Thursday, January 15, 2009

Good News: Miracle On The Hudson


The incessant production of blog posts involving puppets and/or concerning the birthdays of obscure pop musicians, sitcom actors, and dark-haired hotties around here usually prevents me from including much in the way of current events - that plus the fact that I'm typically 4-7 days behind schedule - but every so often something somehow or other makes it onto the news that a) renews my faith in humanity, and/or b) doesn't rob me of the will to live - compelling me to shout 'Stop the presses!' like an old-timey newspaper editor in a black and white movie and spend half the night rearranging things to include it... Fortunately, it doesn't happen too often, but in amongst the writing initiatives I've planned to begin taking effect this year is one detailing Good News*, so from now on it will be happening more and more...

PhotobucketIt's apt, then, that the first installment of Good News should involve a story which even three days after the fact can't fail to bring a smile to my face, namely the ditching of US Airways Flight 1549 (shown above) into New York City's Hudson River following the loss of both of its engines due to bird strike.

Although the Airbus A320 itself is a write-off, thanks entirely to the quick thinking of pilot Chesley Sullenberger (shown at right) not only did the plane land safely but everyone on board survived, and no life-threatening injuries were reported. The 150 passengers and five crew were then brought to safety by a veritable flotilla of working boats, including those of the venerable Circle Line fleet.

Sullenberger - known as Sully - brought to bear his years of experience not only as a commercial pilot but from the seven years he served in the US Air Force in order to avert certain disaster. He then stayed behind, insisting that he be the last person rescued from the wreck; in fact, flight crew related the story that he personally inspected the plane at least twice before he'd allow himself to be ferried from it.

The Pop Culture Institute cannot say enough about the heroics of Captain Sullenberger, which must surely be proof of our immense admiration, since the hyperbolic application of adjectives is our favourite pastime. At a time of immense uncertainty, this story brought a pang of joy to the charcoal heart of this jaded reporter, making Sully a hero many times over; may we suggest to our American readers who are willing to take the time, please email your representative and senator, recommending him for the Presidential Medal of Freedom... Let one of President Obama's first acts as Chief Executive be the restoration of lustre to the country's highest civilian honor tarnished by his predecessor, who saw fit to award it to such criminals as George Tenet.

Plus, I'm already seeing the TV movie as an excellent vehicle for Ted Danson, or possibly Tom Skerritt...

*Not 'Good News' meaning the American Bible Society's thoroughly loathsome politicized version of the Bad Book but Good News in the sense of those stories which occasionally creep into the 24-hour news cycle that a) renew one's faith in humanity, and/or b) don't rob one of the will to live.
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