Friday Firesmith – The Fallen Giants

John McCain was a driven man even before he decided to be a fighter pilot. He seemed to be a man of destiny after he survived five and a half years of torture and prison. Yet he was also a man who strayed early and often from his vows of marriage, and his second wife was a mistress before they were wed. McCain’s children had issues accepting this, and you should too, but only to a degree. McCain was flawed, I’ve said that before, but we all are in some way. McCain’s flaws were just more public than most.

The internet in general, and now the ubiquitous and omnipresent video camera, make the world a less private place. Once, I was singing in my truck in the parking lot of a store and I realized a young woman had her cell phone pointed at me. Can you imagine being on YouTube as “Old Guy Singing Maroon 5 Horribly!” It’s the world we live in now. Children are growing up in a world where everything they say and do, likely, is being recorded.

People like McCain aren’t going to exist anymore. The one thing you might not know about John McCain is that he could be loud, abrasive, and profane. I was like that early in my life, but I took a job that had a Human Resources Department and they had Sensitivity Training twice a year. The supervisors that once pushed people hard, and got results, were replaced by very polite people who asked employees to do their jobs, if it wasn’t too much trouble.

I’m not saying that supervisors have to be abusive or harsh to do a good job, but if you’re training for combat I would recommend that you not tell a platoon, “Buckle up, Kittens!”

In December of 1944, a surprise attack by Nazi forces against an American line depleted by soldiers on leave and by the idea the Germans were beaten, was nearly broken. One hundred miles away, George Patton and the Third Armor Division stopped fighting, wheeled hard to the north, and closed on the attacking Germans in less than three days.

Patton’s nature was to be profane. How he got that many men and that much equipment that far that fast has created legends and more than one movie.

Yet Patton was a man whose career was nearly ended because he slapped a soldier.

Great Times produce Great People. These are not those times, and we are producing fewer people who could be a Patton, or a McCain, or a Martin Luther King, Jr. The times are too good for there to be a Malcolm X, or a Gandhi. There is no place for an Elizabeth I or Harriet Tubman.

As we see others judged by how they appear in the most recent video, or one from a decade ago, we modify our behavior to keep from falling victim to the All-Seeing Internet. We’re training people, and our next generation of leaders, to expect judgment, and to issue judgment, and there is no room for the mistakes that lead to learning experiences that lead to greater things.

We’re weeding out the giants. We’ve become a nation of unforgiven and flawed people who are unwilling to allow personal mistakes to be part of the past. I think this is the path to times when we will need Great People once again, and we will have to trust none of them were caught singing poorly in public.

Take Care,

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

23 thoughts on “Friday Firesmith – The Fallen Giants”

  1. Having flaws is part of being human. To go through life and not admit to oneself of their flaws is, well, deeply psychologically wrong. To admire someone and never admit to their flaws says more about the admirer than the admired. Both cases speak to extreme insecurities among their many problems. Becoming a YouTube meme isn’t always great, but to be able to laugh at oneself at embarrassing situations can show as much character than dealing with difficult situations. It’s the ones who use those situations against the victim, to berate and mock them, who lack character.

    BTW, kittens have sharp as fuck claws.

    • Churchill was a drunk. Elizabeth I was notoriously blood thirsty when it came to internal politics. Jefferson kept slaves and handled money very poorly. The list goes on and on. Lesser people have the same issues but it’s never a part of history until someone gets famous. I’m not condoning any of the things that I’ve mentioned, but at the same time, he who is without sin cast the first negative comment.

  2. McCain cared about himself and only himself. He was a back stabbing piece of shit. Staying at the Hanoi Hilton does not constitute being a prisoner of war.
    You are confusing the truth with what the MSM is telling you.

    • Ken,
      I have no idea who MSM might be. Needless to say, you and I are going to disagree on this one. The “Hanoi Hilton” was a nickname for the POW prison near that city, not an actual hotel or motel. It was a filthy hole from which few men emerged unbroken. Clearly, you have no knowledge of what happened there, where this place was, or who had been there. I recommend you do some reading on the subject. Your opinion on McCain aside, I have no idea what you’re talking about there, and perhaps I should do some research, but damn, dude.

        • MSM = myth

          Nearly all media is corporate owned and in being so, does not report news in the public interest. It only presents information that benefits itself.

          Anyone who does not recognize this is severely deluded.

  3. Complacency is the enemy, not people who try to rally us to do better. A general malaise makes us suspect of anyone who stands out. We should be trying to figure out whether the standouts are good or bad instead of just destroying them without… oh look, a kitten video.

  4. In terms of since time began, the internet is young, it is a baby. Yet, for all the good things about it, the learning, the reconnecting with friends, making new ones, etc, never before have we had anything as capable which captures and brainwashes gullible minds. It can ruin lives with one sided cruel narratives by sites that are able to afford big bucks to have them published. Social media trolls can be responsible for suicides.
    How can we produce ‘great’ people when their distracters publish their scandalous opinions of past misdemeanors, and convincing people they don’t deserve any accolades for whatever good they may have done or doing.
    But there are great people, the you’s and the me’s who do have flaws, but do the right thing by their families and friends. We have parents and relatives who were great people, who served and often died fighting for freedom. Beauty may be in the eyes of the beholder, but so is greatness.

    • So, we’re done with the Hanoi Hilton thing, Ken? Okay, this from the site you cited, “The fact checking website PolitiFact, quoting other U.S. prisoners of the Vietnamese, rated the claims “Pants on Fire” wrong.” What your site tell me is that the claims made against McCain are wrong. Don’t get me wrong here. I’m not doubting that your friend had a bad experience with McCain. But I’ve already agreed with you he was a flawed human being. I get that. Being a flawed human being doesn’t negate what he went through or what he did.

      I think you and I are closer to agreeing than you think.

  5. There are things in some people’s past that would be near impossible to forgive. But there are things done during the teenage years, under duress or in times of personal mental agony that definitely would be best forgotten. But people tend to blur those lines and enjoy belittling others for simple past mistakes, transgressions or learning experiences.
    No, according to many who live to ridicule others, a person who is in the midst of developing some amazing skill is prime fodder for a “Fail” video. Why? Has the videographer ever tried anything so complex? Did he/she expect that person to go from novice to expert without making a mistake? Why do people so enjoy other people’s pain? I’m thinking it’s a result of insecurity about themselves. But an error made by another does not make one a better person.
    There are situations that call for a tough, structured and unforgiving boss (Patton) and places where an understanding, encouraging and more flexible supervisor would get the best results (in an office). Sometimes in daily practice, people misunderstand what ‘flexibility’ means and simply become a pushover. That does no one any good.
    There are still many opportunities for people to rise up to become Great! It may be harder to see past the lens of those trying to tear that person down, but history will recognize their amazing deeds. We need to stop giving an audience to trolls and haters and start encouraging the good that we see in others. Good article, Mike ! 😀

  6. The archangel Michael said to Daniel: “…shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.” – Daniel 12:4. Indeed, what used to take literally eons to inform the general public of indiscretions perpetrated by those we regard as our ‘leaders’ are now dispensed at lightning speed thanks to the information superhighway we refer to as the internet. Thus it should come as no surprise that, given a modicum of time, we can know more about said ‘leaders’ than many of us would care to know. And, as a result, opinions regarding that increase of ‘knowledge’ are all over the map in this ‘time of the end’. What we more than likely need is a ‘time out’ to again stop and smell the roses before someone quickly informs us that rose stems are covered with thorns?

  7. Judge Brett Kavanaugh is being vilified for an act that may or may not have occurred 40 years ago. Simple assault. A single act. Not a series or a pattern. No witnesses and no other accusers. No proof.

    • More accusers have come forth and a witness who refuses to speak to the FBI on the issue (probably because lying to the FBI is a crime). Doing so could clarify the “may or may not” issue.

      The woman in the pro-Kavanaugh commercials, Louisa Garry, rescinded her endorsement and issued a statement saying she doesn’t want to refute the women who have come forward.

  8. Jim Walters, that is exactly why an FBI investigation needs to be conducted. If he is innocent, logic says he would welcome such an investigation to clear his name. If Kavanaugh were innocent, Mark Judge would be willing to testify. Logic says the woman making the accusation, and asking for the investigation, appears more truthful than the Judge. Simple assault. Really? That comment suggests you do do not have a woman in your life who has been sexually assaulted. If you do have such a woman, ask HER if that is a “simple assault”. Dr. Ford has been forced to leave her home due to death threats. Heck, you might know several women who have been sexually assaulted, but for their own reasons, they have not been able to make the assault public. But I doubt they were threatened to be killed.

    • Paul in St. A. If I could give 10 thumbs up, I would, but one is all Jonco allows 🙁
      Simple assault is something that happens when an immature person is so angered by another that he/she slaps them in a moment of frustration. There is no forethought or opportunity to think of consequences.
      Sexual assault involves one person having absolutely no respect for the feelings, needs, security or integrity of the other person. There is definite intent, regard only for the wants of the perpetrator and a willingness to dismiss the consequences.
      One is a momentary loss of control. The other involves imposing complete control. Almost anyone could commit simple assault. It takes a mean, selfish and brutal bully who feels a sense of superiority to engage in sexual assault. One is forgivable. The other is not.

  9. Assault or not, he committed perjury several times and should not even be on the court he currently resides.

    (Not meant to dismiss the assault charges, just saying he’s an ass regardless.)


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