We here at Fishbowl have been a bit surprised at the fawning coverage of George Steinbrenner’s death. Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi hasn’t been surprised at all.
The mania for elegiac slobbering is one of the most disgusting things about this country, but you’ll never see a clearer example of America’s unique capacity for this sort of activity than this Steinbrenner business. When Bruce Springsteen dies, it won’t be appropriate to make jokes about millions of Americans fawning over a dead Boss. But in George “The Boss” Steinbrenner’s case, it fits perfectly, because Steinbrenner was in every conceivable way the prototypical office tyrant and the fact that he’s being uninterruptedly worshiped after his death by a nation of cubicle slaves tells you almost everything you need to know about the modern American psyche.
In no other country do people genuinely love their bosses the way Americans do. They’ll go home after 12 hard hours of capricious superiors peeing in their faces, and the very first thing they’ll do is call up some talk radio show and denounce the graduated income tax that gives them a break at their bosses’ expense. …
They’ve got peoples’ heads so turned around in this country that this ring-around-the-collar self-flagellating terror at being thought of as poor and subordinate has people reflexively worshiping their bosses, to the point where George Steinbrenner — a workplace Caligula so stupid and self-centered that he could not be convinced George Constanza wasn’t named after him — is somehow thought of as cute and lovable. George Steinbrenner was not cute; he was the biggest fuckhead of his generation. Steinbrenner was the kind of guy who wouldn’t accept that two plus two equaled four if a parade of MIT professors proved it to him on a fifty-foot blackboard. And if you tried to point that out to him, he fired you in the middle of the night, which he thought was funny, except that you were feeding your kids with that money.
Written like only a Red Sox fan could.