Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Stupid People Tricks: the Dee-Dee-Dee-ization of America

I'm quite happy the hikers on Mount Hood have been rescued, not much the worse for wear. I'm especially happy that this particular group had enough sense to take with them cell phones, Global Positioning System gear and beacons. Kudos to them for not being entirely retarded.

This isn't really about them specifically but the whole mountain climber-adventurer thing in general. What the hell is it about us that makes us want to climb mountains in the dead of winter anyway?

I'm listening to the news this morning and a commentator is discussing the fact that some legislators are considering making Global Positioning System gear mandatory for hikers and the inevitable protest from some hikers.

Quoth the commentator, "you have to understand the type of personality who does this. They like taking risks, risking their lives, they don't like being told what to do".

Really? Go live in a low-rent district for a while and work a minimum wage job while trying to raise a few children and keep them out of trouble if you're up for a REAL challenge.

I don't like being told what to do either, I also don't run around doing stupid, senseless shit to prove how tough I am and then expect half the world to come bail my dumb ass out when I get in trouble. The least you can do is make it easier for the poor sots who have to put their own lives on the line to come save you.

Then we get the Kings & Queens of dumb-assdom. The ones who aren't content to be a pain in our backsides but must export their bravado and daring overseas. Get lost in the mountains in freaking Tibet and create international incidents requiring people of many nations to expend time, energy and a great deal of money trying to find you.

All of this while the native population is living in huts and carrying water in buckets and then we wonder why a lot of people in the world just don't like us. Let me 'splain this one: it's because we are stupid, insensitive, asshats. Sure, they can use our tourist dollars but they aren't going to love us, not when we consistently act a fool and expect them to drop everything to see to our needs. Get a clue.

As if that weren't enough stupid-people-trick news for me I was treated to the yuppie whining of passengers from Jet Blue. Trapped on a plane for up to 11 hours and couldn't get to your honeymoon in Aruba. That's just heartbreaking. WHAT THE FUCK, were all the emergency doors broken?

You could probably keep me in wait mode for a couple of hours, not 11 freaking hours. Open the damned door and slide your fat ass out on the wing and start entertaining the locals. They'd have sent someone to get y'all out of there in a New York minute, trust me on this.

The airline personnel on the plane were as clueless as you were thanks to US business practices that leave employees with no room for thinking on their feet. Can't have that, gotta micro-manage the peons or we might get people who could actually THINK. Would set a dangerous precedent.

All of this and more is why Mexico is eventually going to kick our ass. I have to admire someone who is living in conditions that would make most of mainstream America's hair stand on end who says "screw this". He or she may walk 20, 50, or 100 miles or more to the border, scout for a chance to cross while knowing they might well be caught, shot, robbed, raped, or simply die of thirst or exposure then walk another who-knows-how-many miles across the desert so they can maybe get a job cleaning someones toilet or butchering chickens or shoveling cow shit. All so his or her children might have a shot at a better life.

An American faced with such a dilemma will usually just whine that a Mexican took his job. Then he or she will join the Minutemen and stand around on a street corner waving an American flag while collecting unemployment, SSI, and Food Stamps.

Now if you were an employer who would you choose? I'd hire the Mexican.

Love those big brass balls and most of us gringos have lost ours. That's the only reason I can come up with for why we feel the need to show our nuts by climbing up mountains for no good reason, Pedro doesn't need to because he never lost his in the first place.


RUTH said...

Thanks for leaving a comment on my cancer campaign post. Your blog looks very interesting I'll bookmark it and come back and read some more.

Not Your Mama said...

Thanks Ruth, no trouble a'tall. Hope you hit that magic 100.

leftdog said...

"Now if you were an employer who would you choose? I'd hire the Mexican."
Bravo!! Your arguments are totally solid!

TomCat said...

Hiya Not Mama. I followed you home from your post at my place, and i like your style.

On the hikers' issue, I live in Portland, and the problem comes up more than one would realize from the national news. Some of these rescues cost Oregon taxpayers $millions, while the route I walk from home to work is littered with sleeping homeless people. Hardly seems right, does it?

Not Your Mama said...

Leftdog: I've worked with both types, I speak from personal experience not theory. If you ever get the chance, get to know some and ask about their stories. Amazing stuff.

The majority of Mexican immigrants, legal or otherwise, have more drive and ambition in their little finger than many Americans have in their entire body.

Tomcat: I believe you. The cost has to be burdensome and all so some bored yuppie can get a thrill and feel like an adventurer??? It's like what, our lives have gotten so comfy we have to deliberately court danger to feel alive?

TomCat said...

Well, there's something to be said for courting danger. I did some mountain climbing as a young man, but in those days, there was no high tech rescue, so if you got lost, you found your way out or someone found the bones. I also was a volunteer firefighter for several years. That got chancy a few times. Facing LBJ/Nixon storm troopers in the 1960s had an element of risk. But if a beneficiary of Bush's 'no millionaire left behind' program wants to hike without proper safety equipment, let him pay for the rescue.

I just added you to my 'Blogs I Like' blog roll, and noted that you have already added me. Thanks! :-)

mw said...

You've touched on something here, that I have long felt but never really distilled into words.

If - you start with the core Idea of America, the idea of an "inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness", the notion that through your own effort you can build a better life for yourself and your family, If you focus on that Ideal of America...

Then - it is pretty easy to make the case that the people who take such risks to get here to pursue exactly that hope for themselves and their family, are truer heirs to the American Idea, and more deserving of all this country has to offer, than those of us who are here by an accident of birth, and take it all for granted.

Not Your Mama said...

MW: Bingo. Couldn't have explained it any better.

RJ Adams said...

You're too kind to the idiot hikers, but I had to link to you.

Not Your Mama said...

Tried to leave a comment but for some reason I can't seem to comment on wordpress sites.