You may have seen this before. I hadn’t. I couldn’t not share this.
I’m thinking on this
Monday Meme thing:
how long can it last?
A good meme is hard
to find, frankly; fortunately
I’ve found this frank foible
that’s far and away
the facebook favorite
of the day..
My wife read last week’s post about Sabrina & her delightful punk on Julian Edelman, and while she agreed with my points that A) Guys have been taking sleeping pictures of girls they “bagged” in one night stands as long as there have been cameras, with little more than a collective “tsk, tsk, tsk” among the juvenile chortles of their cohorts and this is a happy reversal of the standard and B) Even out of context, it’s funny–think of the ingredients: hubris, infidelity, takes two to tango, etc. Nevertheless, Mrs. Junk took me to task for writing about bar chicks and slatternly wide receivers when Brian Williams not-so-wild helicopter ride was ripping through the headlines.
So, some random observations:
The frenzy: Journalists eat their own. As far as I can tell, everyone with a public forum (even me, look!) is loving the hell out of this story.
The sympathy. Brian Williams was hilarious in his 30 Rock cameos. And he raps like Genghis Khan.
The damage: One thing I don’t get is the outrage and, what I hear the most, the damage to Williams’ reputation. He went off script and lied. I get that. He told a tall tale–but what was the context? Did he do it on the evening news? Let’s keep this in perspective.
The simple fact is that Williams stopped being a journalist a long time ago, when he became a News Reader. Oh, we can look at the network, BIG TELEVISION from which precisely 27 Americans still glean their understanding of the world, and understand how they might not want the face of their network to be a story teller–but in no way, shape, or form does Anchorman translate to Journalist. He may have been a Journalist once–the way I used to be an Airborne Commando who parachuted into rural communist Bolgrovia with cans of spam for the hungry and copies of John Stuart Mills’ “On Liberty” in my rucksack in the days leading up to the fall of the Iron Curtain–but now he’s got a script.
That’s the guy–or gal– I’d worry about being a liar: the one who writes the scripts and loads the teleprompter (those papers the anchors shuffle around on their desks are props, in case you didn’t know).
So, yeah–there’s my stance on Brian Williams. I couldn’t give a rat’s ass as long as the SOB can read and speak coherently. The truth is, I didn’t even realize he was Brian Williams for years. I thought Peter Jennings just got a face lift.
Am I right? They’ve got a mold somewhere.
And it could have been worse. It could have been Brian Wilson who lied. What if he’d never been on that boat at all. What if all it was was a poor, pathetic bar brag? That wouldn’ve shaken me to the core.
“With her back turned and her hands cuffed behind her back, she manages to put it in gear and drive. And from what we can gather, she drove at very high speeds with that position somehow manipulating the gears and steering the wheel….”
One would like it to manifest as something bold and beneficial, a cure for disease, for example, or a technological breakthrough that frees us from reliance on fossil fuels, or a transcendent epic poem that defines our age, but it isn’t ours to choose when inspiration–or desperation–will drive one of us to glorious, unexpected heights.
This is, however, something we should strive for. Too often, too many of us–myself chief among us–settle for good enough, when we should strive for something grand and perhaps even noble in scale and aspiration. We should follow the examples of heroic over-achievers like Homer, John Brown, Amelia Earhart and Elvis…if you’re going to go, GO BIG.
Such was the case this week in Pittsburgh with alleged shoplifter/escapee/joyrider and momentary media sensation Roxanne Rimer. This young woman, detained for shoplifting at a moribund mall, crashed a family car with several relatives inside, and was arrested, handcuffed, and locked inside a patrol car. Not satisfied with what would have been a mere blurb deeply buried deep inside the newspaper, Ms. Rimer–still handcuffed behind her back, crawled through and 11″x12″ gap in the plexiglass barrier in the cop car, slipped behind the wheel and, still handcuffed, roared away on a ten-mile joyride, lights flashing and siren howling.
I mean: Holy Icarus, Batman! You want to be a fighter? Fight Tyson. Want to build an Empire? Invade Afganistan. But if you want to steal a car, don’t screw around with Grammy Polinski’s plum-purple Camry parked behind the church on bingo night–steal a freaking police cruiser from a crime scene. Better still, steal it from your crime scene, while handcuffed and under arrest.
When she eventually crashed that car, she either stuck out her thumb and caught a ride further down the road–or stole another car, depending on accounts– before she was finally apprehended, perp-walked before the cameras by an unabashedly impressed media, and ushered into momentary media stardom. All the while, the feisty young woman maintained her insistence that she couldn’t remember a thing about what happened.
For your bold, audacious inspiration, your resourceful and imaginative execution, and your soaringly unselfish-conscious denial, Ms. Rimer, Old Road Apples salutes you.
Flying aircraft carriers are a hallmark of speculative fiction, appearing in some of the best sci-fi we’ve seen over the years. But long before Tony Stark and Richard Reed led the effort to design S.H.I.E.L.D.s imposing Helicarrier for badass, eye-patched comic book hero Nick Fury, there was another….
And long before super-hot (and badass) eye-patched Captain Franky Cook of the British Air Carrier H.M.S. Manta Base saved Sky Captain and Polly Perkins from the evil Nazi-esque Dr. Totenkopf’s natsy robot armies of doom, flying aircraft carriers roamed the sky.
And as the Cylons might say, while being thwarted once more in their attempt to rid the galaxy of pesky human vermin by the Battlestar Galactica and it’s erstwhile heroes, Apollo, Starbuck, Boomer, and their various comrades in their Vipers and Raptors, “All this has happened before, all will happen again.’
Damned straight. It did happen before, and it happened for real in the form of the airships USS Akron and USS Macon. These giant zeppelins carried fighter craft in compartments within their superstructure, launched them for reconnaissance and escort work, and recovered them via an ingenuous trapeze-like snare which then replaced them in their nests. How cool must that have been? I was totally amazed, when I recently discovered that not one but two of these ships–several times larger than the infamous Hindenburg.
Unfortunately, size was not the only way these ships outdid the nazi Hindenburg. In the end, both Akron and Macon experienced catastrophic crashes. Akron went down off the coast of New Jersey in fierce wind, with 73 dead–making it’s destruction, not the much more famous crash of the Hindenburg (35 dead), the deadliest airship accident in history. Most of Akron’s casualties drowned in the Atlantic ocean.
Less than a year later, and a continent away, the USS Macon fell into the Pacific, but with only 3 casualties since, after the loss of of it’s sister ship, Macon had been outfitted with life jackets. Why isn’t this story better known? It is probably because the Navy had little interest in promoting it’s failures, and both crashes happened off shore, with few witnesses, while the Hindenburg crashed before thousands, in front of the world media, in a dramatic fireball.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but another winter storm is casting it’s frosty eye on Atlanta as it blusters it’s way across the south, promising as much as .75 of an inch of snow and a mere 40F as a high temperature–time to run for the grocery store and stock up on toilet paper, bread, and milk. (that’s an old Pittsburgh joke you probably won’t get, but so what….)
It occurs to me that the city could make a small fortune in tourism revenue sponsoring “flash tours” at such times by selling affordable package deals to northerns who would likely pay good money to watch the carnage while savoring the relatively balmy weather. They already have the infrastructure–the only thing missing is some bleachers down by the highway for when the Snow Miser comes to Southtown, even though it’s in his brother’s clutch.
I guess I feel bad for being a winter bully–especially if (when?) someone dies down there, but it’s hard to take this seriously–probably in the same way that some guy from Death Valley is bemused when we have a “drought,” the rich folks have to stop watering their lawns, and we can only wash our cars on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I truly believe in this plan. The rare southern businesses to stay open will make a killing, and the municipalities can use the additional revenue to, I don’t know, buy a second snow plow or something. This makes me wonder what people in Calgary are thinking. Hell, Minnesota is like this ten months a year–only it’s -40 degrees F, not the balmy 0-10 we’ve been seeing.
*All kidding aside, as the storm is poised to strike, here’s all the luck and best wishes I can summon to Atlanta and the rest of the South.