EDITORIAL FRIDAY 30.01.09.
While the dangers of the Global Financial Crisis continue to dominate acres of newsprint, and while the New South Wales Public Hospital system lurches from one crisis to another, it is reassuring to know that the truly important stories are still getting plenty of coverage. Stories like the ongoing fascination with the private lives of public figures. In particular, it seems that the world simply cannot continue turning until someone comes up with the answer to whether or not Ian Thorpe is gay.
Usually, Ian Thorpe ignores the gossip and goes about his business without bothering anyone. However, the publication of photos of Ian with Brazilian swimmer Daniel Mendes sent members of the triviatti (yes, I have just invented a word) into a frenzy of innuendo and speculation. Two blokes photographed together at a beach, and they’re both good looking, well they must be gay. There is no other explanation. If they were ugly blokes, say a couple of truckies having a smoko together, well that would be entirely different.
Of course, you and I know that it’s a question that really doesn’t need an answer. It’s none of our business, and whether he is or he isn’t doesn’t make the slightest difference to the astounding contribution that he has made to sport and to his country. Ian Thorpe remains one of our greatest champions, and a wonderful ambassador for Australia. And if we are completely honest, I think we like it that he is just a little bit mysterious.
It’s almost not worth mentioning that Ian Thorpe has already given a straight answer to the queer question in the past, but just for the record it was “No.” Nevertheless, the escalation of speculation in the so called blogoshphere spilled over into the tabloid universe and phone calls were made to Mr. Thorpe’s agent until at the end of the day an official comment was forthcoming. It said this:
“I find this kind of inaccurate speculation tiresome and I am annoyed by the hurt it has caused to those closest to me.” That’s it.
Of course, there are some people for whom that will not be enough. There are some who will harbor their own opinions no matter what. Opinions, it is said, are like bottoms… everybody’s got one. But surely, Ian Thorpe has made himself clear. He is not gay at all. He is grumpy, or more accurately, “annoyed”. Maybe if we all stop bothering him with petty and irrelevant obsessions he might be able to cheer up a bit.