Steady Boys Steady

Steady Boys Steady

Now that Captain Trump is at the controls of the Good Ship USA many expect    Titanic type  disasters to be hit at regular intervals. Maybe. But help is at  hand. Tom Hanks who has saved Private Ryan and many others has now stepped up to enact the Miracle on the Hudson. Directed by that hired gun of All American Values, Clint  Eastwood the film(see link) is not only a “real life drama” but a hymn to the triumph of Yankee Can Do. More a dick than a chick flick.

All good stuff with nasty bureaucrats trying to debase the “I haven’t had a drink for nine  years” hero with suggestions that he may have goofed rather than created a miracle. The film is an air crash procedural with angles from air traffic, late arriving passengers, New York ferrymen, guys in the bar and of course the wife.

He phones ,she phones, they tell  how much they love each other, an unhealthy number of times. Strange women run up and hug and kiss the good Captain, but he just phones the wife again.

But he is the last off the sinking plane. He agonises over every passenger. Before he leaves, the officer and gentleman that he is , goes back into the cockpit to retrieve his jacket. He knows  that the TV cameras are waiting, he  must look the part. My favourite cigarette brand, Rothmans, used a pilot  as its hero de fume, for a good reason. Cool, masculine, responsible, understated, decisive,the real thing.

The part was of course written by Captain Smith of the Titanic. Rather than take a scarce place on a lifeboat,this son of Hanley in the Staffordshire Potteries exhorted his officers to Be  British(OMG) and was last seen waist deep on the bridge.

Later a statue to Smith was created by Kathleen Scott, widow of the Antarctic hero. Hanley was too ashamed  to take it, so the statue now is in the grounds of Lichfield cathedral.

But if the good folk of Hanley had  second thoughts about Captain Smith,the cotton weavers of   Colne Lancashire came out for violinist Wallace Hartley. Legend has it that he was  playing “Nearer My God To Thee” as the liner went down. In 1912 five brass bands escorted his body to the  cemetery,that day the mills stopped working and 1000 crammed into the Methodist chapel. Americans may do miracles, we prefer disasters.




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