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If you haven't heard about Ted Williams by now, you probably will soon

Kraft hires homeless star of viral video
Emily Bryson York, Chicago Tribune reporter -- 01/06/2011

Here's an unusual way to get a job: Ted Williams, a panhandler from Columbus, Ohio, garnered the attention of the Columbus Dispatch, which posted a video of him doing sample voice-overs by the side of the road. The video went viral ( ), and a star was born.

From this, Williams appeared on the "Today" show Thursday morning, announcing that he'd gotten a job as the voice of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese.

In the video, a disheveled Williams explains that he'd studied voice in school but developed a drug and alcohol problem that derailed his radio career. With two years clean, he said, he was hoping a company would notice him.

And a star is born re-born.

The media gods and the corporate gods, looked down from their PR towers, and have decided to smile upon one of the unfortunate many.


Who says Journalists can't change the world?

One from the Columbus Dispatch did, by bringing a video camera to a highway exit ramp ...

and then asking Williams to "sing" for his dinner dollar.

Ted Williams, Homeless Video Star, Offered Jobs -- Jan. 5, 2011

Williams was spotted by the Columbus Dispatch newspaper standing near a highway exit ramp. In a video interview, Williams - holding a cardboard sign that asks motorists for help and says, "I'm an ex-radio announcer who has fallen on hard times" - explains in his smooth, deep voice that he grew up in New York and that he was drawn to radio at the age of 14.

A professional basketball team has offered an unspecified job to a homeless man with a golden radio voice. He is being sought by NFL Films for possible work, as well.

Williams' compelling tale has also drawn interest from NFL Films, which has chronicled pro football for nearly 50 years and wants to contact Williams.

Williams appeared exclusively on CBS' "The Early Show" Wednesday, telling co-anchors Erica Hill and Chris Wragge that he felt like a lottery winner ...

Funny how all those Job offers are rolling in now for Ted Williams.  

He went from Zero -- to Hero ... overnite.

And Corporate America can't wait to jump on this Instant Celeb Bandwagon.

Isn't instant technology wonderful.

I'm not try to fault Ted Williams -- No way!  Indeed I'm cheering on his "Lucky Stars".

If only we could all be so fortunate.  If only "The Fates" were always so kind.

If only the Corporations sitting on record piles of cash, would decide to invest in the "Millions of Teds" out there, crowding exit ramps and unemployment lines around the country.

But THAT would really be a Miracle.  One that Viral Journalism will probably NOT provide.

Too bad too, since WE ALL have some Gift, like Ted.  We ALL have a Story, that tugs at the heart strings, whether it finds its way to Ethernet-fame or not.

That's just the nature of the Human Condition.  Drama, Pain, Strife, Sorrow. And occasionally contentment. And sadly, far too often, gnawing Hunger too.

Of course the corporate gods, for the most part -- are worried about a entirely different kind of Story -- their own Quarterly Profit Margins stories.  Usually at the expense of those Millions of Americans -- just like Ted Williams -- who were once just another 'Cost to Cut'.

That's just the nature of the Corporate Condition.

Maybe there's a bigger Lesson here?  

About our "Disposable People" society -- one would hope so.

Here is another Video -- one that probably WON'T go Viral -- that draws out a few different Lessons from the Ted Williams "redemption" story -- cheering up the Airways, lately  ... filling up that ever-present News-hole.

The Real Lesson from the Ted Williams story
CNN iReport
Posted by: bronx2566 -- 01/07/2011

What can we learn from the Ted Williams Story?  A men living on the street, begging for handouts, blessed with a "God-given voice."

A man whose voice is heard by a passerby who actually stops long enough to LISTEN.

We must STOP ignoring the homeless and destitute among us.  Hoping that this "problem" will simply disappear.

Video maker:

Know what's really important here?
It's about not taking the People who are living on the street -- the less fortunate among us -- for granted.

These are tough Times.  A lot of People are on the Street who had good jobs not that long ago. Who had a place to live, who had families. [...]

What are you going to do -- The next time you see a Homeless Person on the street? [...]

You don't freaking ignore them.  It makes them feel like they don't exist. [...]

You DON'T pretend they ain't there.  They're there.

Indeed Cast-Away Humans really don't go away, no matter how much Society treats them that way, like they are Invisible.

To roughly quote the classic look at the Corporate Media, from the once-viral movie "Network",

Howard Beale:

They are Human Beings, God-damn it!  Their Lives have value ...

You have to get Mad as Hell -- and say I'm NOT going to Take it anymore!

The real irony is that Ted Williams story, is that he feels like a "Lottery Winner" now --

Such is the nature of the Opportunity and Meaning ... in our Disposal Economies of the 21st Century;

In a world where compassion is as scarce a resource, as social sanity.  Sadly.

It's sad to see Human Potential -- wasted, isn't it?

Just ask Ted.

Originally posted to Digging up those Facts ... for over 8 years. on Fri Jan 07, 2011 at 09:01 AM PST.

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