Joost and his underpants …..


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Contrary to popular belief, I have an optimistic default stance on human nature.

Though I tell myself that people will often do bad things, there is an internal voice I possess that believes that everyone will do the right thing and that people do not lie.

I believe when someone tells me something, that they mean what they are saying.

I often say “I believe you…” because I REALLY believe you.

I actually believe it when someone says “Let’s get together sometime….”

I believe that good people do good things.

I believe that people are true to their word.

I struggle to deal with it when someone lies to me.  My universe crumbles when I find out someone has lied to me.  A bit like The Matrix, when that rogue piece of code gets into the machine, and the entire mummers farce that is real life starts to break apart.

A bit like that …. a lot like that.

There have of course been many situations where I have realised that good people do bad things, and people I thought were good, are maybe not so good.

I believe in heroes and I believe first and foremost in someone before I start to doubt them.  I give them the benefit of the doubt, until I no longer can.

Hansie Cronje.  I believed from the beginning when he said he was innocent.  I believed him.

When the media started telling stories about how they had evidence and other details about his taking a bribe.

I believed Hansie.  I decided to silently wait until he was able to absolve himself of the barrage of accusations.  I waited, and I believed Hansie (just for the record, I am not and have never been a fervent sports fan), and I felt if we waited for the dust to settle the truth would be revealed.

When it came to pass that he was guilty – and this was after him saying at least half a dozen times that he was innocent, I was crushed.  Not because he was guilty, but because he had lied, and lied, and I had believed him.  I had not doubted him for a moment.

So too with Underpants Joost van der Westhuizen had his famous sex video/stills aired.

Again, not a man I really liked much.  But when he said it was not him in the photo with the scantily clad lady and him wearing his tidy-white’ies and his socks, I believed him.  I thought “I am gave sure he is innocent, he said he is, so he must be.”

I sat silently in Joost’s corner, thinking I will wait it out and not pass judgement until we are sure what really happened. His wife believes in him, I believed him, and why would he lie about this ….. over and over again?

No secret it turns out he was liar liar pants on fire!

Even after all the media reports that have come through on our “fallen heroes” I persist in believing that people do not lie, and waiting for them to tell me what happened, rather than buying in to all the hoopla and rubbish that is passed from one person to the other, in some macabre game of  “broken telephone.”

There have been dozens of music heroes, sports heroes, and “made famous by the media” heroes who have stumbled and fallen – and with the onslaught of media and social media we cannot help but get updates around the clock.

I have less of an issue with someone who stumbles and admits it, than someone who lies about it.  And continues to lie, and is then found out.

Last Friday the bottom fell out of the world as we knew it,  when one of our sports and media heroes experienced what can only be described as a “total fuck up and tragic day” on every possible level.

I am not sure what happened.  I am not sure you know what has happened.

There appears to be  a 1001 experts on Facebook posting and reposting what can only be described as hurtful, poorly timed humour and bad speculation.  Why pass on information that you do not know is true, so that you can just stir up emotions even more?

It is the equivalent of a village deciding that everyone should grab their pitchfork and torches and gets together to burn the ogre, purely on hearsay and  “I heard that he did this or he did that …. so light a flame and come along …..”

Golden boy shoots his beautiful girlfriend, what could be more delicious than that?

Again, I choose to sit quietly in his corner and wait to see how this unfolds.  I allow this process to run it’s course before passing judgement, and before jumping to conclusions, because who of us actually REALLY knows what happened.

For now, I will continue to believe in him.

I believed in him before last Friday, and I continue to believe he is the same person he was when we lifted him up above our shoulders and screamed for him.

I was really disappointed this week to see the amount of crass and totally ridiculous gumph that people were posting and reposting – and often from people who I believed to be wise and informed.  I have started to seriously question the level of the gene pool in the last week.

How fickle does this prove we are?  How cruel and brutal are we, that we cannot wait it out and see what REALLY happened before we start to THROW stones and grab our pitchforks for a public burning?

Either I will sit quietly in his corner and nod “we stayed in your corner because we believed you” or I will go home and pour a large glass of Chenin Blanc, and feel disappointed that again I believed in someone who lied.

This week, I am NOT disappointed in the boy-wonder who has fallen.  I am disappointed in a society (that I am a part of) that judges so quickly, and so brutally, when they know nothing.

What if he was your son, what if that was your daughter?

{I am not suggesting he is innocent or he is guilty, I am however suggesting we wait until the official investigation has been allowed to run it’s course before we crucify him}