Thursday, January 6, 2011

As the Nation Stood Transfixed

I don't know what this man's story is, this man without a home or job, the man identified as Ted Williams.

It was Tuesday night at dinnertime that I first saw the YouTube video, showing this man with one of those golden radio voices, seemingly down on his luck on the streets.  

By the next morning, he was on the CBS Early Show and likely by the end of that day he had been seen on other shows, and the reporting said that he had a job and a home.

Catch up on it here if you haven't seen the latest.

One almost hates to bring this up, but a radio friend told me the whole thing might be some sort of prank or hoax.  Which, of course, introduces a moral conundrum, and I am all in favor of using conundrums when engaged in social intercourse.

OK.  What if the guy really is a guy without a home, with talent that he buried for all these years under illicit and overused substances and a dissolute lifestyle? If that's the case, then what a pity this is.  I suppose that the shoulders of life's highway are full of broken-down vehicles that once were driving promising futures toward admirable goals.  So what, you say, if a guy blew his chance at being a voice talent?  And I say, what if someone who was on the way to becoming a doctor, a spiritual leader, or the inventor of a splendid pain-relief invention had a similar breakdown and wound up on that shoulder?

Or!  What if he is already a radio guy and did this for some sort of YouTube gag? Is it funny to impersonate a homeless guy?  I'm no expert in this area (the only area in which I begin to qualify as an expert would be the category known as Catchy Things That People Say To Each Other On Situation Comedies Or In Movies) but I suspect that the homeless, in their plight, would not cotton to being used as a platform for a prank.  But at least we can be thankful that he was not really reduced to mendicancy.

As tends to happen, the nation seems transfixed on this story; websites, email handlers and the staffs of all those shows that come on between 7 and 8 at night (Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, Inside Edition, Family Guy) are working feverishly on getting the latest info on Mr Williams into their next shows. I keep wondering why the noted photographer and novelist F-Stop Fitzgerald said there are no second acts in American lives.  Wherever this man has been up until this week has all been prologue for what's coming next.  Let's hope it's all good!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to see you chose to fall on the side of compassion. If he's a phony - tho I doubt it - he will certainly be found out. Meanwhile, I hope he makes the most of this opportunity and is able to stay sober.