All My Heroes Are Dying

Aging imbues us with the uncomfortable knowledge that our time on this plane is limited. The passing of our contemporaries, our rock and roll idols, sports heroes and other personalities of note reminds us of the fact that our time is limited. A recent article has reminded me that ceasing to breath is not the only way to expire.

There was a time when a fellow the same age as me was the most powerful athlete on Earth. Bruce Jenner is exactly one month older than me and his winning the decathlon championship in the 1976 Olympics raised the psyche of all Americans. At a time when the Soviet bloc sponsored their athletes from a very early age, and the American Olympic Committee was very stringent in its definition of amateur, Jenner emerged as a champion in the most difficult event of the Olympic Games, the decathlon.

For the Olympic novice, the decathlon is a series of ten stringent events held over two days. The events are designed to test the world’s best athlete’s strength, speed and endurance. Bruce Jenner blew the competition away, and set a new Olympic record for points scored.

To the victor belong the spoils, and having your picture on the Wheaties box proclaimed as “The World’s Greatest Athlete” is one of them. Movie deals, TV shows, sponsorships, sports broadcaster gigs and celebrity events are some of the opportunities offered an Olympic champion. Jenner capitalized on all of them and never was very far from the public eye.

Marrying into the Kardashian Klan ensured that Bruce would not be forgotten; that his name would always be on the cover of the magazines sold at the check out counters of super markets. There are different types of immortality I guess.

Marrying the widow of former OJ lawyer Robert Kardashian, Jenner charted his course with a media mogul whose sole mission in life was to make sure that her talent-less children would be celebrities. Jenner got to come along for the ride. The Kardashian children Bruce sired would also benefit from his relationship with the world’s greatest promoter.

Bruce Jenner passed away on April 24, 2015 and was reborn as a transsexual, who wants to be remembered as Caitlyn. The “World’s Greatest Athlete” has now become the “World’s Greatest Ambiguity”.

Many of the men who have felt that they were a “woman trapped in a man’s body”, actually go through with the surgical procedure to prove it. Jenner is not interested in going the whole nine yards. In addition to keeping his “manhood”, Jenner wants to continue having women sexual partners. It seems this “woman” is not interested in men. Looks like Jenner can cross off the L and the T in his LBGT list. I guess Jenner always was an overachiever.

I try not to judge, we are all just accidents of birth, but I feel like there’s a lot more going on here than the confused gender assignment. Whether it’s the failed TV show I Am Cait, the magazine covers, the TV interviews and speaking engagements, it all feels like the finely tuned media campaign of the Kardashian group.

The truth may be that it’s just a deal with something for everyone. Bruce gets a new career and gets to wear a dress and makeup. Kris Kardashian gets a divorce from a cross-dresser and a new revenue stream. I’d hate to think the whole kerfuffle was just a house full of estrogen and being told to leave the toilet seat down too many times.

Goodbye Bruce, you were a helluva man.