Monday, August 9, 2010

Call No Man's Life Happy

To everyone who comes here for the humor, you may want to pop back around later in the week. Today I'm feeling, not blue, exactly, but thoughtful.

A number of years ago, at Antioch, I took a class on the History of Greece, Rome and Israel, where I learned that the ancient Greeks believed that you should call no man's life happy, even after he's dead, until he's been honorably buried.

That struck me as so odd. What could possibly happen after you were dead to change the judgment on your entire life? I mean, reasoned my twenty-something mind, you're dead.

I held onto that view until just a few weeks ago, when I learned the fate of Steve Linderman.

Steve wasn't a guy I knew well. He started working at Sinclair, my once and present employer, a year or two after I left. We met once or twice at parties, and, because he was a wizard with computers, I heard a lot about him from friends who still worked there.

That was the extent of our acquaintance.

Still, I hadn't been back at Sinclair for more than a day or two before someone mentioned that Steve had died. While I was a little surprised, I wasn't shocked, because he was a few years older than me. And, let's face it, I'm no spring pullet.

It was only in a later conversation, when someone remarked that the anniversary of Steve's death was coming up, that I thought to ask how he died.

"He was murdered."

I was shocked. "What happened?"

In a nutshell: He mentored a young man who wound up going to prison. When the young man was released, Steve picked him up at the bus station. They went to Steve's house, where they apparently got into some kind of argument and the guy beat him to death and drove off in his car.

Okay, that's a sucky way to die, but it doesn't invalidate the good Steve did, and tried to do.

When the newspapers covered it, though, as I discovered when I pulled up the old articles, they made it sound like he was cruising the Greyhound Station and just picked this guy up.

I don't know if Steve was gay, and I don't care. I think when people are too interested in strangers' sex lives, it's a sign that their own sex lives are unsatisfying. What I do care about is that Steve was portrayed as a sexual predator.

I guess the Greeks had a point after all.

Rest in peace, Steve. Those of us who knew you even a little know you were an honorable man.


  1. 不願彎腰撿拾一根針的人,永遠不值得一塊錢。............................................................

  2. The press has a lot to answer for, uh?
    Interesting post. Thanks.
    Hope you soon feel a bit cheerier.

    All the best, Boonsong

  3. Wow, that must have been surprising when you got that news. Who cares why he was with this young man, the idea that anyone could beat someone to death -- awful.
    I can see why you're in a thoughtful mood.

  4. That is terrible that he died trying to help somebody.

  5. Reminds me of the time in philosphy class when I was in college. The professor posed the question of why is it the last thing we do in life is the one thing that people use to define our entire lives.

    Example: A serial killer spends several years mutilating and killing people and is sent to prison for life. One day he escapes and while running down a road, he looks ahead and sees a 5-year-old girl about to get hit by a bus.

    Without thinking, he lunges for the girl and pushes her to safety. Then the bus runs over him and kills him.

    For no matter all the pain he has brought to the world, that last act will always be what people remember most.

    Unfortunatly, in the case of your friend, this holds the opposite. Why the media always try to incorporate 'sex' into a suspected 'gay' issue is beyond me.

  6. I'm so sorry to read this. I am really fed up with the media these days. The victim-blaming that they perpetuate again and again is disgusting. - G

  7. I found out a similar thing happened to someone I went to high school with, I am just in shock over people I know in many situations who pass...I emailed you, guess you did not get it? I sent another...

  8. This is why I plan on being cremated.

  9. That's awful :(

    I say, let's be happy now -- people can say what they want when I'm gone! (and the gutter press never have anything good to say about anyone, being nice doesn't sell newspapers....)

  10. 上班好累哦,看看部落格轉換心情~~~先謝謝啦!!............................................................


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