Thursday, April 19, 2018

Death Comes For the Blogger

Hi everyone. Sorry I haven't written much since I've been back, but my kids caught a cold. Then their evil little bodies weaponized it... and I got blasted. I am finally on the backside of this foul pestilence, but it's been a bad week. Anyways, let me leave you with a couple thoughts.

(1) There is this ad for Southern New Hampshire University's online degree program. In it, a man who appears to be a muckety muck says, "In this world, talent is distributed equally, but opportunity isn't." Every time I hear this, I think "what a load!" and I ask if this idiot really believes that.

Seriously, does anyone truly believe that I could be LeBron James if only I had had the right opportunities? Hardly. My body simply isn't made the way his is and no amount of training will let me handle a basketball the same way. At the same time, does anyone think that James could paint a Picasso or write like Shakespeare? I don't doubt that there are basic skills that can be taught to (almost) anyone but once you get to creativity, physical prowess, or things that require sheer mental processing power, talent rules and only a tiny minority have those talents. Even people with tremendous varied potential will find that they have greater potential in certain fields. Thus, to assert that everyone has the same amount of talent but for opportunity is delusional.

(2) I am shaking my head at the reaction to this Southwest pilot. By way of background, one of the plane's engines exploded and sent shrapnel through the plane's skin. This killed a woman who was partially sucked out a burst window. The pilot, a former navy pilot and a female (ignore that for a moment), brought the plane down safely. Many people are now acting like she committed a miracle. Here's the thing. She did her job. She did it very well and should be commended, but she did what was expected of a competent pilot. She didn't face un-survivable circumstances or something so unlikely that pilots aren't trained for it. To the contrary, pilots train specifically for this. So trying to turn this into an act of heroism fundamentally cheapens the idea of heroism, as seems to be the modern trend where everything from doing your job to just not killing yourself when you're sick gets wrongly labelled "heroic" by the pathetic among us. I am reminded of The Incredibles: "When everyone is special, no one is special."

What bothers me even more is the assumption of many Facebook feminists that this was something special because she's a woman. The thing is, either she's a pilot or she isn't. Either the act is heroic for a pilot or it isn't. Calling it heroic with the suggestion that it is heroic in part because she is a woman tells me that feminists hold women cheap and don't believe they are competent to be compared to men. Seriously girls, if you want society to respect women, you need to stop acting like it's a miracle when women do the things they should be capable of doing.

(3) Over my vacation, I finished reading "The Hunt for Red October." Excellent movie... kind of poor book. The book lacked much of the drama of the film and was nowhere near as tightly written as the film. What bothered me most though was the character of Ryan. In the film, he's likable and helps move the plot forward time and again by solving various crises. In the book, he's rather arrogant and just waits around for others to solve the plot. Even worse, every time he opens his mouth, he's trying to be "fair" about whatever he represents (the CIA, the US, etc.) and he comes across as just a jerk. Indeed, most of his exchanges go like this:
Ramius: We are looking forward to freedoms in America.
Ryan: Well, golly, we sure do make a lot of mistakes when it comes to freedom. I don't think anyone would say we're even close to free, but f*ck if we don't like to think we are!

Ramius: I see. Maybe we'll just have some American coffee.
Ryan: Well, gosh, we sure don't know nothin' 'bout makin coffee. I'll bet it tastes more like crap than anywhere in the world, but f*ck if we won't brew some for you!
Over and over and over again. Denigrating your own side is not evidence of fairness.

(4) Finally, there is this bumpersticker I saw the other day:
Jesus is coming! Look busy!
LOL! Funny! :)


tryanmax said...

I’m willing to call landing a broke down plane heroic. We call firefighters and police heroes for doing things that are much more central to their training. Certain professions have the opportunity for heroism built in. But I agree that the insinuation that her gender somehow makes it more heroic or is the reason it’s heroic cheapens the whole affair.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I think what finally killed me today was seeing the coverage on Fox News. I've avoided Fox for some time now, but I saw it today in a waiting room. They were dishing out hyperbole to an incredible degree about this story (and others). Never in the history of man has anyone done anything more heroic against greater odds and all without the benefit of a penis... which keeps you level in flight.

Then they lamented a series of outrages which brought the Fox team to their knees as they squeezed out tears of lamentation to the Gods, followed by aborted suicide attempts. Then it was back to the glory of the penis-free landing.

Somebody shoot me.

BevfromNYC said...

See Andrew, it hardly pays to go away for vacation at an exotic location. Because then your children try to kill you with their germs just to get back at you for...oh, they don't even need a reason! I hope you are feeling better though.

Anyhoo, I get the heroine worship of this female pilot. Mostly we need SOME good-ish/positive news like instead of a 100 people dying in a horrible firey death; only 1 person died. And it is pretty unique that the pilot/former military is a woman! That is new. But most of all, no pets were murdered or lost in the process. Btw, did you know that this is the 1st crash for Southwest Airline ever? That's pretty newsworthy for over 40+ year history of an airline.

But all that being said, I am getting really bored with the "1st [fill in the blank] to do something that they could have done years ago if they had just tried harder" things. Like this tweet from the Star Wars Episode 9 yesterday "Victoria Mahoney Joins 'Star Wars Episode 9' as First Black Female Second Unit Director". Seriously, was she hired because she knows what she's doing or that she fits neatly into several grievance groups? Enough!!!!

Critch said...

Everyone on that plane was lucky, no doubt her training paid off, however, she had one engine left,,something Captain Sully's plane didn't. It could have been a lot worse and no amount of training would have brought in a one-winged airplane.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, They're out to get me! The little people... run for your lives! 8-/ Just kidding, but seriously, how do they produce these monster diseases? Forget the weapons labs, just go swab a middle school!

I'm really sick of the first ___ to do what other people have already done. I also think it's highly destructive. It separates people. It destroys the sense that we are one people. It also diminishes the idea of achievement, and that's always bad.

AndrewPrice said...

Critch, Exactly. Boeing makes these planes to fly with one engine left. No engines or one wing would be different.

And don't get me wrong. I think she's an excellent pilot who showed tremendous composure and skill. But the uncontrolled, over-the-top praise diminishes the value of praise.

AndrewPrice said...

So according to Pope Comey, Trump said that Putin told him that Russia "has some of the most beautiful hookers in the world."

Harumph! Well, that may be true, but nobody beats the US for good quality midget trannies!

Tennessee Jed said...

Sorry you have been sick, glad the reaper did not "get" you. I heard about a op-ed written by a woman whose point was to ask "why refer to her as a female pilot rather than merely a pilot? My first thought was "for the same reason once noted Chet Huntley, while covering a senate vote, refer to a southern Republican as the conservative from (pick a state) yet Ted Kennedy was the venerable senator from Massachusetts. And while I suppose one could make an argument that labels like first half black president or first woman to be a major party's nominee, of first female to pilot a commercial passenger jet in distress can be appropriate, more likely it is a continued desire to make women identify as women rather than as Americans, or simply people

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