The Talented Mr. Asshole

Last week, I was in Bangkok for a shoot (yes, I know exactly how big-headed that sounds) with my adorable client servicing girl and my SuperBoss. While we were doing thrilling-to-bits things like waiting for the shot to be set up and lit, SuperBoss was regaling us with sordid media tales. About producers and directors, agency big-wigs and models. About embezzlement and cover-ups, about office affairs and extra-marital pawing. And every possible unholy combination of these.

At one point in the conversation, he was talking about an adfilm director with fantastic credentials and a mercurial temper, who also happens to be a sleazebag of the first order. As I heard about the man's seniority in the business and his wayward hands, I wondered: How much can talent excuse?

Take actors, models, directors, producers, newsmen and women, admen and women, divas and whatnot - the best ones seem to all have flaws that their sheer talent overshadows. Uncontrollable rage, kleptomania, eating disorders, substance abuse problems, a complete lack of courtesy, the manners of a pimp, the vocabulary of a whore or the general intelligence of a head of cabbage. These qualities that would have made normal people social outcasts or the targets of a widespread hate campaign, are casually shoved in the background behind the shining beacon of their talent.

So what if s/he's an asshole, everybody says, look at the work s/he does. Look how brilliant s/he is!

But I think we're missing the point here. The fundamental truth, as it were. You see, a talented asshole is still an asshole. Ask Elin Nordegren.

Comments

Usha said…
I couldn't agree more.Talent is no excuse for being an asshole!
Saltwater Blues said…
:)Love the title. And yes, very true. You are very wisdomous V. So did you have fun in B'kok?
medha said…
Yes.. but is it really the talent.. or is it 'we' who make 'them' ?
Ah but a successful asshole wouldn't care what you think.

Heh. The phrase 'successful asshole' has so many connotations.
guyofthe90s said…
nice point to ponder ! well, the way i have always seen or believed is that everything is kinda balanced, in the sense, if someone is excelling at somethin to the tune of genious, thers gotta b something on the other extreme :) lotsa ppl mite have less extremes on both sides n tread the median....

but yeah ! a valid point...

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