Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Adversity doesn't build character

It reveals character:
She said: ‘I want everyone to know how badly some people [aboard the sinking cruise liner Costa Concordia] behaved. It was a nightmare. I lost my daughter and my grandchildren in the chaos.

I was standing by the lifeboats and men, big men, were banging into me and knocking the girls. It was awful. There was a total lack of organisation. There was no one telling people where to go.

And when we finally got into a lifeboat, people, grown men, were trying to jump into the boat. I thought, if they land in here we are going to capsize.
Compare and contrast:

Update: Reports now say the number of passengers [on U.S. Air Flight 1549, which ditched in the Hudson River in January 2009] are between 140 and 160. A witness says the plane is floating downstream.

So far, it's believed all occupants are out of the plane. A secondary search is being conducted; fire department rescue teams from NJ and other NY are aiding.

A passenger said 1010WINS that the pilot told passengers should brace themselves—the passenger credited the pilot for steering them into the water and he said that they had children and women leave the plane first. The plane has floated down toward 23rd Street. [emphasis mine - Borepatch]
This is the point where I have to tell every Progressive who ever told us that "we need to be more like Europe" to shut up and sit down in the back of the room.  Grown ups are talking.

And I mean that.  For two generations, Europeans have been coddled by their governments - asked to do ever less (other than support their Ruling Elite) while the Governments do ever more.  We saw the result of that, in the icy waters of the Mediterranean, as society went feral and it was sauve qui peut.

Here on this side of the Pond, we saw the same scenario play out - a disaster threatening sudden, unexpected death in the icy Hudson river.  Here, it was women and children first*.

There cannot be a more basic condemnation of the Progressive State than the pairing of these two incidents.  It is basic that society exists above all to protect women and children - else, what future for society?  The way that the State has expunged this instinct from its society is all you need to know of the utter failure of the Progressive dream.

Too bad it took Europe down with it.  Used to be a nice place.

* Offer void in Massachusetts, where the dumb as a rock Attorney General Martha Coakley does not encourage self help.


Tam said...

You're positively Heinleinian this morning.

Dave H said...

Tam's got it right. No wonder I keep coming back.

Borepatch said...

Tam, that's the nicest thing anyone's said to me in quite a while. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

But, how do we get the next generation to understand that concept?
How do we instill "manhood" into this generation of weenies?
Yes, one of the ways is to have writers as yourself, blog and write and put this idea out "there". Unfortunetly, only like minded folks will read your words (not that that is a bad thing, you actually have put my feelings into words)
So how do we get this generation of gamers, manchildren, slackers to understand what it means to be manly?
The educational system is so fortified with pink shirted, gay and lesbian teachers, I'm afraid we have lost that field of battle. Even the Boy Scouts of America, the last bastions of manly skills, is losing their battle ground to "correct" thinkers.
We men have to begin talking about how we can spread the thoughts of honor, fidelity, manliness. We need to get in touch with our inner MAN!
Otherwise, the wussification of males will continue unabated. And I really don't like the idea of sipping tea and eating marshmallow pie.


Borepatch said...

Well said, Steve. I don't know.

That Guy said...

Well said!

Dave H said...

"So how do we get this generation of gamers, manchildren, slackers to understand what it means to be manly?"

Ideally it starts at home. Children may not seem to listen, but they sure as heck watch what their parents do, whatever that is. They grow up accepting it as normal.

Children whose parents are, um, less than conscientious are likely to grow up the same way, but they aren't necessarily doomed. Another adult in their life who models conscientiousness will show them that there's another way.

"We need to get in touch with our inner MAN!"

I respectfully disagree. Looking inward is not the way. The characteristics we want to teach - honesty, courage, fidelity, tolerance are all in service to others, not ourselves. (Tolerance in this case meaning accepting others as they are, not for what we expect of them. It doesn't mean playing doormat the way some people seem to think.)

As men our roles are to protect, instruct, support, lead, and encourage our children, our spouses, our community, our country, and the race as a whole. Our priority is service to others, and our decisions have to reflect that. If we choose something that benefits us directly, it's because it enhances our ability to serve others.

Uh, sorry. Rant over. This is a subject that strikes close to my heart. I struggled with it some years ago and (I think) learned the lesson in time to do right by my family before any permanent harm was done. So far the kids are all right. Fingers crossed.

North said...

I hold myself to my own high standards, despite efforts to drag me down.

Even in the very simple case of holding a door open for a lady or child. I was told I don't need to do that. I did anyway.

Apparently there was this movement called 'woman's lib' and those in favor of it saw me opening a door for a woman as a negative thing. I was told that I didn't need to hold a door open for a woman - there was a claim that this was sexist. I was somehow promoting the thought that women were too weak to open their doors.

Nothing of the sort.

I was being a gentleman. I was being kind.

And I have not given up. Be it opening doors, seating women, providing an arm to hold - any slight kind act I can perform as a gentleman - I have not given up.

And my son carries on. He is a gentleman, too.

North said...


ASM826 said...

Heinleinian! What a complement.

Character is built in tiny increments. It was the purpose of the Boy Scout movement as envisioned by Lord Baden-Powell. If you follow precepts of honor and courage when it is easy, it becomes ingrained. Then when the test comes you are equal to it. It was (and in some cases is) how boys were raised that made them into men that could give their lives to an ideal such as "women and children first."

Paul, Dammit! said...

Not sure if I missed the point or not. The scale and scope of this precludes a comparison between crews of cruise ships (made up 99% of third world nationals with no training but the ability to have a heartbeat and scrub toilets) and aircraft. On principle, I'd agree with the America vs. Europe points, but I don't feel that the accident is a valid comparison. My training in crowd control on my one stint as chief mate on an American-crewed cruise ship was being shown how to get to the weapons locker and being told to shoot the closest person to gain leadership and the attention of the crowd in case of a stampede.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

Steve: It's not a question of "manliness" or "manhood", it's a matter of "adulthood" (not quite as catchy sounding, but more accurate), and really a matter of personal responsibility, courtesy, and honor.

Man or woman, gay or straight, it doesn't matter (sorry, teh gay teachers have nothing to do with it).

Paul: I don't think he was talking about the crew. It sounds like the passengers couldn't bring themselves to like adults when it really counted.

North: I actually hold the door for those behind me regardless of gender, but the same principle applies - common courtesy. Being a gentleman does not just apply to how one behaves toward women.

Ken said...

With regard to the points made by Borepatch, Paul, and Jake: People should oughta be able to behave like adults on their own...but having a trained crew that can set a good example is often a help in hard times.

Old NFO said...

And you wonder why I said I wouldn't take a free cruise if they gave me the presidential suite...

Anonymous said...

Another point: Captain Sully personally went down the aisle of plane looking for anyone who didn't get out. The captain of the Costa Concordia abandoned ship immediately.


Borepatch said...

Jake, you read me correctly. "Manliness" (for lack of a better term) has to come from inside each individual, it cannot be imposed from the outside. I think that Europe has lost this, with an entitled elite (Dominique Strauss-Kahn) on top and a feral mob below. What remains of an honorable middle class is entirely screwed.

Anonymous said...

eewwwww...I like this!!!!
Discussion like adults without bashing the person. Excuse me while I sit down and catch my breath.
EVERYBODY has given this audience an opinion...very valid opinions...(and no liberals were hurt in the making of this film!)...sorry...couldn't resist.
Yes, yes, yes, we will only see a change when the ones that need to be changed can see concrete examples of proper behavior. Holding doors open for people, helping that little old lady across that icy patch on the sidewalk, taking your hat off for the National Anthem. All of those things need to be done, WITHOUT embarrasment by Real Men of America.
Also, Real Men of America should have a working foundation of why our country is exceptional. If knowledge is power, then correct knowledge will beget correct power.
Borepatch, I salute you for the time and effort you put into your blog. Your words HAVE made a difference. BULLY FOR YOU!!!


Borepatch said...

Steve, you're making me blush.

But seriously, this is an outstanding comment thread (even without "heinleinian" mentions!).

And I agree with your comment. We can't *tell* the next generation, we have to *show* them.

North said...

I almost think a club should be started. Society will be better because I showed my son to be a gentleman.

My wife and I decided early on that we were not going to raise a child. Instead we would raise an adult.

Far different from the rest of my generation. Immature kids cannot raise anything more than dependent societal leaches.

It takes parents of character to raise a child of character.

Dave H said...

"My wife and I decided early on that we were not going to raise a child. Instead we would raise an adult."

Nicely said, North! My wife and I both understood that the purpose of raising children was to kick them out when they were old enough, and the way to keep them from coming back was to prepare them for what they'd face once they got out there. But your way sounds less cruel.

They tried to start a club like you talk about once before. It was called Promise Keepers. I thought they had a good idea and joined up, but its focus on Christianity left other people feeling left out. They started getting involved in politics and then I felt left out. But the basic principles were what we're talking about here: being a parent who teaches his son character by modeling it.

(I might add, it doesn't just apply to sons. Daughters learn what to expect from men be seeing how their fathers treat their mothers. A daughter of an abusive husband is more likely to pair up with an abuser. A daughter of a respectful husband won't put up with abuse.)

Paul, Dammit! said...

Ken, it's certainly true that panic was the order of the day among the mostly-european passengers on that ship. The leadership on board was shameful, and the management-level officers are done for, but the passengers acted like passengers. Unfortunately, you can't distinguish between cultures, as the (fewer) American maritime disasters have resulted in very similar circumstances. Crowds on ships can be predicted to behave to a pretty distinctive standard low level.

Borepatch said...

The transcript of a call from the captain to the owner (once he'd safely left the ship, and with passengers still trapped on board) is sickening.

Read the comments there.

JD(not the one with the picture) said...

Apparently, this is not a recent development.

Winston Churchill is reputed to have said: “There are three things I like about being on an Italian cruise ship”

“First their cuisine is unsurpassed. Second their service is superb.
And then, in time of emergency, there is none of this nonsense about
women and children first”.