My dad used to say, "Neil, be careful how you treat people on the way up, because you're going to bump into them again on the way down."
If you weren't nice to those people on the way up, how do you think they'll treat you on the way down? Or when you're down, or worse, dead?
What's got me thinking about this depressing stuff are all these depressing revelations now coming out on Michael Jackson.
The latest from three former bodyguards, who describe a lonely, isolated and paranoid entertainer — a man loved by millions, but who could muster only half a dozen staff members to a child's birthday party: None of them kids.
All of it sad; I suspect more will follow.
I don't know what got these former Jackson confidantes talking on "Good Morning America," only that it wasn't good for Michael Jackson — a man who can't refute their claims, even though not all of those claims were bad.
That's because dishing dirt on the dead generally isn't good, even though it isn't new.
Remember "Mommie Dearest"? Christina Crawford's 1978 seething account of mom Joan Crawford — a dominant actress on film, but apparently a domineering — and to hear Christina tell it — darn near demented mother at home.
We never heard Joan's side: She was dead. So hard to say what was so — just that this is so familiar.
And you don't have to be dead to get dished. Ask former Bush press secretary Scott McClellan, who didn't waste any time ripping his old boss; or former John Edwards' top guy Andrew Young, who similarly rushed some incredible dirt on his old boss.
Some of the old bosses had it coming, some did not. The dirt still came, the dirt still comes.
Dirt sells. Dirt on big people from the little people who used to work for them really sells; which makes the little people feel big, and the once big people of which they write feel small — if they're alive and unlucky enough to read it. Or dead, and blissfully unaware.
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