The Times runs an excerpt of Tom Bower’s tabloid take on the life of Conrad Black. There’s pathos:
“Do you think you can get a group of people together if the need arises,” he asked one billionaire, “and get me some funds secured against my property?” “How much do you want from everyone, Conrad?” asked the businessman.
“About $1m each,” said Black.
There was a pause. “You’re my best friend,” continued Black. “Surely you can lend me $1m?”
“Well, Conrad,” said the man, “what’s my private telephone number?”
“I don’t know,” replied Black. “Why?”
“Well, if I were your best friend, you’d have it.”
Inveterate pessimist that I am, I sympathize with the dying George Black’s words to Conrad:
“Life is hell,” he told his son as they awaited the doctor. “Most people are bastards, and everything is bullshit.”