So, in somewhat less civilized times, pure and utter failure in military and executive endeavors was typically ended in a more abrupt and irrevocable sense. The Japanese and Romans had ritual suicide, the French had Madame Guillotine, the Chinese
had have the state-administered death penalty, and the Great Depression had nice tall buildings with conveniently-open windows all along Wall Street.
Sadly, with few notable exceptions in China, there's no real penalty for thorough corruption, malfeasance and utter incompetence on a scale that beggars the public interest. Enron, Goldman-Sachs, Bear Stearns, Citi, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG, GM, Chrysler and now BP... all of these companies ought to have had their CEOs step down at the very least and probably had most of their executive boards drug out and shot. Instead, most of the failed companies still have their failed leaders in place poised for more failure. Personally, I'm all for the notion that if your salary has more than 6 figures in it, you have to accept a "bullet to the head" clause in your employment contract. At least it would make me feel better about watching all of those birds covered in oil if I could watch BP executives getting shoved into that open oil geyser at the bottom of the ocean.
I was thinking a lot about disagreements that I maintain with others and I've decided that even more than the friends I keep, I can be told by the enemies I keep. And that's why I've decided that when I die, I want my funeral picketed by Westboro Baptist.
See, there are some people who you want to be loved by, but that really doesn't say as much, because the really admirable people by whom you want to be beloved are really loving people and love everyone. And respect, well, I think respect is a hard-earned commodity amongst those whose respect I would crave... but respect isn't all that powerful of a thing next to love and hate. And hate... while I certainly wouldn't encourage that sort of behavior, it does leave a lasting impact.
Think about really great people: George Washington, Mahatma Ghandi, Abraham Lincoln, John Wilberforce, Pope John Paul II ... people who did great things and lead people to greatness. Were they loved and respected by many? Certainly... but they were also hated. And really, take Abraham Lincoln for example... who hated Lincoln? White supremacists and slave owners numbered amongst many of those who hate(d) Lincoln. You could do a whole lot worse than to be hated by a bunch of bigoted Klansmen.
So, you see... that's why I'm being so careful about the people who hate me. If I can get the stupid and the enemies of education in that corner, I'll be doing well. If I can get the closed-minded and the bigoted, so much the better. And really, the end goal of this would be to get the people who are so willfully stupid and hateful that they think 9/11 happened because there are gay people in this country. After all, what does it say about you when a group whose specialty is hating good people like American Soldiers and Mr Rogers takes the time to picket your funeral? Obviously, I would be even happier if hate-filled morons would go away altogether... but failing that, I would settle for being the subject of the hate of such idiots.
And while I'm hand-picking the morons who hate me, I would take some cultists... Scientologists if I get my pick. Also Holocaust-deniers and some of those people who think the moon landing was a joke. And just so long as we're obliging my desires, if I could get the Iranian cleric who thinks that boobs are the cause of plate tectonics to hate me, I'd be down with that. I mean, I'm not sure I'm up to the level of Salman Rushdie or anything, but would a hate-filled email or two be too much to ask?