1. Silly, sullied Sarah


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    She ran through her reported 2 million Weight Watchers moneySarah Ferguson, A.K.A. Fergie, has never been a demure duchess. Those who chronicle the Royals say that it was her “common” side that made the Prince, who has been called Randy Andy, fall in love with her. Since marrying and divorcing the Duke of York, Sarah Ferguson has been in and out of favour. She has, as many royals and celebrities, been lauded and derided.

     
    But, I doubt anyone would have anticipated the day we would have seen her looking like an aged call girl as she sat nervously smoking on the edge of an apartment sofa greedily reaching for her payoff.
    She looked positively raddled as she negotiated to sell an introduction to her ex-husband, the Duke of York in his position as Special Representative for International Trade and Investment. The former Duchess of York was “stung” by a British tabloid jounalist. She demanded three quarters of a million dollars for “an introduction” to her ex. She has made a public apology for “her regrettable lapse in judgment” and said her ex-husband had no knowelege of her activities.
    Sarah Ferguson is not new to scandal. She was photographed topless on a beach with her “business advisor” sucking her toe. Although she was separated from her husband, it was a considered a compromising and unacceptable position for the mother of two royal princesses. Recently, the Duchess of York fled to the U.S. where she seemed have to rebranded herself as the head of an international children’s charity author, and a spokesperson for Weight Watchers. Alas, that was not the case. It seems she was running up a mountain of debt with an unsuccessful promotions company, as she tried to parlay her “royal” status into a fortune.
    Some feel sorry for the duchesses. One commentator on the Today Show went so far as to query how the Duchess could manage on her paltry divorce settlement of approximately $21,000 a year. A UK royal chronicler, who admits to friendship with the disgraced Duchess, claims the Royals are in “velvet handcuffs’ when comes to financing their lifestyle. He says that the public demands they act like Royals, but does not want them to work at most jobs, nor does it want to finance them. He went on to state, “she couldn’t just take a yellow cab in New York – because what would people think?” Actually, I doubt anyone in New York would care very much at all; it would have been less of scandal. Jackie O, a famous and wealthy woman, often walked around the city. I know she often drove her own car. I am also sure that many wealthy women would have managed on the $2 million she received from Weight Watchers, especially with free rent in London. It was her choice to assume a pricy lifestyle in New York.
     
    But in retrospect, is it any wonder that in a world plagued by an economic crisis brought on by greed, that people no longer have a clear sense of right and wrong? I am still livid that so few have been brought to account for the mortgage scams – and they are scams – that bankrupted so many. I am disappointed and angry that legislators everywhere cannot seem to function without a lobbyist pulling their strings. Perhaps Sarah Ferguson was clumsily trying to set up her own lobbying firm. Sadly, her behaviour is not too different from the scams and payoffs coming to light every day. But that doesn’t make it right or any less distasteful.
     
    It is no wonder that the defense attorney for the man who attempted to extort David Letterman thought he had a defense in that his client was “simply negotiating a screenplay deal". Why not? It seems dirty business is the way things are done these days. If you get away with it, you’re a smart alpha guy or gal – a player.
     
    Well darlings, I don’t think so. Take a look Sarah Ferguson on that sofa grabbing for the cash and waving her cigarette about. It looks just like what it is – shady. I for one have had enough. Knowing right from wrong is not rocket science. Sarah Ferguson may not have had a fabulous education, as some of her defenders have pointed out, but she has had a privileged life with more than enough opportunity to learn basic ethics. She chose, as many have recently, a quick and greedy, way to finance her lavish life style.
     
    She may not have broken any laws, but what she did was wrong. She let down a lot people, including her daughters, herself, and the public who paid for and admired her. I don’t give a damn that her finances are stressed. How many peoples’ finances are not a bit tighter these days, thanks to behaviour like hers? I think she will suffer in the long run, with the loss of any remaining endorsements she has. After all, a cheater does not make a good diet spokesperson – for many reasons. It will take a lot more than bravado to salvage her now-thoroughly sullied image
     
    We need a shift in our perception of success and what’s acceptable. We don’t need to brand anyone with a “Scarlet A”, toss them into debtors’ prison, or run them out of town anymore. But let’s not be so quick to move on and forget bad behavior by celebrities, politicians, and each other. I think those who are sorry for her or who applaud her for brazening it out, as she did the next day, are misguided. She is far from the biggest problem we are facing these days, but she is part of what is wrong. Let’s be better and demand better. It’s time.
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