Why do you ask?
Interested in Language
The Penalty of Leadership (old Cadillac ad)
"In every field of human endeavor, he that is first must perpetually live in the white light of publicity. Whether the leadership be vested in a man or in a manufactured product, emulation and envy are ever at work. In art, in literature, in music, in industry, the reward and the punishment are always the same. The reward is widespread recognition; the punishment, fierce denial and detraction. When a man's work becomes the standard for the whole world, it also becomes a target for the shafts of the envious few. If his work be merely mediocre, he will be left severely alone-if he achieve a masterpiece, it will set a million tongues a-wagging. Jealousy does not protrude its forked tongue at the artist who produces a commonplace painting. Whatsoever you write, or paint, or play, or sing, or build, no one will strive to surpass, or to slander you, unless your work be stamped with the seal of genius. Long, long after a great work or a good work has been done, those who are disappointed or envious continue to cry out that it can not be done. Spiteful little voices in the domain of art were raised against our own Whistler as a mountebank, long after the big world had acclaimed him its greatest artistic genius. Multitudes flocked to Bayreuth to worship at the musical shrine of Wagner, while the little group of those whom he had dethroned and displaced argued anily that he was no musician at all. The little world continued to protest that Fulton could never build a steamboat, while the big world flocked to the riverbanks to see his boat steam by. THe leader is assailed because he is a leader, and the effort to equal him is merely added proof to that leadership. Failing to equal or to excel, the follower seeks to depreciate and to destroy- but only confirms once more the superiority of that which he strives to supplant. There is nothing new in this. It is as old as the world and as old as the human passions-envy, fear, greed, ambition, and the desire to surpass. And it avails to nothing. If the leader truly leads, he remains-the leader. Master-poet, master-painter, master-workman, each in his turn is assailed, and each holds his laurels through the ages. That which is good or great makes itself known, no matter how loud the clamor of denial. That which deserves to live-lives."
originally printed- Jan. 2 1915. The Saturday Evening Post.
written by Theodore Francis MacManus
Last edited by emsr2d2; 27-May-2016 at 16:46. Reason: Enlarged font
Why do you ask?
"Invading armies have no rights." Noam Chomsky
Ads used to be a lot more wordy, huh?
It's great! A hundred years ago, people took time to read, so advertisers, marketers, and makers could stretch to give people something to think about. The sound bite hadn't been invented yet.
The owner's manual in my old Toyota outside does the same thing: congratulates me on my brilliant choice of car. It just does it in fewer words.
The moral: Some things change a lot. Some things never change at all.
That's what I think. But it's your essay. What do YOU think?
Last edited by Charlie Bernstein; 27-May-2016 at 16:49.
I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.
What thoughts do you have concerning this text?
Nothing much. Just curious about people's opinion