Wife Swap — the Haggards meet the Buseys (plus additional thoughts)

Every once in a while television shows prove useful:

Others not so much. Ha!  Haven’t seen much “Wife Swap” and don’t subscribe to cable tv — but then there’s Youtube, the bringer of so many oddities into my livingroom. lol

I was familiar with Ted Haggard’s sex and drug scandal, though knew nothing about his family life. Gary Busey has for a long time now struck me as someone losing his mind (isn’t anyone who willingly agreed to be on “Celebrity Rehab”?), probably largely due to injuries sustained in his motorcycle accident, but I appreciated his acting in a few films (“Lost Highway,” “Hider in the House”). Never cared to look into his personal life. It’s an interesting blend of families.

Struck me as tv shallowness between approximately the 21:00 to 34:00 portion. Would’ve been nice had this interaction been extended over several weeks and shown at documentary length without the rushed, typical tv feel-goodness crap. If there’s no real depth shown, then what’s the point?

But anyway, that aside. Ted Haggard continues to weird me out a little. How does a family surviving “on donations” afford a house that nice? Since when is brand-new suburbia considered roughin’ it? Not wanting to see him or his family suffer … just uncomfortable with the whole idea of Ted Haggard, a preacher known for speaking out against gays, clandestinely choosing to visit a male prostitute for sex (and meth) and then turn around and brush it off as a moral failing that has brought him closer to Jesus. Seems to me the lying and deception were the moral failings, and that’s pretty major for a preacher, but choosing to engage in homosexual sex speaks more to repressed desires. What was that all about? Just felt bi-curious? Or is it more than that? Suppose it’s not really any of my or anyone else’s business, unless you’re among the gay people Haggard spoke out so strongly against. As was the male prostitute he visited. Anyone care what happened to him? Last I read Mike Jones lost his job working in a gym and had a tough go at finding new employment. Not sure if he’s still a sex worker or masseuse, but you can just imagine the grief he too was given. Think about it — if you’re known as the prostitute who outed his high-profile client, that pretty much nips other potential clients’ interest in the bud right away. Whistle-blowers don’t typically make many friends.

Jones’ side of the story really didn’t strike me as malicious. Jones didn’t realize his client (who’d given him a fake name) was a preacher on television known for bashing gays. He was working out at the gym one morning, after I believe nearly 3 years of having dealt with Haggard, when he saw Haggard’s sermon broadcast and made the connection. They weren’t having “an affair” as some news reports like to term it — both acknowledge it was strictly a sexual and financial arrangement.

What about Ted Haggard that repulses so many who learn of this scandal is that he spoke so harshly against homosexuality to his congregation and television viewers. I can understand having mixed sexual desires and choosing to see an escort if that might scratch the itch, and I can even understand to an extent why someone might choose not to be 100% forward with their partner about their activities, but I don’t accept the bashing and hypocrisy. It’s like when Elliot Spitzer manned a task force that’s job was to bust prostitutes, a criminal justice initiative he spoke very publicly in support of, only to find out he was seeing an escort himself. That’s stupid hypocrisy on a level that blows people’s minds, rightfully so. It’s deliberate double-talk and double-action, accusing others for doing the very thing you secretly do as well. It’s a pity too, because when people get that high up and get themselves involved in scandals of that magnitude, that drama can eclipse their worthwhile accomplishments (as with Spitzer calling out corporate corruption).

Makes living out loud seem like the better option. If you out your own self, it robs others of the power to do so. Are you a hypocrite if you are critical of that which you yourself and others engage in? It’s a thought.

Another thought that sprang to mind that I’ve been pondering periodically is women’s role in families and in wider society to act as primary moral agents. Maybe a better way to say that would be that women take up a socially-influential role. Whether through nagging or religious devotion or sexual enticement or ridiculing and gossip, women do tend to take the role seriously, especially in terms of ‘policing’ the behavior of others. Not saying that as a cutdown to women — there’s potential value in people being driven in that way when it comes down to social cohesiveness and meeting what arguably are appropriate expectations. Not that we today are managing the role very well and in fact are pretty well screwing up the task, but the reasons for that run in a bunch of different directions and are a direct result of social influx brought about by rapid changes over the last couple hundred years that have made us all a little (or a lot) crazy. The question for me becomes what should we be adjusting to? The answers I’m hearing back aren’t satisfactory IMO, because so much of the talk revolves around humans needing to bend and mold in order to fit the new economic landscape. But that’s a topic to save for another day.

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