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So this pierced and tatted neosexual with lime-streaked purple hair said to me, “Name one more really great thing about Western Civilization.” Challenge accepted.

I mean — really — this sort of thing hardly makes one’s smallest neural network spark. It’s like shooting the blind in the dark.

I mean, 2:38 !?

That and/or the fact that we do things like this merely because we can and for our pleasure alone:

Gerard Van der Leun // 1692 Mangrove Ave Apt: 379
Chico, CA 95926

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • azlibertarian August 10, 2022, 10:57 PM

    I don’t like heights, not even a little bit. I’ve been known to change the channel when someone on the TV does something too far off the ground. I’ve got a 12 foot ladder and I’ve made it my rule that the top three steps are off-limits for me. However far that puts me above the ground is plenty.

    So I would never, not in million years, walk out on one of those Isn’t-This-Fun-How-We-Can-Walk-On-Thus-Plexiglass-And-Fool-Our-Brains-Into-Thinking-This-is-Dangerous? bridges.

    But here’s the real question: This Tower Bridge is in London, England. England as in Jolly Ole England. And they tell me that this plexiglass bridge is 42 meters above the water. Do they not use Imperial Measures in the empire for which they are named?

    • ghostsniper August 11, 2022, 4:09 AM

      I thought you were a pilot?

      How far is “too far”?

      People afraid of heights focus on the falling part and that sways their perception.

      I read a book a long time ago where a dood walked into the kitchen and saw a 24″ dia hole in the floor and what appeared to be sky down in the hole.

      He got down on his belly and crawled to the hole and looked over the edge.

      Indeed, there were clouds in the hole and way down below, thousands of feet below, he saw the ground.

      He stuck his hand down in the hole and felt nothing but air.

      He reached back up under the outside of the hole, wanting to feel what the bottom of the floor felt like.

      The was no floor and he felt his own belly.

      He instantly went insane and started drooling and babbling and shaking and fell into the hole never to be seen again.

      The hole closed up and no one was the wiser.

      • azlibertarian August 11, 2022, 8:29 AM

        “I thought you were a pilot?…”

        Yes, I was a pilot with an emphasis on the past tense of the verb (although I still have the license, and even a valid medical).

        But if you talk to enough pilots, you’ll find that a caution around heights is not uncommon. I can’t explain it, but it does exist.

        • Terry August 11, 2022, 9:10 AM

          “But if you talk to enough pilots, you’ll find that a caution around heights is not uncommon. I can’t explain it, but it does exist.”

          I can understand the “respect” for heights. I witnessed an excellent, experienced pilot, buy the farm. He did a maneuver too close to mother earth. Stead Field north of Reno, NV.

          • azlibertarian August 11, 2022, 9:38 AM

            “…I witnessed an excellent, experienced pilot, buy the farm. He did a maneuver too close to mother earth….”

            One of the first things you learn as a pilot is that the “cumulo granite” is very unforgiving.

            • OneGuy August 11, 2022, 11:56 AM

              Flew in to a Caribou hunt in Alaska. The pilot was a retired AF fighter pilot. Everything perfect by the book. After the 7 day hunt the pilot out was a self taught bush pilot who over loaded the plane and had to use a dangerous maneuver to take off. Then flew at tree top level and would tilt the plane 90 degrees every time he saw a moose or wolf. Sacred the crap out of me.

              Another time I flew into a fishing trip. The pilot was supposed to fly us out at 7 am and was an hour late. Apologizing explaining he partied late last night and over slept. Flight and landing went well. Three days later we are waiting for him when a different pilot showed up for another group. We complained to him and he said no problem he will fly back and pick us up. We were pissed and went up to the tiny office of the bush pilot to complain and found that after the original pilot dropped us off he was supposed to fly to Homer but just disappeared never to be found, probably fell asleep and crashed into the ocean.

        • Old Surfer August 15, 2022, 8:37 AM

          “Edge Suck”is a real phenomena. I have a few hours in hang gliders and while I could make a running launch off a 1200′ cliff, I would crawl out to the edge to assess conditions prior to launching.

      • BillH August 11, 2022, 8:42 AM

        “I thought you were a pilot?”
        Mox nix ghost. A long time ago I had a highly experienced copilot on a DC-6 trip Panama-Rio who had flown crop dusters up in Idaho among other sporty things. For the airport we used, we had to arrive high, then circle down over Guanabara Bay to pattern altitude. Every circle, we had a nice view of Sugarloaf, so I told him on layover we ought to go up Sugarloaf, which was by cable car. He said no way; he was afraid of heights, with us being at about 4000 feet at the time. So a discussion ensued about how he could be afraid of heights and fly airplanes for a living. He explained that he was only afraid of heights in things that are hooked to the ground, and an airplane isn’t. When we got to the layover hotel he would only go into a room on the 2d floor, which the management graciously gave us. When we got to the room, he ran to the bed farthest from the window and declared, “This one’s mine”. He never went close to that window. He called himself Stan, but he may have been azlibertarian for all I know.

        • azlibertarian August 11, 2022, 9:47 AM

          “…He called himself Stan, but he may have been azlibertarian for all I know.”

          Nope, I’ve never been to Panama nor flown a DC-6, but I’d probably find lot in common with your pal Stan. I used to stay at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, which from the outside is not remarkable, but has a really cool interior view looking up from the lobby.

          But once I’d ridden the elevator up to my floor, I couldn’t look over the side….made me dizzy.

        • ghostsniper August 11, 2022, 10:52 AM

          BillH sed: “He explained that he was only afraid of heights in things that are hooked to the ground, and an airplane isn’t.”
          That seems both odd and inneresting.

          45 years ago I used to jump out of airplanes in the army, then I had an accident and never did again. I was not allowed to, by the army. I never had the urge to do so as a civilian and never thought much about it.

          About 10 years after the accident I was watching a documentary on TV and the view was from the cockpit of a plane flying close to the ground and the plane was not visible in the view. The plane was maybe 20 feet above the ground and suddenly the ground gave way to a very high cliff, maybe a thousand feet or more. As the view approached the edge of the cliff and the ground disappeared I was instantly terrified and had to look away. It was like nothing I had ever experienced. I was very disturbed about this and had to sit there and ponder it for a spell. I have seen similar scenes since, many times, and though the feeling isn’t as severe as that first time it is still pretty unnerving. I even unconsciously rise up in the seat a little bit. Just typing this was uncomfortable cause I mentally pictured it. I gotta go make me a mud and simmer down. lol

  • Hyland August 11, 2022, 6:34 AM

    The late great Remus produced a marvelous meme to answer this challenge to describe the beauty of western civilization. A darling little girl is on the phone with her grandma and proclaims to her mother standing by, “Grandma says it’s okay to be white!” Remus continues… “Yes little one, dear old grandma is right. It’s okay to be white, even though your parents, teachers, friends, the news media, politicians, advertisements, and movie stars tell you it’s not. No, you’re not the enemy of decent people in this world. No, you are not to blame for the stupidity and failure of others. You’ve been lied to and betrayed by everyone who should protect and encourage you. It’s awesome to be white. Western Civilization… leading the world since 1,000 BC.”

    As for the video shot way up there… for about 5 or 6 years I was into hang gliding. The only reason I gave it up was the turbulence of volatile air currents tossed me up, down and sideways and I’ve always had the motion-sickness malady…. could never ride the Tilt-O-Whirl without losing my chili dogs and grape Nehi. The heights were exhilarating. Soaring thousands of feet above the mountains with only the sound of wind… and my altimeter beeping… occasionally visited by a red tail hawk respectfully admiring my massive wing span… it’s one of the greatest activities ever. Leonardo, who kinda invented the concept, would have given me a high five and been up there with the rest of us.

    • Terry August 11, 2022, 9:21 AM

      One of my close friends, Tim, was chief test pilot for a now large “hang glider” company. Around 1986 or so he punched in and has been a quad ever since.

      Cause of accident was a guy in the hang glider strapped in just above Tim, shifted his weight at around ten feet vertical from their intended landing place. Guy above was uninjured.

      • Hyland August 11, 2022, 6:24 PM

        Just like down hill skiing… hang gliding’s most worrisome potential for injury, for me at least, was the other guy who isn’t paying attention.

  • PA Cat August 11, 2022, 8:35 AM

    One more really great thing? I give you four– the four Bs: The Bible, Bach, beer, and baseball.

    • John Venlet August 11, 2022, 8:41 AM

      And number five is bourbon, in the B category, and number six would be a fine cigar, and I don’t care that cigar starts with the letter “C.”

      • Mike Austin August 11, 2022, 9:04 AM

        Let us not be too hasty and omit Boodles Gin.

        • Vanderleun August 11, 2022, 9:13 AM

          Ah, Boodles, the elixir of my liver’s youth.

          • Mike Austin August 11, 2022, 10:33 AM

            Boodles and I go back a long way, to the beginning of my 6 year “career” tending bar on the West Coast.

  • Mike Austin August 11, 2022, 9:24 AM

    The overture to ” Tannhäuser” reminded me that I have the entire “Ring Cycle” in my vinyl collection. It is the Decca pressing of Georg Solti conducting the Vienna Philharmonic, recorded between 1958 – 1965. Before I die I will need to play the entire thing start to finish.

    Wagner was a real son of a bitch, by the way. He was Hitler’s favorite composer, and the Austrian corporal saw in Wagner’s music “the true embodiment of the German nation”. These days “the true embodiment of the German nation” is best heard in the music of a carny act.

  • captflee August 11, 2022, 10:43 AM

    When I was but a wee coastie down in the Greater Achilles Section, I was acquainted with a couple of radiomen who flew kites. A moderate drive east from San Juan puts you in the vicinity of El Yunque, from whose peaks the ground slopes gently away down to the Caribbean near Fajardo. With the NE Trades steadily flowing in at a decent clip, that presents some pretty decent conditions for hang gliding. Don’t know about today, but back then it was mainly cattle country, so we successfully negotiated with some of the locals for access to their fields. Now, the caca de vaca is a wondrous fertilizer, especially for them hongos. Mainly your p. cubensis, but occasionally the a. muscaria. In any event, said radiomen, being occupationally deranged, soon combined the ingestion of the local flora with the kites for psychomycologically enhanced adventures, which resulted in rather fewer death plunges than one might have expected. Providentially the worst seemed to occur during the wet season, with terra firma at least a bit spongier than normal, so no madcap high speed careenings to the Rosy Roads NAVSTA clinic in Pierre the Peugeot were required. Ah, youth!

  • Dirk August 11, 2022, 3:08 PM

    I too, have seen the light!

    Commando Cody’s a straight up STUD!

  • MathMom August 11, 2022, 4:01 PM

    Did the pierced and tatted neosexual have a large scar where xer/xis heart had been removed? How can you be immune to the absolute blessing of Western Civilization, and the beauty of such transcendent music?