Saturday, October 1, 2016

The Most Important Thing To Remember This Election

I just saw the movie Sully and I really liked it.  In those based on a true story films I always like to check what is, at least officially the real story and Sully comes off pretty well.  There is a central plot element that is off in there not really being an attempt by the National Transportation Safety Board to railroad the hero pilot, but even that had something behind it.  Maybe I should explain the movie thing a bit, not that it is the main point.

"Sully" played by Tom Hanks is Chesley " Sully" Sullenberger, the pilot of US Airways Flight 1549 which took off from LaGuardia Airport on January 15, 2009.  Very briefly after takeoff the plane hit a flock of Canada geese.  Both engines went out.  Air traffic control gave Captain Sullenberger the choice of turning back to LaGuardia or going to Teteboro. Sullenberger chose the Hudson River and managed to put it down roughly midway between 48th Street and the Port Imperial ferry landing in Weehawken, NJ.

All of the 155 passengers and crew survived.

Spolier Alert - As part of the investigation fully briefed pilots were able to land simulators at the airport by executing an immediate turn.  Allowing 35 seconds of reaction time, however, had them crashing which would have been really bad not only for the people in the plane but also for people on the ground.  In the movie Sully points this out Perry Mason style at a public hearing.  In real life NTSB figured it out. What the hell.  It's a movie they had to have bad guys, I guess.  Many other elements such as Sully having nightmares and checking the aisle twice to make sure everybody had gotten off, before being the last one to leave are supported in the record so to speak.  End Spoiler Alert

Tom Hanks was really good and I have now formed a new ambition inspired by Sully and Bridge of Spies.  Do something that will require Tom Hanks playing me in the movie.  That is an upgrade from having my obituary in the New York Times.

What I like most about the movie though was the little vignettes that kind of make New Yorkers a co-star in the picture - ferry captains, scuba cops, etc. which is bringing me to the point but as it happens there is another Tom Hanks film (He is the narrator and it is only about 11 minutes so why don't your watch it.) that makes the point I am coming to even better.

For those of you who as the late Bruce Carlin would put it can't follow simple fucking instructions,  the short documentary is about the response of people in boats to the 9/11 disaster as they evacuated lower Manhattan in an effort that Tom Hanks compares, perhaps a bit grandiosely to Dunkirk.

The best quote is from Robin Jones - Engineer of the tugboat Mary Gellatly
When American people need to come together and pull together they will do it.
Here is what is important about this when it comes to the election.  The negative energy towards the two main candidates is about the highest I have ever seen.  (For people who think it has never been worse.  Well. You are wrong.  The election in 1860 was a lot worse) There is a poll indicating that 7 percent of voters have ended friendships over the election.  Basically quite a few people think not that the other candidate is a poor choice, but more that they are really evil.  Here is the thing that it is very important to remember all the time, particularly if you are quite attached to one of the candidates being the spawn of Satan.  Let's call him or her The Evil One.

If there is some really horrendous disaster where you live, there will be a courageous generous response from people across the country.  First responders will be doing what they do all the time to general lack of appreciation, but other will also step up.  If you survive the initial disaster, there will be food, water, medical assistance, whatever arriving in short order.  And what you need to remember, all the time, is that at least 30% (probably more) of the people who will be there saving your ass will be voting for "The Evil One".

Peter J Reilly CPA rarely tries to be this uplifting in his blog posts, but it happens.