Dear Tell All: I've been puzzling over the outpouring of love for Steve Jobs following his recent death. I admit that Jobs was an impressive captain of industry, meaning he deserves a certain amount of respect. But does he really deserve the adulation that's been flowing nonstop from the media and public? Does he deserve all those candles and flowers placed in front of Apple stores?
It's clear that in his personal life, Jobs was a failure. In a Rolling Stone article, his former girlfriend called him a "despotic jerk" and lamented that he spent two years denying he was the father of their daughter. Many other stories describe him belittling and bullying everyone around him. Some may say that to make your mark on the world, you have to behave that way. Well, I hear Abraham Lincoln was a pretty nice guy.
When asked why he cooperated with a biographer at the end of his life, Jobs said, "I wanted my kids to know me. I wasn't always there for them, and I wanted them to know why and to understand what I did."
How pathetic is that? Jobs wasn't there for his kids, but he made sure they could read all about his glorious achievements. I'm sure that will be a great comfort to them.
To me, other people deserve our love more than Steve Jobs does. They're ordinary people who didn't conquer the world, but who treated others well and paid attention to their kids. They're the ones who should get the flowers and the candles.
Dear Dude: Lincoln might have been a nice guy, but many people who changed the world for the better weren't. They needed every last drop of arrogance and single-mindedness to get into a position where they could do good on a mass scale. George Washington, Mahatma Gandhi, Susan B. Anthony - these folks weren't always fun to be around, but don't they generally deserve our love rather than our scorn?
What about it, readers? Did Steve Jobs forfeit his right to mass adulation because he sometimes acted like a jerk?