Friday, March 05, 2010
One Nation, with No Damned Sense of Humor
Thom G. and Bob Barbanes wrote about the JFK controller who let his nine year-old twins clear a few aircraft for takeoff.
Thom wrote, "Jebus but we've lost out way in this country. We're an angry nation. We've got everyone yelling at anyone." He continues, "There's a lot of people in this country that have lost their sense of humor. They're angry, ugly and unfunny."
I pretty much echo his sentiments. Okay, perhaps the dad suffered from a lapse in judgment. Sure. I don't know all the details of the incident, but I surmise that he let his kids play air traffic controllers during non-peak times. He told them what to say, and he was right there to correct them or take over. It wasn't as if the kids were on approach control, guiding multiple aircraft into the airport with minimum separation. The kids were clearing aircraft located on the ground for takeoff. C'mon.
We've become a country that celebrates punishing people. If the press makes a big deal out of someone's mistake, a big chunk of the public goes along with the implied we need to get that bastard sentiment.
I think the authorities should slap that air traffic controller's wrist, tell him not to do it again, and put him back to work. I think we should all hold on to a sense of humor, lest we begin to lose hold on our own sense of humanity.
I hope the controller goes back to work, and I hope his kids can quit worrying that they could have cost daddy his job.
I'm doubtful that will happen. I think too many people will want his head, because dammit, that's how we do things around here. "Forgive and forget" ain't so much in fashion nowadays.
And that's freakin' sad.