Is Honesty Over-rated?

I came upon a blog post the other day.  It was the fascinating story of one person’s remembrance of how a friend took an unorthodox approach to his business to make ends meet in the early days of his career in NYC (the hardest place to make ends meet).  The blogger shared 4 or 5 paragraphs of this spellbinding, rags to riches account.

Now the friend is writing a book and wanted to use this example in the book.  So he contacts his old friend to get permission.  But there’s just one problem:  the story was a lie.  It never happened.  The rich, provocative narrative, while intriguing and clever, was fiction.  Read it here, warning: language [ http://gapingvoid.com/2010/01/04/10572/ ]

What surprised me even more than the post’s ending was the reaction of those commenting.  They thought the guy’s deceit was “brilliant” and that the end justified the means.  Praise for the creativity vastly outnumbered those that were staggered by the lie.

And I guess it was brilliant.  It was every bit as compelling as Verbal Kint’s (Kevin Spacey) story to US Customs Officer Dave Kujan (Chazz Palminteri) in The Usual Suspects.

But it would fall into my “Delightful Jerk” quadrant [ http://is.gd/5XDFT ] entertaining, but nothing I’d want in real life.  It was a lie. It would be a deal breaker for me.

Advertisements