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.


Mary Paddock said...

I completely agree with you Hal. It seemed to me that they really made a mountain out of a mole hill on this issue.

Annie said...

I'm with you. No harm, no foul.

ThomG said...

Hal, it's about pushing the least common denominator. The guy gets punished, fired most likely, and we can go on feeling good about our miserable lives.
Before the 24-hour news cycle, people shit did stupid stuff, then just never got caught. I know, I did a lot of stupid - albeit brilliantly funny - stuff.

Kelly said...

It will be a shame if he gets fired over this. It'll really make those kids feel bad.

Seems like I read that the pilots involved didn't have any problem with it.

Algernon said...

Was wondering what your take on this might be -- I'm glad you wrote about it!

quid said...

This is a great post, Hal. Not just the point about the controller, but the point about punishing. Everyone. All the time.



Scotty said...

Yeah, gotta agree with you on this one, Hal - if the world could regain a sense of humour and lighten up a little, I think we'd all be better off. I, for one, won't let the doom-sayers and those with their own personal storm cloud above their heads spoil my life. It's hard sometime though; there's so many of the miserable buggers around.

Debby said...

It's not that we've lost our sense of humor. I personally am funny as all heck. But this is a very litigious country we live in. If something had happened, the lawsuits...oh, my gosh, the lawsuits. Everyone has become obsessed with saving themselves from potential lawsuits.

BUSH BABE said...

From a distance, I have to say, it does look a lot like overkill... Not knowing the exact situation it's hard to really know, but I have to say, I giggled.

Does anyone else think that the world (at least America and Australia) is so hell bent on BLAMING someone that we are in grave danger of losing every gram of common sense we are born with?