Might I Recommend a Jeff Bezos’ Self-Help Book?
When I was a child, a tween perhaps, I idolized Shawn Kemp.
Who is Shawn Kemp, you ask? Only the filthiest, nastiest, most dynamic dunker in NBA history. At least in my opinion.
Kemp was a power forward for the Seattle Supersonics in the 1990s (yes, Seattle had an NBA team once) and made dunking a basketball an artform.
He caught alley-oops. He did one-hand windmills. He taunted the guys he dunked over. Shawn Kemp was the most fun player to watch (I see you Jordan fans rolling your eyes).
I had Shawn Kemp posters on my wall. I had over 100 Shawn Kemp trading cards. I had a Shawn Kemp t-shirt with his face on it spread across my smallish 5-foot frame.
I can’t lie when I tell you the day the Sports Illustrated article came out chronicling Shawn Kemp’s shall we say lack of self-control, I was devastated. Kemp purportedly had fathered 10 children with 9 different women. The details are too far gone from my memory to recount much else, but that is the moment I realized a simple fact: Shawn Kemp could really only be a hero to me on the basketball court.
In a similar vein, here in 2021, we are just this week “celebrating” the air travel of white men who we know only because they have more money than many third-world countries combined do. Richard Branson, Virgin Mobile pioneer, jetted off into space last week. And just this week Jeff Bezos, apparently the wealthiest man in the world, got his chance to high-five outer space, thanking all the Amazon employees and customers for paying for his trip.
There’s a tone-deafness to this, sure. But the fact that we are even discussing Bezos’ flight to space is telling enough.
We worship fame. We worship money. Those two things go hand in hand. Even to the point that we skip across the ugly character flaw speedbumps in the road to praise the business mogul. We skirt aside parental neglect because damn that dude can ball.
One of my literary heroes is Ernest Hemingway. Why? He’s a man’s man. A lover and a fighter. A man who wrote about wars and safaris because he literally experienced wars and safaris.