Wednesday, May 19, 2010

We do not steer the ship

I wrote this responding to a post over on the METAR board. The person I was responding to had postulated that we (the American public) were at least in part responsible for the housing bubble/bank crisis that we're still recovering from. I was pointing out that we little people as individuals have little to say about which way the higher-ups sail the ship. And now to quote my favorite author:

Er... Maybe but you've got to remember we were in the position of a passenger at the bow of the RMS Titanic shortly before midnight on the 14th of April, 1912 who has figured out that an iceberg is dead ahead*.

What'ya gunn'a do? Ask the purser to wake Captain Smith so you can give him your opinion of his chosen course? Do you think the helmsman would obey orders from a mere passenger? What're ya' gunn'a DO?

After the first mate has refused to wake the captain** and the threatened to call the master-at-arms if you continue to scare your fellow passengers what're ya' gunn'a DO?

Should you:
A. Rearrange the deck chairs so that everyone can get a good view of the collision.

B.Go into the casino and start taking bets on whether the ship will sink (Act as the bank and accept only cash (no coins)).

C. Realize that things are going to happen despite your best efforts and take responsibility for saving yourself and safeguarding your family. Then go to the ship's kitchen, grab an ice pick and go about punching the pins out of hinges on all the wooden stateroom doors so the doors*** can be used as floatation devices.

* dead ahead

** Ever call the White House or on of your elected representatives? Do you think your message went any further than the staffer responsible for picking the correct form letter to send you?

*** I read an account of one of the Titanic's lifeboats wherein an "oriental man" was found clinging to a wooden door having tied himself to it after the ship sank. Doubtless he knew that because of the "morals" of the day he would be denied a seat in any of the lifeboats and so (thinking outside the box) took matters, and the door, into his own hands. He survived.

Desert ( When not in use, a Halkett boat's hull could be worn as a cloak or used as a blanket, its oar used as a walking stick and its sail as an umbrella.) Dave

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