Last weekend, having played his final game of ALF, Ben Cousins took to a shopping mall to sign DVDs of his drug-fueled adventures and downfall - Such is Life. Two thousand screaming, panting fans turned up, with one teenage boy fainting, most likely due to the unbridled pushing and shoving of the young women in attendance.
Also since retirement, Cousins has lost one girlfriend and found another, a woman sublimely glamorous and beautiful.
The Cuz documentary caused outrage and teeth-gnashing before it aired, and more of the same, only louder, once it had been seen by a suitably large audience.
Perhaps there really is only a short snort between glorifying Cuz and his illicit drug abuse and presenting a moral lesson for impressionable teenagers, or anyone else thinking of using Bennie as an overall template for the good life.
This was never going to be a documentary of contrition or atonement. Well, not unless you can cope with a drug addict who was a wildly successful, fully functioning, sporting god, all the while - for 12 long years - abusing the crap out of the drug of the choice for any self-respecting high achiever: cocaine (among others, and, the cocaine side dish - copious amounts of alcohol).
The honesty of the documentary inevitably outraged the moral arbiters and the middle class masses.
Cuz did not weep and wail about how much he hated and battled against being a drug addict He clearly did not wake up each morning wishing that someone would rescue him from his life of woe. He loved drugs. He loved his lifestyle. He was also utterly and unquestionably successful.
The moral ambiguity, the enjoyment of transgression, the insufficiency of the punishment, was too difficult - no matter that it was a true presentation of drug abuse in the real world - gave short shift to moral certainty and absolute punishment, such that the audience would inevitably, boringly predictably, be outraged and repelled.
Cousins' fall, when it came, was neither far enough nor long enough to satisfy the social need to see our hero, our villain, win the hearts and minds via a miraculous recovery.
Had he lost everything, had his fall been absolute, had he lost his wealth, his fame, his looks, his perfect body, his health, his hair, his teeth, the beautiful girls, his friends - had he been utterly defeated by his self-indulgence - ah, yes, maybe then, only then, could he have been forgiven. But the bottom was not low enough, the rock not nearly hard enough.
There was no redemption, because the story of Cuz offered none. Denied entirely a sliver of light to shine on in - salvation at last. He presented a socially and morally unbearable honesty. He didn't even beg forgiveness, of anyone.
Cuz's last game: strong, buffed, good looking - no other player has ever looked so hot on the ground.
A narcissist? Sure. But oh how fucking good he looks.
Who needs redemption anyway? It's a cheap commodity when played out in the public sphere.