Before getting to my topic today, I wanted to let everyone know that we got through the hurricane remarkably unscathed. I spent several days putting plywood up, then several days taking plywood down and cutting up trees that fell everywhere but on our houses. We missed about a week of work, and I’ve spent what feels like two weeks getting caught up on what I missed.
But we got very lucky, and my heart goes out to the folks in south Florida, and Puerto Rico, who didn’t.
And now, on to failure, which has two great virtues: it entertains us, and it educates us.
Admittedly, failure only entertains us when it is the failure of others. None of us appreciate the entertainment value when the failure is our own, unless maybe we are looking back on it decades later. But when others fail, it is sweet, sweet nectar. I won’t beat a certain dead (and thick-ankled) horse about the hilarious hijinks of last November. Instead, let me cite a few examples that I haven’t written about before:
Exhibit A. An Atlanta rapper named Jibril Abdur-Rahman – who wisely took the stage name “Yung Mazi” – bragged that he had been shot 11 previous times. After his most recent wounding in December of 2016, an interviewer asked him why he kept getting shot. He cited such reasons as his skin tone, the amount of jewelry he wears, and the fact that he is a “real dude,” and “some people don’t like real dudes.” (Before you dismiss that claim, consider how rare it is for imaginary dudes to get shot. See, you shouldn’t jump to conclusions.)
Anyway, Mazi proudly proclaimed that “God made me bulletproof.”
You know where this is going, right? Yeah. Yung Mazi is not going to get the chance to get to be Old Mazi. Because in August of 2017 he was shot to death.
When reached for comment, God said, “Only the good die, Yung.” Then He began snickering, and hung up.
Exhibit B. Consider the case of a fight between Charles Keith Teer, 49, and William Russell Redfern, 44, who scuffled over a woman in 2007. I’m not sure how the fight started, but I know how it did NOT start: with Redfern slapping Teer with a glove, to challenge him to a duel. I also know that they did not settle their differences with an arm wrestling match.
How do I know that? Because Redfern had no arms. He had been born with no right arm, and only a stump below his left shoulder. So his fighting options were a little limited. He tried a few kicks. Which, more power to him – you fight with the limbs you have, not the limbs you wish you had. (I think Mad Dog Mattis said that.)
But to no one’s surprise, that didn’t work. So Redfern turned to his secret weapon: the head butt.
He head butted Teer in the chest. And several hours later, Teer died.
A bunch of pointy-headed doctors said that Teer had had a history of heart disease and blockages, and that was what killed him. But what do they know?
I’m pretty sure that he died of embarrassment. I’d guess that as he was lying on the ground, what flashed through his mind was not his entire life, but the next several weeks, when he would have to face his family, and his buddies at work, and at the local bar, and explain how he’d lost a fight to a guy with no arms.
What could Teer say in his own defense? That Redfern was 5 years younger than him? That Redfern outweighed him? That Teer had been a little drunk, or tired? That Redfern had caught him by surprise, and “sucker butted” him. (Thus inventing a new phrase. But sadly, one that doesn’t carry the same weight of outrage as “sucker punched.”)
Teer knew what his friends would say to all of those points: “Yeah. Okay. But the guy HAD NO ARMS!”
I’m sure you’re all ahead of me re: the moral of the story: “Don’t bring your fists to a skull fight.”
Exhibit C. In July of 2016, a bunch of global warming alarmists – “adventurers, sailors, pilots and climate scientists” — went on what was supposed to be a two-month trip around the North Pole. According to their website, their mission was to demonstrate, “that the Arctic sea ice coverage shrinks back so far now in the summer months that sea that was permanently locked up now can allow passage through.”
Cue the great South Park sketch: “Aannnndddd, they’re stuck.”
An article in Real Climate Science summed up their situation in this quote, which I am not making up: “They are currently stuck in Murmansk, Russia because there is too much ice blocking the North East passage the team said didn’t exist in summer months.”
I know what you’re thinking. If only they had had something other than shaky computer climate models and bong-hit-induced deep thoughts to guide them! If only there had been some historical precedent from which they could have learned!
Which brings me to…
Exhibit D. Two and a half year earlier, a group of scientists, their assistants and “adventure tourists” were sailing in the Antarctic, also intending to document the ravages wrought by our horrendous global warming crisis.
By the way, what’s with these “adventurers” and their choice of adventures?! I was never a particularly adventurous young man. But when I imagined going on an adventure, I thought of scenarios like, “So I’m in a Turkish bath in Monte Carlo, with two gorgeous Bosnian co-eds, the American ambassador to Greece, and Sean Connery, and we’re all kicking around the idea of knocking over a casino.”
Do you know what I was NOT thinking of? “So I’m stranded on an ice-encrusted trawler near Murmansk, with my extremities blackened by frost bite while a blocky Women’s Studies prof explains how global warming often manifests itself by freezing people to death.”
But back to our story. This adventuresome crew was sailing on a Russian-operated ship called the Mika Brezhinski. (Just kidding. It was actually called the Akademik Shokalskiy. But when I think of things that are thick and sluggish and ineffectual, I can’t help but think of Mrs. Morning Joe.)
Anyway, our intrepid crew on the Mika had set sail from Australia at the end of November (i.e. summer in Australia), bound for Antarctica, where they expected to lounge about in beachwear, demonstrating how our SUVS are boiling our precious environment, or something.
Guess what happened to their ship?
If you guessed that the ocean got too hot and they were all scalded to death, you are not paying attention.
In fact, it got stuck in the ice that they were shocked to find.
But wait! There’s more hilarity.
While the global warming alarmists were spending Christmas day stuck in the ice, mourning the death of Gaia instead of celebrating the birth of Christ, they had high hopes. Because the cavalry was on the way, in the form of a Chinese ice-breaking ship called the “Snow Dragon.”
Until the Snow Dragon got stuck. In the ice. The ice that it was designed to break.
But never fear, because a second Chinese ice breaker named the Aurora Australis was on its way. (And by the way, if that’s not a good stripper name, I don’t know what is. “Gentlemen, welcome to the main stage… Aurora Australis! She’s from Down Under, and she just wants to break… your… ice. Make it rain, make it snow, it’s all the same to Aurorrrrrrra.”) This ship was bigger and more powerful than the Snow Dragon, so it would make short work of the–
Annnnnddddd, it’s stuck.
Actually it didn’t get stuck. But the captain had to turn back from rescue attempts, because his ship was on the verge of getting icebound, too.
Oh, Chinese icebreaker boats. You had one job…
Anyway, the global alarmist knuckleheads were eventually – tragically – rescued.
And two and a half years later, the next group sailed for sunny Murmansk, undeterred.
Finally, Exhibit E is as timely as today. Because it was reported today, under the delightful headline: “Four Arrested after Fight in Empathy Tent.”
Ah, Empathy Tent. The most hilariously mis-named creation since the Chinese ice-breaking ship.
You can Google “empathy tent” to read the story, but do you need to? I bet you can guess the salient details:
Who set up the empathy tent? A. Rock-ribbed conservatives B. Navy Seals C. Leftist “studies” majors
On which campus was the empathy tent located? A. Hillsdale College B. West Point C. Berkeley
Guess who started the fight in the empathy tent? A. Milton Friedman devotees B. Ben Shapiro fans C. Bernie Sanders acolytes
What do the virtuous leftist arrestees’ mug shots remind you of? A. Brad Pitt. B. Margot Robbie C. My eyes! My eyes! I can never un-see that! Make it stop! Where are my knitting needles?!
If you guessed anything other than “C” on any of those questions, please ask CO to ban you from this site immediately.
What is it with leftists and their inability to recognize or describe reality? Fascist thugs are “anti-fascists.” Bruce Jenner with a little makeup and a Mary Tyler Moore hairstyle is a woman. Blue-eyed blonde Elizabeth Warren is an Apache. Blue-eyed blonde Rachel Dolezal is black.
And now the Empathy Tent is a place where you can get the crap kicked out of you.
What’s next? For the best wifi, try the Amish hut? For the best hummus, go to the Mormon lean-to? For sound financial planning help, check out the Occupy Wall Street dumpster?
Okay, so failure can be hilarious. But it can be instructive too, which I’ll write about next time…