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Thread: Scandal and legacies

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Scandal and legacies

    A number of the Steve Jobs post-mortem articles have reported the (until now) little known fact that he fathered an out-of-wedlock child and denied paternity for years. While he was a wealthy man, his daughter and her mother were living on food stamps. Eventually, he acknowledged paternity and evidently mended fences with his daughter and even ended up sending her to Harvard.

    Many wealthy, famous, and ‘successful’ people seem to have train-wreck or scandalous personal lives. Among this pantheon, Jobs’ pursuit of personal wealth over the well-being of his daughter, hardly raises a comparative eyebrow. Frank Lloyd Wright abandoned his wife and six children and ran off with his mistress, a number of the Founding Fathers found time to father more than the country, Martin Luther King Jr. had a number of extra-marital affairs, and the list of famous politicians, captains of industry, celebrated artists, entertainers, and world leaders caught in their own peccadilloes and scandal is dizzying.

    My point here is not to place celebrities in ‘good’ and ‘bad’ camps, but rather encourage others to look at their lives holistically. It stands to reason that those who devote their time and energies to some cause - be it the pursuit of wealth, the acquisition of power, or even more noble aspirations (Ghandi by his own admission declared himself a terrible father) – must almost necessarily sacrifice other areas of their lives.

    What effect do you think personal scandal has on famous/successful people’s legacies? Do you think it’s ‘character assassination’ to point out things these folks have done wrong? Does it diminish them or what they stood for in any way? How should we remember, say, Andrew Carnegie - as a robber baron or patron saint of literacy?

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    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    A number of the Steve Jobs post-mortem articles have reported the (until now) little known fact that he fathered an out-of-wedlock child and denied paternity for years. While he was a wealthy man, his daughter and her mother were living on food stamps. Eventually, he acknowledged paternity and evidently mended fences with his daughter and even ended up sending her to Harvard.

    Many wealthy, famous, and ‘successful’ people seem to have train-wreck or scandalous personal lives. Among this pantheon, Jobs’ pursuit of personal wealth over the well-being of his daughter, hardly raises a comparative eyebrow. Frank Lloyd Wright abandoned his wife and six children and ran off with his mistress, a number of the Founding Fathers found time to father more than the country, Martin Luther King Jr. had a number of extra-marital affairs, and the list of famous politicians, captains of industry, celebrated artists, entertainers, and world leaders caught in their own peccadilloes and scandal is dizzying.

    My point here is not to place celebrities in ‘good’ and ‘bad’ camps, but rather encourage others to look at their lives holistically. It stands to reason that those who devote their time and energies to some cause - be it the pursuit of wealth, the acquisition of power, or even more noble aspirations (Ghandi by his own admission declared himself a terrible father) – must almost necessarily sacrifice other areas of their lives.

    What effect do you think personal scandal has on famous/successful people’s legacies? Do you think it’s ‘character assassination’ to point out things these folks have done wrong? Does it diminish them or what they stood for in any way? How should we remember, say, Andrew Carnegie - as a robber baron or patron saint of literacy?
    I thought we were talking about the Big Ten Conference league names....


    I think that scandal is part of everyone, and those who are famous just have more publicized and much more interesting ones. The more opportunity, the more interesting scandal.

    I think it is funny how many bad things people can forgive when you do good. People will remember you for certain things that will always trump others. Unfortunately sometimes those priorities aren't straight....
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

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    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    What effect do you think personal scandal has on famous/successful people’s legacies? Do you think it’s ‘character assassination’ to point out things these folks have done wrong? Does it diminish them or what they stood for in any way? How should we remember, say, Andrew Carnegie - as a robber baron or patron saint of literacy?
    It doesn't diminish their legacy. The revelation about Steve Jobs is barely making any news. I am sitting here thinking about it, and I am really having a hard time coming up with any powerful person in the world that doesn't have a seriously suspect personal moral compass.
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    I am really having a hard time coming up with any powerful person in the world that doesn't have a seriously suspect personal moral compass.
    What about that Charlie Sheen fellow? He seems pretty confident he knows right from wrong.

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    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    It doesn't diminish their legacy. The revelation about Steve Jobs is barely making any news. I am sitting here thinking about it, and I am really having a hard time coming up with any powerful person in the world that doesn't have a seriously suspect personal moral compass.

    Mother Teresa? Desmond Tutu?

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    Cyburbian HomerJ's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol View post
    Mother Teresa? Desmond Tutu?

    Just ask Christopher Hitchens what he thinks of Mother Teresa!


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZiKAeJ9mAU


    Got nothin on Tutu, or Mandela...
    Insanity in individuals is something rare - but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister;608589...
    a number of the Founding Fathers found time to father more than the country...
    I just want to add that I like the way you said this.

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