is that look that we sometimes have to take at ourselves, standing completely naked in front of the mirror, no one else around, just us and look (though we try desperately to focus on something else in the room or that one hair coming out of our nose) to truly see ourselves, flaws and all.

No one told us that we were going to be real estate experts when we bought properties with money we didn’t have thinking we could “flip” them like a real estate expert because after all, “if that guy on TV can do it and make millions, why can’t I?” It’s like being mad at the person who sold you the five dollar watch on the street that was supposed to be a real Gucci but he had just fallen on bad times and needed the cash. When you really look at it and discover that it’s a Guchi and not a Gucci, whose fault is it really? Is the corrupt person the one who sold you the watch or is the corrupt person you for thinking you could get a bargain all the while not caring that the guy was down on his luck (supposedly)? You were getting a steal that was the main thing, right? That “steal” just may have stolen some of your soul too but better to get angry at someone else or blame someone else, right than have to stand naked in front of that mirror called our conscience.

I just wonder what would happen if we could all admit our own ulterior motives and instead of being ashamed of them? What would happen if we embraced them? I’ll start, I write this blog because I need a creative outlet. (Well, that’s the story I tell to the public) I was in the theatre from the time I was six years old and never made too much out of a show biz career even after over thirty years or more of trying. I want to be famous, I want to be on Oprah’s couch with my best-selling book and be a YouTube phenomenon that actually ends up with a career in the business he loves and dreams of being a part of. So I toil day after day trying to entertain the hundred or so (sometimes less) people a day that actually visit my site in the hopes that one of them will be a producer or a scout for the Huffington Post and I can be a part of the world I dreamed of as a youth and still do. Am I corrupt or hypocritical for writing about Chris Crocker (the guy with the bleached hair who was all over everything when he screamed about leaving Britney Spears alone) as some sort of freak in hopes that someone who is searching for his video will find my blog posting about it instead?

Look, I get it. I look at someone like Ted Haggard who after one year of “penance” as a disgraced pastor from a gay sex scandal rebounds back into his fabulous billion dollar Colorado home and gets a documentary on HBO and a seat on Oprah’s couch. He’s done what some would call, making lemonade from lemons. But what if, just what if he had been able to face his demons before he became corrupt by telling people homosexuality was wrong all the while paying a male prostitute to have sex with him? What if he could have stood up to himself in the mirror, looking at himself naked and accepted himself for who he was and the desires he had, would he have had the need to speak so loudly about the evils of homosexuality? To incite followers to think it was okay to treat homosexuals like some sort of slime under their shoes because they were the most righteous and knew the “right” way to live their lives? Even now he can’t really look at himself as he and his wife talk about him having “thoughts” of sex with men but that he is Christian enough to not act on them.

Do I think that CEOs of companies deserve to make more money when they get fired from a company for doing a poor job than they would if they had stayed and made it successful? No. (And although I tend to take everything back to a musical theatre reference, isn’t that a little like the The Producers where they discover they could make more money from a flop than a hit?) All I’m asking is that we begin to acknowledge that corruption is everywhere and that includes in ourselves. Whether we’re Miss New Jersey who says she wants world peace but really just wants the tiara and all that goes along with it or a politician who wants to limit CEO salaries all the while filling his own pockets with money from companies that are willing to pony up money for a seat at the inauguration or to hopefully control them once they get in office; corruption (much like my grandmother used to say about “the gays”) are/is everywhere. So maybe instead of being so righteous and getting so angry about people who have more than us (because I suspect for a lot of people this is what they’re really upset about…not having as much as the Joneses, not having the tiara) maybe we need to understand human frailty and be thankful for the times in our lives when we open the door for someone out of kindness and not just because we’re secretly hoping to boink them! Maybe by admitting and embracing our own corruption it will allow us to focus and “fix” ourselves instead of focusing on the Blogojevichs, who we’ll never meet and who the law will deal with…hopefully. Maybe just maybe it’s time to get naked in front of the mirror no matter how much it hurts and admit just how corrupt we are because we would step over someone if it made it easier to get the things we desired. Don’t we all have a little Golam from Lord of the Rings in us? How corrupt is too corrupt and where do you fall on the corruption scale? – Don’t Get Me Started!

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