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Jet Blue’s Crazy Pilot: What Is Our Model for Sanity?

April 06
14:30 2012
ADAM MICHAEL LUEBKE
Los Angeles

The Jet Blue pilot who terrorized a plane load of passengers and embarrassed his employer has been ordered by a federal judge to undergo a psychological exam. Capt Clayton Osbon will undergo testing to determine if he’s competent to stand trial for interfering with a flight crew.

It’s a bizarre charge since he was, after all, part of the flight crew. Except he was frothing at the mouth, shouting about Jesus, and terrorists, and Al Qaeda. Supposedly. The incident terrifies me. Osbon was speaking incoherently and becoming agitated as the plane zoomed higher into the sky. Did this guy “snap”? Go crazy? What does that even mean?


All we seem to have are phrases, like, he went nuts. I can’t help but feel ominous undertones in all of this. Maybe it’s the pressures of the world, and being barraged with a constant stream of negative messages — global war on terror, can we kill American citizens or detain them if they’re a threat in the president’s mind, Middle East massacres, Arab Spring revolution, Al Qaeda established everywhere, American air strikes in almost a dozen countries, no more money for education or job creation, a collapsing economy, printing money for Wall Street, threat of Iran getting a nuclear weapon, Israel’s afraid and going to take the first strike, Christianity is under attack, more need to attack Islam, and so on.

Maybe it’s too much for folks, and slowly, one by one, we’re all going to succumb to the pressures of a collapsing civilization, where the criminals create and pay for their own criminals so they can wage war against them and fund both sides. A civilization where corporate and government propaganda go hand-in-hand. Maybe many more of us will begin mouth frothing and revert to primal phrases of “things just don’t matter”. How far away are we from breaking down in despondency and curling into a corner and mumbling or shouting about terrorists.

OUR MODEL FOR SANITY

How are medical officials going to determine if Osbon is sane to stand trial? Who are our models of sanity, anyway? The head of the United Nations? Barack Obama? Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein? At least he’s always got a smile on his face. He thinks he’s sane. And he’s extremely rich, and so what if his institution owned 16 percent of a company used for underage sex trafficking?

I’ll be interested in hearing what psychologists say about this flight captain. Perhaps they’ll deem him saner than our president, or the administration before him. At least this pilot completely buckles under pressure. He’s got a heart and soul. He’s human, the psychologists might say.

Kind of like the jerk off creator of the Kony buzz. He went nuts. Too much pressure. Everybody was looking at him, telling him he was nothing more than a Sesame Street propagandist. He then got naked, jumped out in traffic, slapped the pavement with his hands, and jerked off in public.

It’s all about how we handle our stress.

But look at our president. Why isn’t he frothing at the mouth and stammering about terrorists under his bed, or the cluster of wide-eyed ghosts of children whose bodies were blown apart by Tomahawk missile strikes? Why hasn’t he been caught masturbating on the lawn of the White House. Not that it’s illegal for the president, but it’s a risky PR move. If holding cool under the ruthless guilt and pressure of killing children is considered sanity, and it doesn’t force you on your knees in absolute despair, then maybe that’s our model by which to judge.

When you speak out about predator drone attacks killing civilians, or the gratuitous violence in Iraq and Afghanistan, you’re seen as a little bit crazy. What kind of American worries about that stuff?

So who is our model for sanity? And from where do we take our standards? Is Capt Osbon coherent now? Is he back on track? Was he on drugs? Did he lose his home? Did his wife leave him? I don’t know, but as our country continues on this global warpath, and forces us to cut back on programs that promote health and education and prosperity for those without means of achieving it, we’re going to see more of this irrational, unexplained behavior.

Peoples’ heads are going to explode as they walk down the sidewalk or drive home from work or the welfare office, while the perpetrators behind our failing country, who have the most blood on their hands, seem cool as cucumbers.

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