Is it just me or is anyone else picking up on the fact that this pilot, Captain Chesley Sullenburger, who made the miraculous splashdown landing of a U.S. Airways flight in the Hudson river, just might be an asshole?
I’ve gone through a few different stages regarding the pilot known as Sully and after watching the 60 Minutes interview with Katie Couric, I’ve officially reached the asshole conclusion. First, I was impressed. Let’s face it, his act of heroism is undeniable. If I’m going up in a plane, I want this guy flying it. And it just may be the fact that he’s an asshole that makes him such a great pilot, so I’m not saying that he’s a bad person, just—you know, kind of a dick.
After being impressed, I went to admiration. He seemed to be avoiding the limelight. He didn’t want the attention. He just did his job. That stirred my admiration. Here’s a guy who is content to have done his job, had his fifteen minutes without shameless self-promotion and move on with his life. Yes. At this point, I was shouting from the rooftops that I admire and respected this man, as both a pilot and a human being.
Then came the Super Bowl. They trotted him out there with the crew of the plane. I was surprised. I thought this guy was avoiding the limelight. I thought he was content with his silent 15 minutes of fame. Then I thought: Wait. Free tickets to the Super Bowl? Okay, he’s a guy!!!! I’d let them trot me out like a prized pony for free Super Bowl tickets too! No problems there Sully, you’re still admirable and respected!
But then came the sit down with Couric and I got the distinct impression that if I was on this guy’s crew, I couldn’t go more then ten minutes before they’d have to pull me off of him. He’s kind of…smarmy! He reminds me of the kind of military man who never quite leaves the military behind.
Now look, I understand that not everyone is cut out for public life and interview-giving and actually being in the limelight, and that even a guy whose cool enough to land an engineless plane in a river can crack under the lights of Hollywood, but he didn’t crack. If he had stammered or been uncomfortable in the least, I’d have chalked him up as human and gone on with my life.
He wasn’t being human though; he was being inhuman. He was being robotic. If you consent to giving an interview and the interviewer asks you a leading question, you don’t answer with a yes or no and a stare challenging them to follow it up. I came away thinking, wow, some poor kid has to have him for a father. I came away thinking that this is the kind of guy who rouses his family at 5 a.m. every morning for family calisthenics. He came off like a soldier being interrogated by the enemy. Name, rank and serial number.
I can sense the righteous indignation rising up in my readership. This man saved lives!!!! I know, I know. I'm not saying that he's a bad person. I'm not saying that he is anything less than a hero. I'm not saying that he doesn't deserve all the accolades and kudos he's getting. I'm just saying, that when you listen to the guy speak, he's...kind of prickish.
So, yeah. I think Sully just might be an asshole. It's okay, there are worse things to be. After all, it takes one to know one and I know that Sully is an asshole. I'm just happy to see an good, old-fashioned, honest-to-goodness asshole being paraded around as the toast of the town. It gives assholes all over the world reason to hope...hope that our time, has finally come.