Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mo' Easy Pieces

Today is Sunday, 15 August 2010.

Anyone who commutes by small plane (from carpenters to CEOs) is, by definition, privileged, since the vast majority of people never do so. Americans tend to have notions of what is “privileged” which don’t closely correlate with planetary reality. Perhaps this is because Americans are encouraged to believe, “If anyone has more than I do, I’m poor”, and not, “If anyone has less than I do, I'm rich”. (Of course, the former folly is necessary to power an economy which is dependent on wasteful consumption to pump wealth up the food chain.)

Traveling on a small plane in a wilderness area in uncertain weather. Is the crash thereof one of those “random, unexpected accidents” of which “Anonymous” speaks? One knows that such crashes occur with a certain reasonably predictable frequency, so no particular crash can be entirely “unexpected”, any more than one can say that deaths in Russian roulette are unexpected. I’m not sure “random” is the right word, since such crashes frequently, perhaps usually, correlate with factors such as inadequate maintenance, pilot error, etc.

My point is that one knows such crashes occur, and if one is on such a plane, one expects others to risk their lives in rescue attempts, and society at large to fund those attempts. It’s the same with those who climb, for example, Mount Rainer in winter, break a leg, and then expect others to risk their lives in rescue. I find those irresponsible and reprehensible who ask, nay, demand that others risk their lives, so that they might enjoy such entertainment as remote fishing holes. That attitude is malignantly narcissistic, ill-founded, insensitive, unjust, and indecent.

“fubar believer”: “My grandmother was afraid of swimming and highways, or going over 45 mph in a horseless carriage. But she was an old woman...” The “old woman” sterotype is extremely unfortunate.

“Voice of Reason” writes: “Yes, scolding, lecturing, judging and criticizing - perhaps all best left to those without faults. HH's style of writing is reminiscent of taunting, name-calling and bullying by insecure schoolyard adolescents. Bummer, dude.”

I’m confused. Would this mean that only the perfect can judge and criticize Hitler, Stalin, Nixon, Mao, Timothy McVeigh, etc.? My faultful self having judged and criticized same, do I owe Mr. Hitler, etc. apologies? And no more scolding and lecturing, by my faultful self, of rabid right radio preachers who demand the death penalty for homosexuals? And who then, by this standard, are any of us, to judge, for example, child molesters? Bummer.


Blogger fubarbeliever said...

Stereotypes. Generalizations, or assumptions, that people make about the characteristics of all members of a group, based on an image (often wrong) about what people in that group are like.

HH claims that my comments respecting my grandmother's fears were an "extremely unfortunate" sterotype (sic). Nope. I didn't stereotype her at all. I simply recounted a couple of her oft-spoken fears (which included microwave ovens and cable television), together with the obvious - my grandmother was an old woman. She was an old woman who grew up in a different time, when horseless carriages were "new-fangled", travel was dangerous, and radio was the main source of entertainment. Along with the occasional square-dance at the town meetin' hall. And church picnics.

I didn't stereotype her at all. I guess HH did.

11:16 AM  
Blogger fubarbeliever said...

Oops. Intended to review the previous comments rather than post. My bad.

In any event, my original point (obviously not clearly articulated) was that people are often disdainful and fearful of things they are unfamiliar with or simply do not understand. In my grandmother's lifetime, huge technological advances were made - too many for her to assimilate. Methods, means and speed of travel, before then impossible, became commonplace. Many things were beyond her ken, which led to her fear and anxiety of the unknown. Thus, the observation, and clear statement of truth, that she was "an old woman." I didn't imply that because she was an old woman she was fearful; I said that she was an old woman who was fearful.

12:00 PM  
Blogger HH said...

I've simply heard too many references and jokes to "little old ladies", "little old men", and the like over the years, that are thinkingly or unthinkingly sexist and ageist, that I would have been more comfortable with another real-life example. (Perhaps the look of consternation and fear on face of George H.W. Bush when he first encountered a grocery check-out scanner, hee hee.)

4:04 PM  
Blogger fubarbeliever said...

That was the real-life example with which I was most familiar at the time. With respect to your suggestion of an example that might be more within your comfort zone, I might suggest a review of the following:

7:07 PM  
Anonymous HH said...

Thank you. I was unaware.

8:42 PM  
Blogger fubarbeliever said...

Hey, HH. Thanks for actually reviewing the information contained in the article I suggested. And thanks for letting me know that you did. Excellent.

12:18 PM  
Anonymous HH said...

No thanks necessary. If one is to engage in proper public discourse, one is obligated to listen as well as speak, and in both cases rationally and reflectively. My thanks to you for listening to me and responding. 'Tis a pity, in some ways, that the world is grown so large we can't all stroll together, as in ancient Athens, debating and learning together.

12:40 PM  

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