New-found Internet fame is undeserved

I am a Russellville High School alumna, so my husband and I are pretty regular attendees of RHS football games.

However, this past Friday night we weren’t able to attend the game, so I was asking Jonathan Willis, our publisher, how everything went.

During our discussion of the game, Jonathan mentioned that East Limestone’s marching band played the “Bed Intruder Song,” a song inspired by the Huntsville YouTube sensation Antoine Dodson and his now infamous rant on WAFF-48 news about an intruder who tried to rape his sister.

I will admit, I’ve watched the video several times and it was definitely good for a laugh.

When it first started popping up on Facebook, I thought it was a joke. I honestly believed there was no possible way this man was serious.

And then I discovered the disturbing truth: this man was not only serious, he was actually becoming famous from acting ridiculous on the news.

As time went on, I learned that Dodson now has merchandise, a website, a ringtone, commercial opportunities, appearances on the Today Show and other news organizations, and the “Bed Intruder Song” is a top download on iTunes.

Seriously?

Now I also know that Dodson is trying to do some good with his newfound fame and fortune. He said on his website that a percentage of the earnings from his ‘Fan Line’ will go to a “Juvenile diabetes charity.”

I applaud the fact that he isn’t hoarding all the money for himself and that he’s trying to make a difference in some way.

But this whole situation still bothers me on several different levels.

First of all, while Dodson’s rant was entertaining, at the heart of this entire fiasco is the fact that his sister was almost raped, which is a very serious topic.

Secondly, Dodson didn’t actually DO anything extra spectacular to warrant this fame.

This guy was made famous because his angry rant directed at the man who tried to rape his sister was outrageous and shocking, and in the Internet age we live in, someone is always watching out for the next big cult sensation.

Finally, when people like this find fame for something like acting ridiculous on the news, it makes we wonder where are all the videos worthy of “Internet sensation” status for people who DO actually do something worthy of fame?

For example, the men and women I witnessed this week who were both paid and volunteer firefighters fighting a multiple-acreage fire in our county; men and women who work for law enforcement agencies who deal with “bed intruders” on a daily basis; teachers who spend countless hours teaching children to read and write; medical personnel who care for the sick… the list could go on and on.

I don’t begrudge Antoine Dodson his 15 minutes of fame for making people laugh. Comedians make a living every day out of doing just that.

But ultimately I do wish that the people who actually deserve fame for the honorable things they do would be recognized more often.

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