After the lowest low, happenstance and a video camera gave a face and a voice to a man the world had forgotten or ignored. Then, like the T-Virus in Raccoon City, news spread. “OMG have you seen this?” gets on the monitors of some Macs in high places, and calls are made. In less than thirty-six hours, the man is off the street and on stage for all to see. He’s gone from one out-lier to the other in such a very short time, caught the fickle web of the giant Wolf Spider that is the media.
Why a Wolf Spider? Because the Wolf Spider eats its young. The media spawned the story of Ted Williams. Then like Cinderella at the ball, Ted went on the ride of his life over the next few days, and we all watched. Some commented. Happy. Irritated. Angry. Overjoyed. Flabbergasted. Ambivalent. Opinions ran the gamut. Some stayed silent. We watched the web spin bigger and faster. Long-lost and long-deserted relatives appeared like Dickens’ ghosts of Christmas.
And we all saw it start to unravel. Hopeful as some were about the outcome, for stability, continued success, and sobriety…we could all see what would happen eventually. And poof, like Keyser Söze, he was gone. Under the radar with only a press release and a statement from Dr. Phil to mark his disappearance into rehab. One week. That’s the length of this Cinderella’s ball.
Now, the clock has struck midnight. Reality comes to call, and Ted is back in the cinders. And this time, when the prince comes, and it’s time to try on the shoe, it drops…and shatters. Because that’s the only ending to the fairy tale that the media can enjoy. It created Ted’s story because of a slow news day, reports his consumption by sudden success combined with huge reality checks, and now his retreat into rehab, where hopefully, he’s safe from the public eye and can heal.
Like I said. A Wolf Spider.
Now, as the AOL Article from this morning mentions, some supportive folks will be there for Ted when he emerges from the self-imposed exile. Let’s hope so.
Since Ted is a true representative of out-liers, high and low, I thought it appropriate to end with a quote from Malcolm Gladwell, the author of Outliers: The Story of Success. He says: "What we do as a community, as a society, for each other, matters as much as what we do for ourselves. It sounds a little trite, but there’s a powerful amount of truth in that, I think."
Cliché. Trite. If certain things weren’t true over and over, time and again…those words wouldn’t exist.