A journalist learns picking questions carefully is one of the most important tenants of the job.
On this particular day, the object of my inquiry was the biggest, meanest, mood-altered, high maintenance-millionaire- bully around. A man I’d worked with on and off for 20 years.
What motivates a man like that? And why–during the nightmare of the last 11years– did such specimens seem to procreate like a nasty virus in a Petri dish?
He began to symbolize a certain segment of men today, many running mass conduits of information (television networks) and what he valued and how he lost his way seems socially relevant today.
Who he was, and why his penultimate included being “BIG,” I considered to be theoretically crucial information. Why the hours-long workouts? Why the steroids? Why take a substance that makes your looks and performance a lie, and causes cancer? Why work unrelentingly for the muscles making the outside appear formidable, but the content of the character angry and mean, and the content of the trousers shrink.
One night I had the nerve to ask him, “What is it you fear?”
He did not twitch a huge muscle.
“I fear being small.”
“You mean you fear feeling insignificant?” I asked.
“No, I mean I fear being a little man. Little men get pushed around.”
Bulked up to keep the demons away, he was just another little boy in the playground yelling and screaming at everyone else so no one would attack him.
In pursuit of false power and literal self-inflation, he hid behind his stature pushing everyone else and everything else out of the way.