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I’ve always been fairly neutral on Arnold Schwarzenegger. His acting was, in my mind, mid-range and even his becoming governor of my home state barely garnered a “meh” from me.
But now, following the events of the last two weeks and the bombshell from a few days ago that neutrality has turned to ire that grows the more I hear about this story and the fallout. What a freakin’ low life.
Giving it a bit of thought, I think I know what bugs me most about this. If actions speak to character, than this is a man who is driven by two traits I literally despise; arrogance and selfishness.
First the arrogance. Granted we don’t know the whole story about what transpired between Schwarzenegger and his mistress, Mildred Baena, like who moved in on who or other intimate details. But what we do know leaves a very bad after taste, doesn’t it?
We know Mildred worked with the family for two decades and that she and Schwarzenegger’s wife, Maria Shriver, were pregnant at the same time with Baena’s son born just days after Schwarzenegger’s youngest son. I cannot FATHOM the level of arrogance needed to a) have an affair with someone who works so closely with your family and your wife and B) NOT USE PROTECTION (we do know how babies are made don’t we?).
But don’t you see? Arnold’s behavior in and of itself shows a stunning level of arrogance, a thinking that “the rules that mere mortals play by don’t apply to me.” And his entitled behavior really isn’t new. Schwarzenegger had been accused of groping women years ago and in 2003 gave a blanket apology for “behaving badly”. But even then he linked it to dirty politics instead of admitting that he played a one-sided game of touchy-feely.
That arrogance leads to my second bugbear – selfish behavior. Schwarzenegger apologized for the groping only after it became a campaign issue because he thought he could get away with it, that there was nothing wrong with touching a women any way he wanted to. Why? Because the aforementioned “rules” don’t apply to him. He’s a movie star. He’s about to be governor. He’s entitled.
The very fact that Schwarzenegger thought it was okay to have unprotected sex with a woman other than his wife without regard for a potential pregnancy shows momentary pleasure was the only thing on his mind. Well, now there’s a child or an “event” as he said in his statement, which was equally sickening.
But here’s the part that REALLY gets my goat. As the expert in the video points out, this poor kid has had his life turned upside down. A few days ago he was dealing with the issues that normal teenagers have; girls, pimples and the prom. Now he’s got the media clamoring to get a shot of him. His mother’s picture is splashed on newspapers around the world and her behavior, picked apart and scrutinized along with it. Does he now look at the Schwarzenegger-Shriver kids and think, as kids often do, “How is this fair?” His entire world has been rocked so hard it will take years of therapy for him to recover, if ever. He is forever and irreparably changed because of the arrogant, selfish, id-driven behavior of his parents.
What is it about certain men who think this behavior is okay? Maybe the equally distasteful John Edwards, who cheated on his dying wife and fathered a child with his mistress, can help explain. In whose rulebook is this okay?
Listen, I’m not gonna point fingers at people’s marriages, heck I have enough work making sure my own stays on track; besides you never really know what’s happening on the inside. But could you not at least think about your kids? Schwarzenegger dropped a bomb smack dab in the middle of a lot of young people’s lives; they’re the walking wounded, left trying to piece the story and their hearts and lives back together.
Schwarzenegger has left the governor’s mansion and is now trying to get his stalled movie career back on track. If this makes me immature, so be it but I can promise you this, I will never spend another dime on any movie he’s in. The flaws in his movie roles pale in comparison to the gaping hole in his character.
But what do you think? How does someone justify behavior like this? Am I alone in my complete disgust for this man?