I Guess We Can't Have Heroes Anymore: Jared Fogle and Kiddie Porn

INDIANAPOLIS — While it would be a stretch to say anyone one actually “looked up” to celebrity Subway sandwich spokesman Jared Fogle, everyone from political leaders to ordinary Americans has expressed shock at just how far he could — apparently — fall, now that the Indiana State Police have raided his home looking for evidence of child pornography.

“I had absolutely no expectations of him as a public figure, and yet he’s still managed to disappoint me,” said Wilmington, Del., resident Sandy May. “Were my standards here really somehow too high? Because I’m honestly not sure how they could have been any lower. Pretty much just ‘anything but this.’”

According to an FBI spokesman, it is simply not possible for anyone to be a role model anymore, not even just a guy who lost some weight.

[jump] “Even the moral burden associated with public weight loss is apparently too much for someone to bear,” said Special Agent Jillian Long. “We thought it was only reality show contestants, politicians, and billionaires’ kids who were this awful, but, I guess pretty much anybody who shows up on TV or gets internet-famous turns into a terrible human being with frightening speed.”

Added Long, “Now that you know my name from this press conference, you’re probably going to discover I’ve been sleeping with my best friend’s 15-year-old kid.”

North Dakota acupuncturist Colin Chambers told reporters that he misses the days when, if a celebrity did something terrible, there was a good chance they had at least already done something important.

“If somebody has to be caught in a terrible scandal, is it too much to ask that they be a person I’m not embarrassed to have heard of in the first place?” Chambers said. “Why do we deify anybody who manages to get our attention for half an hour? Jared’s biggest accomplishment involved being a paid spokesman, for God sake … couldn’t we maybe make celebrities out of Nobel Peace Prize winners? Or the scientists who are working on cures for malaria and AIDS? I think I’d feel better if I knew that there was a good reason the person who did a terrible thing was a celebrity in the first place.”

“On the other hand,” Chambers said, “Bill Cosby. Christ. Fuck. Cosby.”

“Nevermind,” Chambers added before going to stare at the wall for an hour.

Harvard sociologist Thomas Termberland said that recent studies confirm that even after lowering our standards so much that Jared Fogle might count, we can’t have heroes anymore.

“Don’t even try,” Temberland said. “We live in a culture of instant gratification and near complete transparency. The combination means nobody we pay attention to for very long can live up to even minimal standards of human decency. We’re all just potential public train wrecks waiting to be catalyzed by even a little fame.”

The result is that people are willing to consider role models who would have previously been completely unacceptable, on the slim chance that they won’t disappoint.

“Honest-to-God, it’s reached the point where I’m actually looking to Pope Francis for moral leadership, Temberland said. “The Pope! That’s how bad this has gotten!”

Muttered Temberland, “Man doesn’t believe in birth control, but he wants to stop climate change and isn’t an asshole to poor people. It’s the best I can do, okay?”

A spokesman for Jared Folel read a prepared statement saying that “you may be pointing fingers now, but your time will come.” 

“Like you’re so great,” the statement read. “You made him possible. You made all of this possible! Jared never could have become a public figure if we’d all been trying a little harder.”

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