There are few people that deserve to be idolized - people that are positive and do good things for the world and for their fellow man. I wish there were more but it is very difficult to become well known by being a good person. Unfortunately, we then turn to idolizing people who are just well-known like rock stars, sport stars, and celebrities. Most of these people do not deserve your hero-worship. By setting them above all others most people tend to then idealize their idols.
I always laugh when others are shocked that so and so celebrity does something wrong. Tiger Woods and Jesse James (modern) cheating? Mel Gibson being a drunk racist? Hugh Grant hiring a prostitute? Yes it is all too bad but not really surprising. These are all just normal people with normal problems and issues but they all get amplified due to fame and money.
Don't get me wrong, I understand, I did this too when I was younger. Dave Mustaine (and Megadeth) could pretty much do no wrong for me and I single handedly donated thousands of dollars to him through concerts, t-shirts, and albums...money that I am sure went straight into his veins in heroin form. It wasn't until a local show had to be canceled due to an alleged overdose or suicide attempt that I started thinking that maybe he wasn't perfect and I shouldn't treat him as such. Now, I try to separate someone's art/entertainment/job from who they are as a person. I can still respect Tiger's golf game without liking who he is in his personal life.
But all this is fine or at least understandable...these people at least contribute something to the world through their acting, music, sports entertainment, or whatever. There is at least some reason to like them. What I don't understand is people that idolize criminals. I know that most criminals are just normal people that made mistakes and bad choices in their life. Many are actually very decent people if you get to know them. I am not talking about being friends with someone in prison or giving a person a second chance. I believe both those can be a good thing.
I hate when people idolize someone for their crimes. Sure there are some famous criminals that stood for something and deserve to be idolized - these are people that fight against a corrupt system - Robin Hood, the early American revolutionaries, etc... They were fighting against injustice and thereby branded criminals. Idolize these types of noble rebellion people all you want. Do not however idolize the petty criminal who has done nothing good in his life. I am talking about people like Colton Harris-Moore. These people have done nothing to deserve your respect - what injustice was Colton rebelling against when he stole people's boats, planes, etc... None, it was just in it to have fun for himself. But yet his facebook page had over 90,000 fans. How big of a loser do you have to be to be fans of a petty criminal? I have heard someone say that he was rebelling against materialism. Really? Someone that steals really expensive boats and planes really isn't fighting against materialism...he wants to be a part of it. It wasn't all to escape.
I know that people have always been attracted to these kind of outlaw personae - Billy the Kid, Jess James (old west), Bonnie and Clyde, etc... I think people tend to live some kind of vicarious freedom from society through criminals. I understand the appeal of the whole Antihero character - who didn't love the guys in the movie Pulp Fiction or the Punisher in comic books. However, it is different in real life compared to fiction - real people get hurt, there are victims of crimes. Real criminals don't deserve your idolatry and respect for committing crimes. You can respect this type of criminal for changing their life around, you can like someone despite the crimes they committed, but to like or respect someone BECAUSE of the crimes they committed is just stupid.