Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ellen Goodman's Column- Hooked On Shame

Recently, I've read Pulitzer Prize winning columnist, Ellen Goodman's article, Hooked On Shame. While Goodman uses her arrogance to get her point across, she seemingly forgets how classless it is to point out other flaws.

Her article which can been found
here, discusses her disappointment in people like Elliot Spitzer and Tiger woods, and her shock in Ashley Dupre's new job at the New York Post.

I didn't think award-winning columnists used gossip to express their frustration with society, but apparently, I'm wrong. While referring to Ashley Dupre, Goodman inserts the work call in front of girl, calling her a prostitute. The columnist then complains, "I am not yet a little old lady in tennis shoes waving my umbrella at the decline and fall of decency." As times are changing, we are beginning to see a new breed of elderly people who don't dress like classic elderly people, such as Goodman. Sorry Ellen, it's 2009, and shame and fame go hand in hand now. Deal.

Being a junior in High School, I have just read The Scarlet Letter, a wonderful novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne. I recognized her comparison and understood it, but the thing is, you don't get famous for committing shameful acts, you get more famous once you're already famous, for committing shameful acts. As we all know, extraordinary acts are committed by ordinary people every day, they just don't have fame, which helps mask their secret.

Who is Ellen Goodman to tell us what cultural norms are? Goodman is just telling us what they used to be, and what she wishes they still were. Sex, lack of devotion, and apathy are the new cultural norms.

Goodman references to her idea of ideal figures worthy of fame. Among them are Lloyd Blankfein, John Mack, and Richard Parsons. She exclaims, "Google them!" which obviously tells us that we don't know who they are. I looked them up, and get this: Ellen Goodman thinks a Harvard graduate who is Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs, a Julliard Graduate who is a renowned American Oboist, and an Albany Law School graduate who was formerly Chairman and CEO of Time Warner, are people we should look up to and admire. News Flash Ellen! We idolize people we can relate to, they definitely aren't it.

Times are changing, and we just have to adapt to it. I think Ellen could use a makeover, don't you?