"These were people who were just brutally...marginal; sad, hardscrabble fuckups who were often just one mishap away from being human trainwrecks, deadly combinations of barely-bright, poorly-educated, undisciplined-to-the-point-of-undisciplinable. In the Army we called these sorts of people "shit magnets". “Bad stuff” just “happened” to them; car wrecks, arrests...lost time, lost jobs, lost husbands and wives, lost lives. Tonya was a kind of patron saint for those people..."This is and was a sad fact rather than an opinion; the world is full of such people, and the wreckage that their shit-magnetry leaves behind.
But I should add this:
It's important to distinguish between the effects of behavior and environment, between the hard work of fucking your life up and the good luck of having a life that's fundamentally hard to fuck up.
Unbolt the tits off Tonya and put the resulting body in an Andover and Yale sweatshirt and you pretty much get George W. Bush; an intellectually stunted, emotionally impaired, ethically flat-lined, greedy, egotistical peckerhead.
Tonya is a convicted petty crook. A substantive case can be made, based on the grounds upon which an international tribunal indicted, tried, convicted, and hanged Hideki Tōjō, that Dubya should be a convicted Class A war criminal.
Not just that little pecadillo binds the two together. Look at the pattern of their lives. One fuckup after another, one stupid decision followed by a period of complete nonreflection followed by another stupid decision. These two people made careers out of putting themselves in positions of public confidence only to do something incredibly boneheaded that made it clear that said confidence was utterly and disastrously misplaced.
So why is it that Tonya is living in an anonymous trailer somewhere east of Terrebone while Dubya is still booking speaking tours and lounging about the in-ground pool at one of the family mansions?
You know why as damn well as I do.
So, while it's popular and entertaining to sneer at the Tonyas of the world - hell, there's a whole business of trumping up television and movies and books - and even a gawdawful checkstand magazine sneering and leering at these poor mooks - the only real difference I see between them and the Dubyas and the William Kennedy Smiths and the Alice Waltons and the Kenny-Boy Lays of the world is what Ernest Hemingway supposedly said when Scott Fitzgerald told him that the Rich are Different:
They just have more fucking money.
So I don't want you think that I'm slagging off on Tonya. Yes, she fucked up.
But when she did she had nothing there to protect her from the consequences of her fuckedupitude. She got one shot and when she screwed it up she fell, like Lucifer, never to rise again.
Whilst here in the Land of the Free one of the great privileges of great personal or family wealth is the "right" to fuck up - over and over again - and never pay so much as a moment's regret or a day's liberty for it.