We’re asking to be Te’oed

Richard Leib writes about current events.
Posted on Jan. 27, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.

Richard Leib

Te’o’s girlfriend (it was a scam), Michelle’s fashion (she looks good in bangs), and the news that Barack is the first black president (the first biracial president, too).

And Beyonce. Did Beyonce lip-sync the national anthem at the inauguration? (Insider opinions vary.)

And the magical, mystical trillion-dollar platinum coin proposal by a Georgia lawyer known as Beowulf. (It’s a goofy idea that would make even less sense than Zimbabwe’s $100 trillion bill.)

Pretty much that’s what last week’s news was about.

Oh, yeah — I forgot about guns. It was also about guns, and executive orders about guns, and statistics that show we need to have fewer guns and statistics that show we need to have more guns.

I suppose it’s OK that that stuff dominated the week’s news cycle. We probably can use a break from tipping-point possibilities of fiscal ruin every now and then. And finding respite through pleasant escapism in television shows is getting to be harder.

Lois and I started to watch the new Fox thriller “The Following” on Monday night. I like Kevin Bacon. Since he’s started to look undernourished, he brings out a charitable gene in me. I want to put my arm around his shoulder and say “Hey man, let’s you and me go get a sandwich.”

But my charitable feeling is waning. His new show is grossly violent — or should I say, “violently gross.” It’s about teaching folks to be serial killers. And it’s about turning violent, horrific acts into an art form.

Shouldn’t those in Washington who express interest in reducing violence be considering, and talking about, the subject matter of films more than they are? I’m just askin’.

In an early scene in “The Following,” a young woman took off most of her clothes, showing her full body tattoo work. And then she stabbed herself through the eye with an ice pick. The camera rolled from close-ups of the bloody head wound to her quivering legs as she died. Yuck.

If we’re going to be shown a young woman in scanty clothing, I prefer the news cycle’s pictures of Katherine Webb and Diane O’Meara (aka; Lennay Kekua) to what “The Following” offered.

By the way, have you seen the allegedly “leaked” picture that’s floating around the Internet of Te’o’s girlfriend taking a shower?

What you see when you look is just an empty shower with the water running. OK, some will consider that to be a tasteless joke. But some will think it’s funny. I fall into the latter camp.

This story feels like a Woody Allen film, and I think one might as well chuckle at the entire chaos cluster. Sure, Te’o is embarrassed, Notre Dame is embarrassed, and media news gatherers across the fruited plain are embarrassed. But they’ll spin their way out of it, and there are some potential positives.

Diane O’Meara, whose images were stolen to be used as the face and the body of the mythical girlfriend, will probably get a multi million-dollar modeling contract out of the publicity.

Plus, a real-life Internet scam of huge scale has been exposed, and maybe more caution will be used with web-based information in the future. One can hope.

And the phrase, “I’ve been Te’oed” has been added to the lexicon of street talk. It means that one has been fooled by a mythical relationship. Like when the person someone has voted for turns out to not be the person they thought they were, the voter has been Te’oed.

Or like, if we think that a trillion-dollar coin is really worth a trillion dollars, we’re asking to be Te’oed.

Former Elkhart furniture store owner Richard Leib has served on planning committees in several industries. An avid auto fan, he raced in the 1972 coast-to-coast Cannonball Run. He has written on a wide range of subjects.

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