Thursday, November 12, 2009

Okay, This Pisses Me Off

Someone I know rather well runs a website for syndicated columnists.  It is just the latest of many failed enterprises for which he has racked up mountains of debt.  Today, he wrote a column about what's wrong with the airline industry and their handling of unions.  While I don't disagree with everything he said, I take issue with his statement alluding that all pilots are wayward drunks.

I won't deny that a lot of pilots like to drink.  After work.

I have never encountered another crew member who I thought was impaired in any way other than what their DNA wrought them.  Some I can't stand.  I get along fine with others, but everyone I fly with is professional and safety minded.  To suggest it doesn't happen, however, would undermine my credibility. 

Guess what.  Some pilots have drinking problems.  So do regular people who drive their cars drunk.  Some even go to work drunk, be it in an office or wherever.  Guess what else.  They deserve whatever punishment they get.  I submit that in any segment of society there will be percentages of all kinds of things.  For example, there are 21 grandchildren in my family.  One is openly gay.  Statistics suggest there should be at least one more.  And plenty are drunks. 

That aside, the aforementioned column was not about drunk or wayward pilots, but the author threw it in anyway.  I don't think it would have gotten past a good editor, but since this particular guy is his own editor-in-chief anything goes.  Well, someone (a pilot) commented on the article that this writer should have asked a pilot or flight attendant what it's really like out there.  Again, this really wasn't what the article was about, but it got me thinking.  This guy has written about the airlines before, and often gets his facts quite wrong.  Knowing me the way he does, I'm irked he doesn't take advantage of my expertise before publishing something.  Maybe he has another source, but if so, I wouldn't want to fly with that person.

So I find myself torn.  If I comment on the article, I may not be able to stop myself from mentioning all his other flaws.  Or the hypocrisy in pointing out that poorly run businesses should fail.  He was a big opponent of the auto and bank bailouts, but when he was running his public relations firm into the ground, and couldn't get a loan from a bank, thought nothing of borrowing from his parents and never paying it back.  Nor did he think twice when he no longer wanted to lease office space and simply stopped paying his rent. 

On second thought, it's increasingly likely I would say these things on his website and I'm rather fond of conflict avoidance, so I won't.  I'll keep them here.  I'm not including his name, or a link to his column.  As far as I know, he's unaware of my blog.  For that matter, very few people I know in real life are.  It's safer that way.

Plus, he's the same guy who not all that long ago told me he was writing a book.  The same guy who had requested an early draft of Schmitty the Pirate to critique and then never read it.  The same guy who thinks his first draft is good enough to publish, but when I asked him about querying it, didn't know what a query was and said, "I run a website.  I'm not just some guy who decided to write a book one day, ya know."

Like me.


Wendy Sparrow said...

I'm into conflict avoidance too. That just sucks. You'd think he'd at least run it by you before putting something like that up for public consumption. Still, it sounds like he has an over-inflated ego.

I'm sorry--that sort of thing just festers and festers, doesn't it?

Erica said...

I agree with Wendy. I love the people who think they can just write a book and not know anything about queries or the process- clueless.

I wouldn't even waste your time on a comment. I'm surprised he didn't even ask you what you thought?

Sounds like he has a thing or two to learn still...

Matt said...

He's very self-absorbed, but in a hypocritical, christian kind of way. As in, christians aren't perfect, just forgiven. Which translates to, I can do whatever I want because I've accepted Jesus Christ as my own personal savior.

"Dude, we both grew up catholic."

"But I've been saved. The pope is the anti-christ."

I won't argue I'm on the bullet train to Hell, but its for a whole host of other reasons.

I don't sound bitter, do I?

Wendy Sparrow said...

Bullet Train to Hell would make a great name for a band.

Also, I'm not buying it--the bullet train is reserved for a whole different kind of people, Matt. Have you or have you not brutally killed someone this week--outside of fiction? (Wow. I can't believe there was a need for a qualification there at the end, but I almost missed it. You might have been going to find a rope thinking "NOOOOO... if only I wrote about puppies and unicorns--the nice unicorns--not the mean ones." It's strange that I need to put a qualification on unicorns now too, but this is a different world from when we were growing up. Phew for last minute saves.)

Matt said...

Oh, well...this week? Uh, no.

Thank the pope for statutes of limitations.


Kathy said...

Now I'm curious to know who this is about.

We writers are curious people.

Matt said...

Kathy - I chose not to name him in order to maintain harmony. I've pointed out his flaws before and it's never been pretty. Although I'm fairly certain he doesn't know about this blog, I don't mean to incite anyone else's ire toward him.