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In defense of Jesse James

By John DeVore, The Frisky
Jesse James may have stumbled, but columnist says people need to quit kicking him while he's down.
Jesse James may have stumbled, but columnist says people need to quit kicking him while he's down.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Columnist feels he's defending Jesse James against mob of haters
  • Says society "needs one big collective hobby" instead of sniping at people
  • Points out that when we point in judgment, we have three fingers pointing back
  • Writer says: Moral vigilantism is not justice.
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(The Frisky) -- Well, this is going to make me popular. Ladies, gentlemen, and trolls of the jury, I stand before you to defend a humble motorcycle mechanic who made some very poor life choices.

Jesse James allegedly committed adultery, betraying the trust of his betrothed, a wealthy woman who cares for his child from another marriage. The claims that such a union has been threatened, if not wholly wasted, is punishment enough. But no, this man must suffer death by a thousand bitchy little Internet comments.

On one hand, he's reportedly a faithless cad whose public apology sounded like a little boy caught with his pants full of contraband cookies. On the other hand, if you prick him, does he not bleed? And on the other, why does anyone care about a showbiz redneck reportedly jackknifing his marriage to an Academy Award-winning movie star? Leave him alone.

Jesse James has enough troubles without having to absorb the paranoid rage of millions of women convinced that every man is a cheater. Whenever some rich, famous guy reportedly gets linked to a tacky sex scandal, the rest of the male gender pays a price. We're not all cheaters. We're not all threatened by women who are more successful than we are. We're also not all entitled to think that we're somehow exempt from basic moral choices.

Sometimes I think our entire society needs one big collective hobby. Just a group activity to calm our nerves. We're all so angry. Seriously, what do we have to be so angry about? My supermarket sells eight different kinds of salsa. Whatever.

I'm going to stand up for Jesse James. Here it goes: mind your own business. His alleged tacky affair has absolutely nothing to do with you. It's not about you. Your boyfriend is not going to run off with excessively tattooed succubus -- and if he does, then somebody is getting a better deal than the other.

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Jesse James' life is in ruins, and it's entirely his fault. Greek tragedies always followed a lofty king who makes a fatal mistake, then stabs out his own eyes because he's all, "Man, I killed my old man, seduced my mom ... I'm such an idiot!"

That fatal mistake is almost always hubris, which is another word for "arrogant jerks who think their gas smells like cotton candy kisses." Tragedy in the ancient world had a social function. To reinforce the notion that no matter our earthly station in life, we are all mortal screw-ups. And to teach the very simple but very important lesson that when we point in judgment, we have three fingers pointing back.

The Frisky: I stuck by man who cheated with me

Instead of working out your Post-Romantic Trauma Stress Disorder on a total stranger who happens to have 99 problems (and a lady is directly or indirectly every single one), give the universe a rest from your negative vibes. Pity the guy.

He may get dumped by his wife, beloved actress Sandra Bullock. His ex-wife, a former adult film star who is finishing doing time for tax evasion, is suing to get custody of their daughter. And his former mistress, Michelle "Bombshell" McGee -- who did a Nazi-themed photoshoot and has a forehead tattoo -- is threatening to make an Internet comedy video about their affair. His life is a parody of a country song.

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It's all an embarrassing spectacle. And the hive cruises by, rubbernecks, and flips the bird. Throws a Molotov cocktail. Readjusts the halo, hits the gas and zooms away. As if we're all not guilty of some crime of the heart. Humans make mistakes.

In the rock musical "Jesus Christ Superstar," there's a scene where a mob is chasing Mary Magdalene. They want to stone her to death, but Jesus jumps in front of the mob and sings the following:

"If your slate is clean/Then you can throw stones/If your slate is not/Then leave her alone."

The Frisky: Once a cheater, always a cheater?

The sentiment is solid. Moral vigilantism is not justice. Jesse James is a big fat celebrity. Maybe being a celebrity means surrendering a certain amount of your human dignity. He knew what he was doing. It seems to me that obscurity is the best sentence the rabble can hand down. Let him whimper in the dark, far from the spotlight.

But the hate levied at him, and, frankly, the other freaks in the celebrity gossip sideshow, says a lot more about the haters than the hated. It says that the haters think their farts don't stink. And they do.

Oh, yeah. I rest my case.

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