People love to watch you drown The symbol's what they need*
It was a good first step, for Michael Vick to stand there at the lectern without any notes, without a text prepared by his lawyers or handlers...
Really? Vick sequestered himself in a room with a #2 pencil and a pad of paper and worked diligently through the night to craft a statement without the help or input of anyone. Really? Does anyone really believe that's what happened? No? Perhaps he was walking by, saw a lectern and a pack of people with microphones and cameras. Completely surprising everyone, himself included, Michael Vick stepped up and without any previous thought of what to say, he certainly never thought to practice a possible statement in front of anyone, he spoke from a pure mountain stream of consciousness. Is that what you're saying happened?
It is not enough to perform a public act of contrition. No, it must be choreographed to meet the harsh judging of the audience. Emotions must be exaggerated and displayed, tears must be abundant, buzz words must be spoken. The audience will dissect and discuss and if the father of a missing child doesn't look properly saddened and upset, many will be quick to brand him a murderer. No tears on Oprah? Then the recovering alcoholic teen actress must be lying, because tears equal truth.
But in all our expectations of choreographed self-flagellation there is one public display that we will not accept. Confessions and regrets must be spoken without notes, because that is "from the heart." A major point in people accepting Vick's initial apology was his mumbling clichéd mea culpa. He even threw in a Jesus finding at the last moment. Turns out, reading from prepared notes means you are dishonest and just repeating what your weasel lawyers told you to say. Because no one would ever practice a lawyered statement and pretend to practice extemporaneous speaking.
I guess when you're standing before a hostile press and angry fans, fighting for a future professional life, and still awaiting sentencing, what's important is your ability to memorize words. Somehow being able to stand before the cameras and microphones and act as if this is the first time these thoughts occurred to you is more honest. What could go wrong? Miss Teen South Carolina, would you like to answer that question?
*People Love to Watch You Die, John Wesley Harding