Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Those Who Flee in Their Underwear

The terrible tragedy in South Korea in which hundreds of people, many of them school children, were killed when their ferry sank took a bizarre turn this past week when images surfaced of the ship's captain - in his underwear - fleeing the sinking ship and abandoning the drowning passengers.

There have been a number of articles written and stories broadcast since then about whether or not it's a captain's duty to "go down with his ship," as did the captain of the Titanic. There are legal issues involved that deal with salvage rights, but there are far more important moral issues ... a ship's captain is responsible for everything that happens on his vessel, and the protection of the people who have placed themselves in his hands in the expectation of safe transport is first among them. By any measure - legal or moral - the captain of the South Korean ferry behaved in an utterly despicable fashion, abandoning his passengers to save himself ... and ensuring that he will always be remembered as the man who fled his duty in his underwear.

I think that this provides a useful metaphor for those who shamelessly abandon their responsibilities and act in a completely amoral and self-serving fashion.

Wall Street bankers and traders ran away in their underwear from the economy they helped to destroy ... and not a one of them went to jail or suffered anything worse than a government bailout. World leaders have fled in their underwear from Syria and Ukraine. Hard-core gun advocates flee in their underwear from the effects of their single-minded focus on absolute gun rights and avoidance of responsibility for the carnage on our streets. Congress flees in its underwear from its responsibility to deal rationally and forthrightly with the nation's problems. And a person I once thought I knew, trusted, and even loved not only ran in his underwear from his responsibilities to his wife and family, but sees nothing at all wrong with his reprehensible behavior and thinks his fecal material smells like Chanel Number 5.

Accept your responsibilities. Don't be remembered as the one who ran away in your underwear.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.



eViL pOp TaRt said...

Such an apt metaphor for those who flee responsibility, especially when they assumed that role. I think also of the Captain of the Costa Concordia who left his sinking vessel while passengers were still on board.

Also, how about the academic administrators who seem to downplay the occurrence of rape on their campuses, even referring to it as "nonconsensual sex."

And the polluters!

KathyA said...

Ah, deep stuff for a rainy day. And you are so right...

Duckbutt said...

Now he's a sad sack of s---.

Oh good; Captcha seems to be working now.

Grand Crapaud said...

What a sad tragedy it was for the teens and their families. This guy will have to live with it, like Lord Jim.