There are stories that make their way into the popular culture that any rational person will do their best to ignore. Either because they don't matter to anybody except the people directly effected. Or because absolutely no good can come from knowing about them. Though usually it's both. I'm talking about those topics that are utterly of no consequence to anyone, but that doesn't stop everyone from having strong opinions on them. So they become part of the zeitgeist, eventually break down your deflector shields, and become unignorable.
This Baby Gronk thing is the pluperfect example.
A ridiculously staged, badly acted video featuring a sports media superstar and a socially awkward kid that somehow went viral. It's exactly the kind of thing normal people should treat like an unexploded IED, give it a wide berth, and instead pay attention to something that actually matters. Or is at least entertaining. This is neither.
And yet, giving the Baby Gronk story the good leaving alone it deserves has become virtually impossible. It's been on my Trending nonstop for consecutive weeks now. It's on any sports-adjacent website I visit. Ignoring Baby Gronk is like someone letting a Fisher Cat loose in your house and trying to pay it no mind. Eventually, it requires your attention.
So I finally clicked the link on that Instagram post with Livvy Dunne. I suggest you don't. Spare yourself. Go watch a cute animal video and feel good about the world instead. Because just as I suspected, it's a decent into the madness of an unhinged parent's brain. The kind of overbearing megalomania that should be considered child abuse by anyone who can do the math on the history children becoming famous at the age of 10. Including, but not limited to, this poor kid in dozens of different college uniforms, instead of home building castles in Minecraft with his friends, like he should. But also plugging merchandise. And worst of all, trying to make it so people like you and me, who have better things to do, have to learn what the word "Rizz" means.
Well now we get to the good part. Really, the inevitable part. There was no way this epic tale of awful, exploitative parenting was going to skip this stage. The phase where dad uses the unnatural, unhealthy, and likely permanently damaging fame he foisted on his own son, to springboard himself into bigger and better things.
Namely, the DM's of famous sports media figure not named Livvy Dunne. And they are doing the work of the angels by exposing this creep for the social climbing, clout-chasing asshat he is:
And that is what needs to be done. Anyone who gets DM'ed by this exploitative, self-aggrandizing buffoon should make his messages public and expose him for the sick, twisted, show business dad he is. The odds of him being capable of a public shaming seem pretty slim. Slimmer than the odds of a kid who has fame forced upon him at 10 years old growing up to be a sane, well-adjusted adult. But if nothing else, it might save the rest of us from 10 more years of these jackass living vicariously through his child. And that alone will be a pure good.
I'll end with this. Exploiting your kid for your own benefit has been around forever. But when parents used to send their children out to work in the fields or at some Dickensian workhouse for 16 hours a day, at least they were learning a skill that would last a lifetime. Baby Gronk isn't going to be living off his "Razz King" merchandise sales any longer than it takes dad to piss through it.