Thursday, July 24, 2008

Why do we always say nice things about dead people?

Carl "Tuffy" DeLuna was a mobster, a murderer and was one of the top guys in "The Outfit" aka The Kansas City Mob. They crushed and ruled minority neighborhoods, stole and killed for money and power. They beat people down instead of lifting them up. I've read two different articles now and both talked warmly of him and his life. The Kansas City Star takes the prize though for noting how much of a gentleman he was toward the FBI. This guy was a prick and a grade one asshole. He and his organization ruined countless lives during their rein of terror in the 1970's and 80's. The Rivermarket may never be the same thanks to these guys. You must be kinding me! Why do we still glamorize the mob?? For people to say nice things about him because he died is ridiculous. You can read about his life and work resume here. Not much of it was mentioned in the article. At detailed article appeared in Fortune magazine in 1986. You can access it here.
I've often pondered this notion of trying to turn people into saints after their death. I've sat in quite a few funerals over the past couple years while people are saying nice things about them thinking.....this guy was a real son of a bitch most of the time. If you were a son of a bitch during the core of your life becoming a nice old grandpa doesn't erase all that other stuff.
I had an uncle who passed a couple year's ago and while everyone was remembering him so fondly I whispered in my wife's ear that he was the meanest uncle I had and he did incredibly mean things to me when I was a little boy. That's how I remember him.
One old guy in the family beat his children, probably his wife too and at a minimum verbally and emotionally abused her in front of us and was a blatant racist and I've never seen so many tears when that old bastard died. He was truly hated in life by many and loved in death.

I could go on and on (you probably think I already have) but I have a really hard time looking past the sum of a person's existence as crap and then saying nice things about them in death.
It is funny how we have short memories and we revise history. The founder of the company I worked for is an example. We was a tough and ruthless man. He ruthlessly put competitors and customers who didn't like him out of business with unethical business methods. Managed with fear. Sued his own family. He lived a long life and in his final 10 years or so people talked like he was a grandfather to all of us. Like he was this nice little old man who everyone loved. Most of his life he was a hard, mean, screwd man. When you outlive most of the people you've screwed in life I guess it makes it easier.

Carl Angelo "Tuffy" DeLuna is dead. He lived too long. I didn't know the man and perhaps he deeply regretted his younger life, asked forgiveness, made amends. I don't know but it wasn't reported if he did. He was a sorry excuse for a human by the choices he made and the life he lived. Reports suggest while retired from the crime family he was an unofficial consigliere until his death. In other words, he didn't renounce his life. I'm sure he told good old stories of back in the day when loyalty to the family meant something.......Good riddance.

1 comment:

Well Hell Michelle said...

Some people are just assholes, dead or alive, and should be remembered that way.