Michael Bloomberg. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
And there I was thinking hubris was a generational thing.
While I found it impossible not to be ultimately charmed by Luisa Zissman‘s beauty and vivacity in Celebrity Big Brother, earlier this year, I was struck by her unashamed self-aggrandisement. More than once, she mentioned how she couldn’t care less about other people’s opinions of her and on one occasion she even blurted out, “I think I’m amazing.”
Some things sound so much better when they come from the mouths of others than from your own. What is it with the young and this me, me, me mantra, I remember thinking.
Well, it looks like I owe the young an apology. No-one could say that former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg is a spring chicken, yet his lack of self-awareness may be even more pronounced than Ms Zissman’s. This excerpt from an interview with The New York Times, in which Bloomberg’s efforts towards the control of guns, tobacco and carbonated drinks are hailed by, er, Michael Bloomberg, is just breathtaking…
“I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed, I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.”
For all that this chutzpah came “with a grin”, I struggle to think of anyone who genuinely believes in God uttering such sentiments even in jest. In fact, despite his qualifier, I would suggest Bloomberg’s remarks bear the hallmarks of someone who believes there is no God. To talk of heaven as if it’s the sixth borough of New York City and you’re still Mayor; of calling the shots in the presence of the Creator of the universe – like you’d have that option; these point to a man who holds God in as much the same reverence as he does Mickey Mouse.
Where there’s no God, however, there’s a vacuum. One which unbridled human ego is only too happy to fill.
And it’s not just kids’ stuff any more.