Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Ken Lay's Heart Gives Out

Convicted former Enron CEO dies unexpectedly.

This must be tragedy on top of devastation for Lay's family. Of course, we don't know what his physical issues may have been, but 64 is young, these days, especially for someone who undoubtedly had access to the best and most regular of health care. But it's hard not to speculate that the prospect of jail time for the disgraced Lay, who worked his way up from relatively humble beginnings to the pinnacle of the business world, was simply too much for his psyche--and therefore his body--to stand. It strikes me that few things in this world are more stressful than a spectacular, ignoble fall from grace, and sometimes the very people who are most capable of achieving the most rarefied success and privilege are constitutionally--literally and figuratively--incapable of coping with their own failures and their consequences.

I'm not understanding exactly why this news makes me feel sort of sad and pensive; I certainly have never felt any compassion whatsoever for Lay, and I was completely outraged by the fraud he and his colleagues perpetrated and utterly disgusted at how their actions impacted the retirement security of thousands and thousands of people. Yet still, sort of sad and pensive is what I feel.

Sometimes, my own reactions are a mystery to me.