It's rare that a single column can trivialize and insult two different tragic figures in the news at the same time, but every now and then someone special will come along and BOOM! Next thing you know we're using Whitney Houston's death to write about Josh Hamilton. Specifically, What Josh Hamilton And The Texas Rangers Can Learn From Whitney Houston's Passing.
There are a lot of insulting premises in there, but the worst comes here:
Unfortunately, those individuals that develop an addiction – no matter how irrational it may appear to the rest of us – believe the personal benefits derived from drug usage exceed these costs.
Does he REALLY believe that? That drug addicts think the benefits exceed the costs? Does he really believe Josh Hamilton thinks that risking his career and family and fortune is worth a drink?
Perhaps, Mr. Kelley, you should have Mr. Hamilton sit down and read all about the rise and fall of Ms. Houston. Have him YouTube some of her best performances when she was at the height of her career, and then look-up photos and videos of her during her troubled times. Because this will remind Mr. Hamilton that nothing is forever and that substance abuse destroys.
Any true addict, like Hamilton apparently is, probably has more than enough firsthand experience with lives getting destroyed to understand the stakes.
Come on. Doing drugs is fun. So is getting really really drunk. If the benefits outweighed the long-term costs, we'd ALL do drugs and get drunk all the time. Instead, the only ones who keep living that life are the ones who can't help it. There's nothing rational about drug abuse.
That's what makes it addiction, not selfishness.
And that's what makes that entire column insulting, not insightful.
An addict is someone who understands the risks but ignores them. Addiction is the madness where someone gets hit by a bus, and then wanders into traffic the very next week because they just can't help themselves. It can be treated, but it takes luck and lots of work on a daily basis, not some YouTube epiphany. It's baffling and terrifying and above all it's a tragic disease. Arguing that some Whitney Houston videos could change Josh Hamilton just makes everyone a little bit dumber, and takes us that much farther from understanding what the tragedy really is.
But hey, at least it was topical!