Friday, January 16, 2009

Flight 1549 provides a Metaphor for America

Those folks who were fished out of the Hudson from US Air flight 1549 have undoubtedly been contemplating the Meaning of Life, The Universe and Everything more than most of us ever will. Even more than Douglas Adams who introduced the idea that the answer is 42. Frankly, being chased by Bible Thumpers as a kid then reading a boat load of philosophy when I got older hasn't produced a better answer to the question of Life, The Universe and Everything than 42.

I would say that I can't imagine how those folks felt as they careened earthward yesterday, but I can imagine it fairly well. That's why I always take Valium with a glass of red wine just before boarding a plane and often in flight as well. I also pray when the airplane takes off because I learned from Hamlet that if you kill a sinner while he's praying, he won't go to Hell. I don't really believe in Hell, but I'm not willing to take any chances. It's kind of like Santa Claus - the minute you confront your parents with the idea that there is no Santa, He could quit stopping by on Christmas Morning. I'm not the first person whose entire Christian gestalt was fucked up by Santa Claus. As Kinky Friedman reminds us in They Ain't Making Jews like Jesus Anymore, " We Jews believe it was Santa Claus that killed Jesus Christ." Frequently the best jokes are the ones that present the truth. Just look at George Carlin.

If Life, The Universe and Everything sometimes provides us with metaphors that give insight and hope, I'm going to hope US Air Flight 1549 is a metaphor for the Obama Presidency.

This country is heading to Hell in a Handbasket. It's not just because of the greedy war criminals who have been running the show lately. For decades - ever since Ronald Regan declared an end to the sixties and sent white people back to the suburbs to shop -- America has embraced a lifestyle driven by consumerism and the idea that an individual's professional accomplishments and acquisitions are more important than the well being of people and the planet - a simple count of SUV's will prove this point.

America today is the plane.
Obama could be the pilot.

Due to the mastery of the pilot, everyone on the plane may have shit bricks, but they are safe. Emergency workers of all varieties plunged in to rescue everyone. A ton of boats were at the ready - all in a matter of minutes.

Obama is not walking across water into the White House, but with skill, commitment and a prayer or two, and the willingness of the American people to act like a community instead of a pack of wild animals stomping each other to get a bargain priced piece of plastic at Walmart that nobody needed in the first place - we may come out of this shit storm okay.

And just maybe, Dick Cheney will be tried as the world class dick he is.

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Blogger Gail said...

Excellent post. I love the metaphor of Obama as the pilot and American's the passengers. Amazing.
Love Gail

and your humor never disappoints me. :-)

January 16, 2009 at 11:46 AM  
Blogger yellowdoggranny said...

i love the comparison of america and the plane...with obama as our our ass obama..and not soon enough for me..

January 16, 2009 at 4:55 PM  
Blogger Life As I Know It Now said...

whoa, this is scary because I thought the same thing yesterday when I first heard about it. Obama is the pilot and America is the aircraft ready to crash but there IS a happy ending ;)

January 16, 2009 at 6:00 PM  
Blogger PENolan said...

Great Minds . . .
Apparently a lot of us had the same thought. It's on Huffington too. Just goes to show how optimistic we're all feeling about Tuesday and Beyond

January 16, 2009 at 6:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

*lifts glass* Yep yep yep.

You pray? I scream. In my head, so it only bothers me. I do a lot of mental heavy breathing as we pick up speed on the runway; roll out a practice wail as soon as the wheels leave the ground, then commence serious shrieking hysteria for another three or four minutes. After that, I read. As we prepare for crashing I mean landing, I just reverse the procedure. Works great. The other passengers don't have to worry because I'm screaming for us all.

January 16, 2009 at 6:21 PM  
Blogger Frank Jump said...

Really. What a buffoon. What’s criminal is Bush entered his reign of terror with a $200 billion surplus and ends with a trillion and 200 billion deficit. And all of his cronies with the war contracts have lined their coffers with the bullion and bodies of our young. It’s the bilking of America.

January 17, 2009 at 10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Obama is not walking across water into the White House, but with skill, commitment and a prayer or two."

1. Obama doesn't even understand the fundamentals of free market trading, and any skills he has were developed sucking the teat of government.

2. Obama's only commitment is to himself.

3. Cheney has donated more of his income to charity than any previous vice-president. This idea that he was a war profiteer is pure fallacy.

4. Hope is not a method.

January 17, 2009 at 10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very cool blog. You might like to know that the plane was built here in Bristol UK and the response from the company was that they had built in many safety measures to anticipate catastrophic failure of both engines such as hitting a flock. So maybe a little of science as well as the nerves of steel of the pilot brought this bird safely down.

Still its such a good news story during these bleak times.

oh and as for the valium and wine...I do too.. it just makes the journey less tedious.

January 17, 2009 at 11:01 AM  
Blogger PENolan said...

It's bizarre to see the claim that Dick Cheney is a mighty philanthropist on a blog called Menopausal Stoners. Just like it was ridiculous when the Sarah Palin people posted all those links that would not work.

Comrade Kevin said it best, "Anonymous comments are the last refuge of the cowardly.
Either grow a pair and leave your name, or go vandalize public property with a spray paint can, which is kind of what your comments look like when placed on this blog."

January 17, 2009 at 4:13 PM  

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