Generous Orthodoxy  

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Small people?

The hapless Tony Hayward adds another mark against himself today by spending the day watching his yacht compete in a big race. "He's got his life back," said one wag. There seems to be no end to the tone-deaf gaffes. Yet Mr. Hayward is not alone. Another oil company executive protested that he did indeed care about the "small people." Was it a surprise to him when there was an outraged outcry from South Louisiana? "We are not small people! We are human beings!"

I am often reminded of my friend, the great New York writer Joseph Mitchell, who wrote about people who were invisible to everyone else. When someone remarked that he wrote about "little people," he said indignantly, "The people I write about are just as big as you are, whoever you are."