Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Vick & Belichick | Crime & Punishment

You know what I like? The idea that the punishment should fit the crime. And I don't mean in the dull, don't-send-the-person-to-prison-for-too-long kind of way. No, I mean that the punishment should, essentially, exact upon the criminal's person and/or life what the criminal did to... whomever/whatever. And I don't mean eye-for-eye kind of punishment, either. The idea is that the punishment should abuse your life in a way that relates to how you abused someone/something else. I haven't fleshed all this out in my head yet, and I'm sure it'd be ridiculously hard to do so, but here's how it relates to a couple of recent events:

1. Michael Vick, the dogfighter

The crime: He fought dogs against each other and systematically killed them. Fine. Yet another rich person abusing a lifestyle billions of people would kill for.

The punishment: force him to live out his days working in an SPCA shelter. No 2 year prison term and a slow return to the football, world which has been predicted by some. You take your lifestyle for granted, and it gets taken away. End of story. He never touches a football competitively again. (Same goes, by the way, for other sports stars who do worse things, such as–HELLO–rape women or kill people. Of course, I'm not sure what the rapists would be made to do for a living, instead. Perhaps work as janitors in hospitals or clinics for abused women, something like that.)

2. Bill Belicheck, the spy

The crime: videotaping opposing teams' signals for use gaining unfair advantage regarding called plays (by the way, those 3 Superbowls are, in my opinion, legitimately in question. Read this if you don't get why.)

The punishment: He can still coach–indeed, he will be required to stay in the profession–but for no team more prestigious than, say, a NCAA Division II school. As an assistant.

I guess I'm just sick of watching famous people get out of trouble as easily as they get into it. If you or I were to abuse and kill people or animals, or flagrantly defy the clearly defined rules of our profession, we'd have a helluva time getting the same kind of work again, let alone making enough money to make anyone jealous. "You want to make a lot of money? Fine. You want to kill people or animals or break laws? That's fine, too, but you won't make a lot of money anymore, and no one is going to read about you in the papers ever again." Does that seem like an unreasonable message for the justice system to send? Not to my ears.

And you get the point. Movie stars who seem to enjoy getting arrested for for the publicity of it would be, at a certain point, removed from show business and made to work at Blockbuster. The big executive who embezzles millions would find himself working in a cubicle for 8 bucks an hour.

Don't get me wrong, I have no particular grudge against people who are rich and/or famous (despite how this post may read). Money & power corrupt, and I want nothing to do with that; indeed, I'm almost certain I couldn't handle it and would end up in bad shape, myself. What I want to retain is the self-awareness and presence of mind to try not to be the kind of person for whom success–or money or fame or power–is so important that the I allow a goal of attaining it to change who I am for the worse.

I could keep going, but my point is simple, and simply made: You abuse your lifestyle, your lifestyle would be made to abuse you in kind. The punishment fits the crime.

Just a thought.

1 comment:

Christy said...

Cracklin' Oat Bran added! I know, my list is completely and totally pure sugar, but that is why I haven't eaten them before, hahaha. I decided there are some things in life that just aren't worth missing, but in moderation. Eric was so shocked too, that he insisted I MUST try these cereals. Hilarious. Also.. I despise the fact that famous and rich people get out of trouble as easily (or easier) than they got into it. Ticks me off that they get better treatment simply because of their fame and fortune!