January 18, 2012

"Suddenly... I stumbled and ended up in one of the lifeboats."

The hilarious pratfalls of the Cowardly Captain of the Costa Concordia.

33 comments:

EMD said...

The Italians are 2nd the only the French in their rich heritage of bravery.

(The Romans must have been a different species.)

traditionalguy said...

He is definitely qualified to be the Captain of The Chicken of the Seas, now being raised to become part of the Royal Carribean fleet.

Dose of Sanity said...

It would be funny and cute if no one died. Instead, it's criminal.

The Italians are (rightly, imho) treating DeFalco as a hero.

Edgehopper said...

It's cases like this one that remind us why older cultures had ritual suicide as the preferred course of action for cowardly failures.

Christopher in MA said...

"The Comedic Contortions of the Cowardly Captain of the Costa Concordia" would work better as far as alliteration goes.

But yes, this fool is why the term "Italian competence" is an oxymoron.

traditionalguy said...

I read a story that the ship was way off its approved course as a favor to a crew member who asked the captain to "do a fly by" of the new ship at the Island where the crew member's family lived.

That makes sense because the modern navigation electronics would have had to be overriden to get the ship that near shoreline rocky ridge areas.

The large cruise ships navigate 40 miles of narrow Norwegian fjords (old glacial valleys) surrounded by mountains all of the time.

The Drill SGT said...

Rich Lowry did a nice piece comparing the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 and the Costa 100 years later.

My fav paragraph on the loss of chivalry notes:

They can look faintly ridiculous from our vantage point. Benjamin Guggenheim changed into his evening clothes that night: “We’ve dressed in our best and are prepared to go down like gentlemen.” Whom would you rather have around your wife or daughter, though, when there is only one slot left on the lifeboat? Old Guggenheim in his white tie and tails, or the contemporary slob in his Bermuda shorts and flip-flops?

Somewhere else on the blogosphere, a commentator wrote that if women wanted men to be chivalrous in times of danger, then they needed to encourage it in normal times. Modern feminists have made it nearly extinct.

ricpic said...

All I wanna do isa sing at La Scala and I enda up steering this oversize floating bathtub. I washa my hands of the whole...er, malinteso.

mariner said...

(The Romans must have been a different species.)
Roman matrons used to say to their sons: "Come back with your shield, or on it." Later on, this custom declined. So did Rome.
R. A. Heinlein

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Turn him into a steer and put him out to pasture. I was debating whether (or wether?? ) to use the Burdizzo, elastic bands, a knife, or just plain slam a couple of bricks together.

He obviously doesn't need the things, and they've atrophied anyway.

edutcher said...

I hear the same thing happened to Bruce Ismay.

mariner said...

(The Romans must have been a different species.)
Roman matrons used to say to their sons: "Come back with your shield, or on it." Later on, this custom declined. So did Rome.
R. A. Heinlein


I believe it was the Greeks, particularly the Spartans.

Going by VDH and a couple of others.

Some patrician-class families, however, may have followed suit.

PS Sarge, I heard of an instance of one woman in first class trapped in her bunk by a falling beam and unable to get out as the ship was going down.

She told her husband, who offered to stay with her, to go and try to save himself. She couldn't bear taking him with her.

Guts and class ran deep in them thar days.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

On a much more serious note ... the raw fertility rate in Italy is now approximately one-half that of natural replacement. They're having so few children that their population will fall by 50% by about mid-century.

In a post-modern, secular, relativist world, children -- and the future -- simply do not matter.

We have seen a remarkable example of that profound emptiness.

Women and children are all that matter if you're thinking of your society, your culture, and its future.

Original Mike said...

"Suddenly... I stumbled and ended up in one of the lifeboats."

Uh-huh. I believe that.

Petunia said...

The "captain's" excuse kind of reminds me of the people who show up in the ER with something interesting up their rear ends, and they claim that they slipped and fell on it.

Fortunately there was an off-duty captain, Roberto Bosio, on board the Costa Concordia. He took charge of the entire rescue effort after the other guy fell into the lifeboat.

Amartel said...

He fell off the wagon and then he fell off the ship. oops.

But oh, great, now we can have a teachable goddam moment about Men v. Women. The story's about an irresponsible self-centered silly shameless man. Some men were like that before feminism came along and ruined everything altogether in every way forever. Just like some women were like that before feminism came along and made everything altogether better in every way forever. Some people are assholes and thus it ever shall be. I guess with feminism there are more assholes per square mile than before so there's that.

Here's the lesson of the Costa Concordia: Be prepared to save yourself and your family. Don't count on anyone else, including and especially the people nominally In Charge, to swoop in and do it for you.

edutcher said...

One point about Guggenheim not mentioned in the snippet Sarge pasted.

Those men, who knew there was no hope for them, went up on deck, waved to their wives and children, and told them another ship would be along and they'd all be together in New York. So their wives wouldn't worry.

They may make 'em like that still, but all you hear about are the Alec Baldwins.

Snark said...

Although itt seems to be clear what an utter abrogation of duty this was in all it's facets, it did strike me how heavily influenced I was by the reaction of the Coast Guard official on those tapes. Even though I have zero experience or knowledge of protocol in these situations beyond the pragmatic if romantic notion of not abandoning ship, I absorbed fully the outrage and disgust of an authority figure whose judgement and expertise I have no way to assess. Again, this situation is pretty clear, but there does seem to have been kind of a pan journalistic judgement to illustrate this man as a truly outsized toad and buffoon. Don't forget Amanda Knox.

CG96 said...

He 'stumbled and ended up in one of the lifeboats' ? To me, that is analogous to a rapist stating that he was walking down the sidewalk, when he slipped and his gonads ended up in a woman.

Or, a cheater, stating that she slipped and fell upon someone's gonads.

Ridiculous!

The Drill SGT said...

Snark said...
I absorbed fully the outrage and disgust of an authority figure whose judgement and expertise I have no way to assess.


Coast Guard operations vary from country to country. For example, there is no government Coast Guard in the UK. It's a charity. the Royal National Lifeboat institute (RNLI)

PS: my best friend is a Coastie Pilot (retired). Our Coast Guard has two motto's.

Official: Semper Paratus (Always Ready)

Unofficial: They say we got to go out. They don't say we gotta come back.

John Lynch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Lynch said...

Video!

Balfegor said...

Roman matrons used to say to their sons: "Come back with your shield, or on it." Later on, this custom declined. So did Rome.

I think Heinlein has the allusion wrong -- I believe it's from Plutarch's Moralia,, discussing the Spartans (haha, how typical of them). I was certain it was Tacitus describing the customs of the Germans, but oh well, I have learned something to-day.

rhhardin said...

He's a spaghetti captain.

EDH said...

Reminds me of George Costanza

Tim Wright said...

Oh my...Lord Jim...

Doesn't anyone read Conrad anymore?

Tim

Jose_K said...

I believe it was the Greeks, particularly the Spartans... you are right. it worked perfect for them . in the end there were only old men and women, educated but not enought to keep things going on and they perished

Jose_K said...

...Lord Jim.. no it is banned to avoid suicides. it is the most depressing work ever written. By the way, he attoned for his failures causing grieves among others in the process.. so basically in the end Conrad said he almost killed muslims , non died,and then caused the death of a innocent for regretting about that

Jose_K said...

Lord Jim is like the man in airplane telling his history and makin eveyone kiling themselves

Paul Brinkley said...

EDH: HA! Good catch. Watching that clip again, makes me haaaate George Constanza and at the same time looove Jason Alexander for portraying him so well - I mean, look at his expressions throughout that scene.... prime quality ham.

William said...

Every great disaster demands a scapegoat. All of the news coming out about this Captain is without exception just awful. This makes me suspect that they might be piling on. I wonder how a man this irresponsible and cowardly was able to achieve his position. If the news really is true--and perhaps it is--than the operators of the cruise line are the true villains for allowing him to attain such a position.....From what I've read, the first class passengers on the Titanic behaved,, for the most part, admirably. Cameron's movie makes them out to be a bunch of creeps. That's just not true.....The Titanic showed that the Edwardians put too much faith in progress and the safety of their moment. If you're looking for scapegoats, look to men and their hubris. Still, it's always more satisfying to pin the rap on rich people. The Titanic was a foreshadowing of the Gread War with its great massacres. That war was not caused by the greed of the munition manufacturers, but it gave many comfort to think so.

Greg Hlatky said...

"Hey, hold my Chianti and watch this!"

Paul said...

My history teacher in High School called the Italians the 'born losers' in WW2.

Could not get anything right. Even their rifles and pistols were crummy. Oswald, the born loser assassin, used one to murder our President.

The Romans today are not the same Romans 2000 years ago, just like the Greeks today sure ain't Spartans.

Sure hope the U.S.of A does better than that 500 years from now.

Christopher in MA said...

"Sure hope the US of A does better than that 500 years from now."

Actually, a more chilling thought is that our descendants look back on us as we look back on the Edwardians and say "boy, they were real men in those days."

**A p.s. about Guggenheim - although Cameron's movie makes him out to be a doddering old fool, he was a ruthless businessman as well as a gentleman. I do like the "go down like gentlemen" line, but he's also reported to have said "no woman on this ship is going to drown because Ben Guggenheim was a coward," which I find to be a good sentiment to buck yourself up with in a tense situation.