R.I.P. Mr. Lay

Wednesday, July 05, 2006 at 05:04 PM

Fill in the blanks sociology:

Quick quiz: how many times have you seen this statement, or something very much like it, in a news story on a famous-turned-infamous figure?

[NAME] rose from a poor [OCCUPATION OF FATHER] son to become a millionaire before being convicted of [FILL IN CRIME].

Here's today's version

Kenneth Lay...rose from a poor preacher's son to become a millionaire before being convicted of corporate fraud.

You want irony?  Try this, from the same source:

In a May 25 interview, Lay's lead attorney, Michael Ramsey, who was forced to take a backseat midway through the trial after he underwent vascular surgery, said that "Enron was his creation, he nursed it like a child, and the death of Enron was like the death of a child to him."

"He lost a fortune, his family lost a fortune, he can certainly feel the pain of the people that lost money in it, he will feel that till the day he dies," Ramsey said.

Let's hope he was feeling that empathetic pain for some time before the lawyer made the comment, since it was all of 41 days from the time of the statement to the time of death.


The same story makes the observation:

Legal observers were surprised at Lay's demeanor during his testimony as the former executive known for his congenial persona, appeared brash, abrasive and unwilling to accept any responsibility for Enron's demise.

How many more centuries will it take for people to acknowledge the simple fact that the public "congenial persona" is almost always a mask for "brash, abrasive and unwilling to accept any responsibility?"  Most happy, laid back people...aren't.  Isn't it about time that we all learned that small, harsh fact?  Maybe that can be the one good thing Mr. Lay leaves behind for us.