Monday, June 14, 2010

Miscellaneous Musings On A Monday Morning...

Summer has finally arrived at my tree house. Along with that, of course, comes lazy summer days and time to unwind. I had three days off this weekend, and by Sunday I was in full relaxation mode. That gives me time to ruminate on various events that have happened in the past few days, and I have come to the conclusion that I am a bit of a skeptic. I'm not one to follow along with the rest of the herd -- I come to my own conclusions about things, and sometimes my conclusions amaze even me because most people don't agree with the way I see things. Why don't I see what other people see? What am I missing? So here, in no particular order, are the conclusions that I reached after pondering some of the major events that have happened recently.

1. Abby Sunderland is not a hero. She's just a girl who attempted to seek attention by being the youngest person to sail solo around the world. Ironically, she gained even more attention by almost dying in the attempt. She underestimated the ocean and her own skills. To quote her, "...since when does age create gigantic waves and storms?" That comment indicates her level of immaturity. There are certain things one should not try to do battle with -- an oncoming bus at full speed, a train approaching a railway crossing, or an ocean with 30 foot waves. Usually you will lose. The ocean is a fierce place, even on a calm night. Things can hide underneath the ocean in the dark -- just ask Captain Edward Smith, the seasoned captain of the Titanic. When it comes to an argument with the sea, the sea almost always wins. Perhaps that is the lesson the young lady has learned. Oops, big waves, little boat. All Abby Sunderland has done is cost a lot of people a lot of money. And now she's asking for more. Thousands of people lost sleep worrying about her -- including me -- and the conversation everyone is having today would be a very different one if she had not been rescued. She needs to say thank you, and to go home and be a kid for a while.

2. I'm shocked and appalled -- to use my cousin's favorite expression -- at the lack of leadership in the cleanup of the Gulf oil spill. It has been nine weeks now. I think folks relied on BP to assist with the cleanup, but that is sort of like letting the fox guard the hen house, isn't it? It seems to me that more should have been done -- from day one -- in preventing a large portion of the oil from reaching the shorelines. It may have taken a Herculean effort, but at least something should have been attempted. A State of Emergency should have been declared as soon as that disaster happened. The beautiful Barataria Bay Estuary has now been choked -- drowned in oil. According to folks in the area, the environmental damage could have been prevented if decisive action had been taken as soon as the well blew out. Rome burned ... no one noticed. Today the President of the United States will do what he does best -- he will give a speech. His head will bob from side to side -- as if at some unseen audience behind the teleprompters -- and he will smile here and frown there. *sigh* The Gulf Oil spill is America's Chernobyl. Both were man-made disasters that will have repercussions for decades. It's heartbreaking.

3. I wish I understood soccer. The World Cup Soccer Match is the biggest sporting event in the world -- even bigger than the Olympics. And it's being held in South Africa, where my mother was born. I enjoy watching the coverage of the event, just to see some of the cities where my mother lived. The game looks very exciting, and I love hearing Phinnaeus's enthusiasm when he describes it to me. A total of 32 countries take part, competing over one month. There are two stages: the group stage and the knockout stage. That's about the stage where I get lost. Phinnaeus wants Germany to win, so that's who I want to win too. Why not?

So, those are just some of the idiotic things rustling around in my brain today, when I have nothing more important interesting to think about.

Have a fabulous day, everyone.


Teri said...

#1 - AMEN!!
#2 - AMEN!!
#3 - It's the same here with my nephews. LOL

Bruce Coltin said...

On point #1: It is only a matter of time until the next publicity seeking fool decides to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel or scale some skyscraper, while text messaging. As always, rescuers will risk their lives and we will pay the bill. In her defense, however, her father sounds like a moron.

Cloudia said...

I would vote for you :)

Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral

Alissa Grosso said...

Jo, I always love that you are not afraid to speak your mind. One thing you don't hear much about on the news concerning Abby Sunderland is that this girl will now have her pick of colleges. Straight A students who are president of their student council may not be able to get into Harvard, but someone crazy enough to attempt to sail around the world at 16 is a shoe-in.

I really can't watch the news right now with the oil spill coverage. It sickens me, and I can't understand why it is taking so long to fix this mess.

As for the World Cup thing, being a stupid American I know almost nothing about soccer, and can't really be bothered to get excited about it.

DJan said...

I agree with you on ALL of these points. I haven't got any patience with people who determine that it's their right to do anything they want and then let everyone else foot the bill. I cannot even express my sadness over the Oil Disaster. And I only like soccer even a little because of watching the movie Invictus.

A human kind of human said...

What I cannot understand is how a parent can even think of supporting a 16 year old's wish to sail single handed around the world - or was it perhaps their idea originally?

What makes the oil spill so very sad is that, like Chernobyl, it was created through mankinds greed for more because for more of anything you need more energy. I often wonder, just how much more does mankind want - untill there is NO MORE left?

Laduma! (Sotho word for goal) I do not really believe that Bafana Bafana (the South African team) has a genuine chance of winning the cup (they are only in the tournament because we are hosting it) but I am so proud of them because for evermore they will be known as the team who scored the very first goal of the 2010 World Cup. They also played very well agains Mexico and that also makes me proud.

Katy said...

I just got back from a week of vacation. A week of no news and I have be honest and say that I enjoyed it.

I agree with you about the 16 year old sailing by herself. Just another example of how we are now in an age of narsisim.

As for the oil spil, well I have to say that I have taken to sticking my head in the sand on that one. I live on the Gulf Coast and the whole thing is just too depressing.

And the soccer thing.. yeah. I'm not really a sports person. I like seeing the stories about it, but I'm not going to watch the games.

Marguerite said...

Well, I agree with you on all three points! the girl should have NEVER been allowed to attempt such a feat and the parents should lose custody, for encouraging her!

The oil spill fiasco is so unreal, but, at least now we know what to expect from our government, in the event of a catastrophe. NOTHING! I think that BP "will get theirs, in the end", and certain politicians that I won't be voting for, will too.

And although my days as a soccer Mom have long been over, the game does hold interest for a large group of people.

Paula Slade said...

We absolutely agree on all three!

Rosaria Williams said...

The whole idea of a young teen on the ocean by herself is inconceivable to me. What were they thinking?
Regarding the oil spill, I have mixed feelings. We gave carte blanche to many corporations to do what they wanted with few restrictions. Now, we are learning that supervising these outfits and having guidelines that are enforcable are good things, regardless of the beaurocracy it generates.

L. D. said...

It feels good to just let it all out. Speak your mind and you are correct too.

Brenda's Arizona said...

I always enjoy your writings. Today your thoughts are stellar!

I want to approach the World Cup with the attitude that I can learn something, if only a geography lesson!

Thanks, Jo.

Wolynski said...

Might be the father who pushed his daughter into doing this... She had no business being all alone in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

BP is less interested in cleaning up and more interested in appeasing its shareholders. Classic case of money v. common good. I, too, don't understand why they are still in charge.

The World Cup - there's more here than meets the eye or put another way, the poor people of Africa won't benefit from this. It's a corporate fest and just another excuse to push the slums further out of sight.

Russell said...

I don't know anything about soccer. And don't want to.

But I do know that the sound of those vuvuzelas -- those three foot long plastic horns that sound like a swarm of bees -- drive me crazy!

Give me a glass of lemonade and let me sit in one of those nice chairs.

Indian Pundit said...

Well well well......Soccer Rockkkksssss!!!!!!!!

It simply does!!!

Love of my sporting Life.

It should have been NUMBER 1....Lol

"Phinnaeus wants Germany to win, so that's who I want to win too. Why not?"

Haha...thats one of my favorite teams!

"The World Cup - there's more here than meets the eye or put another way, the poor people of Africa won't benefit from this."

Except the joy and happiness that it will bring to them!! is the only true game where everyone is rich!

Take Care

Anonymous said...

I wholeheartedly agree about Abby. Silly, silly girl who potentially could've cost the lives of others and as you rightly said, she cost a lot, lot, lot of money!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

The Gulf oil spill, like our president, is the gift that keeps on giving. I have buyer's regret for having supported him, but he is not the president I thought I was voting for.

I am not a soccer fan, and really have no interest. Therefore, I don't care who wins.

I expressed my thoughts about Abby Sunderland in my own post, so won't be redundant here.

PinkPanthress said...

This Abby Sunderland chick needs a good spanking in my opinion... and her mother, too. :(
Somehow I can not shake off the feeling, that this girl partiallly just does what her parents push her to do...

myletterstoemily said...

as always, you have a refreshing
view point on many subjects.

i will never understand thrill seekers,
but i can admire their courage.

we are all sick about the oil spill.

soccer is a foreign language to me.


Sniffles and Smiles said...

I like reading your give things such careful consideration and are so well-informed. And you express yourself so well! You are always a pleasure to read! And you make me think! Love, Janine XO

Land of shimp said...

Hey Jo, we don't absolutely agree on all points, but I do like reading differing opinions, well stated.

On Abby, my issue is that the main reason she was sailing around the world seems to be garnering the "youngest person" to do so title which is a slippery slope. Her brother sailed around the world last year, to little fanfare. Her voyage was planned at a time when rough waters were pretty much guaranteed. Her parents purposefully disregarded advice that would have kept her safer, to pursue a record. It was foolish, and now Australia is footing a rather substantial rescue bill.

There's plenty of time in ones life to sail the seas, if that's someones passion, but to do so just to be the youngest person is foolhardy and fame-seeking.

On Obama's response, that's where we disagree very slightly, but not by much. Not by as much as I wish we did. I wish I could be proud of how Obama rose to the challenge, but I'm not, because he did not. He's down a terrible job with the oil spill. However, I do think that BP should have had more responsibility in the fiasco. I wish Obama had acted more swiftly, and then had made it clear that BP would be getting the charge for services rendered. Instead, the entire thing is just a debacle.

I do get soccer, by the way. I understand the passion for it, I just don't share it. (hehehe, bet you thought we were going to disagree on one of the hotter issues instead of it primarily being Footie!)

Alicia said...

I totally agree with item #1. What were her parents thinking?

I totally agree with item #2. Not only was his head bobbing side to side but what was up with his hands? It looked like he was trying to choke some!

As to item #3...I wish I knew more about the game itself but all I seem to hear about are the horns that are being blown and are annoying and something about girls in skimpy orange dresses? I'll stick to reading blogs rather than watching sports :-)

More people agree with you than you think!

Bill said...

This is US political culture.
I understand that Canada mandates the drilling of relief wells in parallel with all offshore wells to prevent such a disaster.

I would expect the teabaggers would regard that as an intolerable encroachment by the socialist nanny state on free enterprise. Then when self-regulation doesn't work, it's all the government's fault.

"...since when does age create gigantic waves and storms?"
There are gigantic waves and storms on the ocean?
Who knew?

Jeannette StG said...

I agree on Abbey - hope someone will say what she needs to hear! That she is really a 16 year old, and doesn't need to be ashamed and do like she's a 25 year old!!

Love Is Real said...

I agree that Abby Sunderland is not a hero but she's also not a villain. She's sixteen and in my opinion that makes her an adult. Yes, in most industrial societies you're a child until you're twenty-five. However, in reality (biologically)- you're an adult. There is a lot of debate as to whether tax payers should pay for rescuing mountain climbers, sailors and adventurers of all ilk. If you'd like to enter that debate try to do it without resorting to ageism. Abby Sunderland did a damn good job and the mishap was not due to an ineptitude on her part or her age.

Lowly musings indeed.