This is in response to the W. Kamau Bell Curve blog re Bob Knight, Ike Turner, Miles Davis, and others who have transcendent skills/creativity but who also lose control.
Yes, I still listen to Miles Davis, despite his violence with women. And grudgingly I have to give Bobby Knight his props as a basketball coach, etc. for the others.
I haven't always been so generous, but the older I get, and the more self-examination I do, the more I understand that each of us humans has many demons to deal with. Some of us manage to keep our demons under wraps, while others let them out, albeit very, very carefully.
One thing all of these brilliant, nasty guys have in common is that they do not pick on people whose power is equivalent to their own. I never once saw Bobby Knight attempt to choke another coach, or a referee--only the players whose playing time (and scholarships) Bobby Knight controlled. Nor did Ike ever slap around the male musicians in his band. In other words, these nasty guys were bullies only with people they perceived as weaker than them.
Imagine the agony they must live (have lived) with on a daily basis having to stifle their ever present anger, which is always an expression of fear, whenever there was no weaker person around for them to hit.
So, I have come to pity rather than scorn these cowardly folk.
Of course, that's certainly easier for me than for the people who have been on the receiving end of one of their explosions.