It’s now been over a week since Malaysian Air flight 370 disappeared, and no one has any information to give the desperate families, who have been terrorized further by the media during the worst days of their lives. The sad fact is: no one knows where on earth the Boeing 777-200 has gone. Presuming, of course, that it’s still on earth. Even that theory is as reasonable as all the others.
First, it was presumed to be in the South China Sea, then Palau Perak, a tiny island in the middle of the Malacca Strait which is barely long enough to accommodate a wide-body, then the Bay of Bengal, the Gulf of Thailand, and the Andaman Islands. A couple of the TV speculators even suggested North Korea, which is theoretically possible, but very unlikely. And a couple of wackos even came up with an alien abduction theory.
Other theories included lithium batteries; the two Iranians with fraudulent passports, who had flown into Malaysia on their own passports; the one Uighur on the plane; the co-pilot’s violation of all post-9/11 regulations and inviting two hotties into the cockpit hoping he’d get a taste of theirs. Those are each numbers on the spinning wheel.
I’d like to know why the entire passenger manifest weren’t immediately run through Interpol, FBI, FAA, NTSB, and DHS databases as soon as it was known there was something very wrong with this flight.
The pilot had the best home flight simulator I’ve ever seen, and I’ve flown flight simulators ever since the graphics were green on black. Everyone’s talked about the pilot’s computer, but today was the first time anyone entered his house. He could have run a remote access program and wiped his flight plans out, and then run bit-by-bit disk-cleaning utility numerous times. What the Malaysians did was stand outside the house, humming a happy tune. “We don’t allow that in Malaysia,” but they’ve been known to execute pot-smokers with less than an ounce of weed. They supposedly needed a reason to enter the homes. WTF were they waiting for?
The international intelligence community seem to believe the crew was in full charge, in which case everyone in the passenger cabin would have had to be immobilized, including the flight attendants. It would be totally unreasonable to believe the entire flight crew was aware of what was happening. It could be why they reportedly climbed to 45,000′, above the flight ceiling of a 777. But it doesn’t make any sense that the plane made it to 23,000′ in about the span of a minute, because this aircraft would have gone supersonic, and broken into pieces.
For every scenario, there seems to be a good reason to believe; but by the same token, there are reasons to debunk the scenario. Some of the actions of whomever was in control are still unexplainable. The flight changed direction and altitude at specific waypoints.
The latest theory is that the plane, which was thought to have only 7 hours of fuel — a lot less, practically, since the plane climbed to 45,000′ and then being pinged at 23,000′ and climbing back up to 35,000′ they’d be using too much fuel to stay in the air that long. But this 777-200 got over almost eight hours, despite their erratic flying and presumably spending valuable fuel doing so, and the plane was pinged either over the Himalayas, or southward towards Indonesia. No one claims to know how the plane’s last ping was to the northwest or to the south.
We could fill an NHL arena with 18,000 people, and probably find no two people whose theories are the same. For all we know, the alien abduction theory sounds as plausible as any. Does anyone know where Richard Dreyfuss has been for the last week?
After a bit more reflection on how/when to Kevork my Facebook account, I’ve decided that sometime on March 15th, I will completely obliterate it. If you would like to remain in contact, please feel free to leave a comment on my blog, which remains visible to me alone unless I physically publish it. Or, I created a FB Event to which you’ve all been invited.
I did this because most of you don’t get my posts on your newsfeed. I’m aware that some of my more religious/conservative friends don’t want all their friends and families to see the “7 Words You Can’t Say on TV” all over the place, and I respect that. I can be a brutally honest commentator when it comes to things about which I feel strongly — socio-political issues, pretty much. In fact, everything I care about, in one shape or another, is social or political. Another reason why my commentary sounds like I’m angry. Mostly, I am — mostly. However, I am considered a Top Commentator on Facebook, Newsvine, and Disqus, which must say something about the targets I pick and the attitude I have.
Aside from what I’ve said before about my decision to kill that account, I’ve been pretty damned disappointed with people I went to school with four decades ago, because more often than not, we have a short FB interaction, and then everything else *poof* stops. I’ll send a message and I get shit like “too busy” to read or reply, or I get nothing in return. But they post to Facebook every day without fail.
There are, in fact, only ten categories into which my 140 FB friends fall:
People I know from my K-12 years, or from the neighborhood. I only ever hear from or interact with just a couple of them – literally, and I value those friendships. Some of those friendships are even closer than they were back in the day. The rest of them just stumbled across me or I them, leading to sharing a common memory or two, and that’s about the end of things we have in common forty years later. In point of fact, I never really had anything in common with them – they were a group of assholes who, in great part, made my public school experience fucking miserable.
People I know from college. I’ve only connected with a few, but very few. Most of them don’t use Facebook or even have computers, for that matter. This is comprised of three or four guys from my college basketball team, and two guys from my college newspaper – my first editor, who now has a book in the libraries, and my photography editor. I love these guys.
People I’ve worked with. Except for an incredibly brave young woman from Shanghai who was my first and therefore my longest-term friend from the international transportation business (and who emigrated to Toronto with her family because, she told me, I introduced her to freedom and opportunity in the west), you can take the rest of them and tie them to a fish hook, whether they’re here in the Bellingham area, or in Denver. One “friend” in Denver whom I recently blocked was a woman who hadn’t replied to me in a month because she was too busy working two jobs. But she found time to go to Las Vegas (she and her father, with whom I also worked, are gambling addicts) and she has the time to post to Facebook every day. Therefore, I kevorked her by writing a simple “Buh-bye,” and immediately and permanently blocking her. As for them, I’m fighting PTSD from the abuse I took from management for almost fifteen years. The boss is an alcoholic and a philanderer; and he takes annual child-sex vacations in Costa Rica, because the weather’s better there than in Bangkok or Manila. And the hotels are cheaper. I traveled with him as rarely as humanly possible. Once, on a business trip to Long Beach, CA., he asked me if I would be into (sex with) a Japanese boy about nine years old. WTF???!!!
People in the media or politics. These are relationships I truly care about. Norman Goldman and I have virtually the same political views, were born in Brooklyn, went to a CUNY college, and knew some of the same politicians in Queens. Alan Boyle has one of the best jobs a journalist could possibly have: Science Editor for msnbc, and lives not too far south of me. Rude (as I refer to him) Pundit is one of the sharpest progressive commentators in the country, and has been a guest on numerous shows. One brilliant friend I met on Facebook was Postmaster-General of the U.S. under Bill Clinton. She and I share similar political views as well. There are a few others in addition to these four, but they’re the meat of the batting order.
Astronomy and NASA geeks. These are some of my most fascinating and well-educated friends, and I love every one of them, many of them are overseas. I met most of them when we attended the Juno launch in August 2012, or I was turned on to them by domestic NASA geeks. I truly love those people. We’re geeks of a feather.
Medical Marijuana friends. Fellow patients, activists, and proponents. What can I say about these friends? I love ‘em all.
Overseas friends. In Tunisia, The Philippines, Taiwan, and throughout Europe. Fascinating people, all of them, from vastly different cultures. My friend in Tunisia has taught me more about Islam, and I’ve taught her more about Judaism, than anyone I’ve ever known. One day she’ll be the secular president of her country, or whatever she wants to be. My friend in The Philippines is an incredibly talented astronomy geek, even though she doesn’t own a telescope. She is, however, a magician with her camera.
People I know from Washington state. Some of whom are the most fun people I’ve met west of the Hudson River. Some of them are also Medical Marijuana friends, or just friends who smoke up. It is legal in the Free State of Washington. A number of them were life-saving cardiac rehab therapists who helped me through one or both heart attacks I’ve had. One physical therapist who rehabilitated my replaced shoulder in 2003, 2005, and 2010. Some others are friends from the synagogue we attend. These people are pretty cool. I get their posts and they get mine. We exchange a lot of “Likes.” I hope to stay in touch with all of them.
Family. This is a tough one. Although both of my sons and I communicate using Facebook, and a few cousins who occasionally answer me back or comment on my posts, it’s seems like I’ve been standing there in the snow and knocking on an empty door. They all know how to contact me. My phone number is incredibly easy to remember because of the word it spells. Same with my cell.
People of like mind. This is probably the largest group, comprised of people who agree with me on my socio-political stance, and with animal lovers (including and especially cats, dogs, and dolphins), some of whom found me, some of whom I found myself. What a wonderful, diverse group of people. This group is comprised of people of all religions and ethnic groups, many of whom are overseas, but all of them care about many of the same things I do.
That’s about it for those ten categories, and that about covers all the pigeonholes my Facebook friends fit into. I don’t know what more to say, but I think I’ve said enough already. Which is why I leave this post open to comments — I’m interested in what people have to say. Other than that,
May Ceiling Cat be with you, srsly.
To my Facebook friends, family, and real-world friends, whether we’ve seen each other in the last 50-odd years or not:
I’ve become pretty tired of spending most of my days and too many nights looking through posts and articles and commenting on Facebook to the detriment of other, more productive things. For one, writing a novel based on some real-world experiences I’ve had overseas, specifically in China.
Recently, I’ve grown to hate Facebook, and I’d like to explain why, so maybe some of you who have been sitting on the fence as I was might identify with me and jump down on one side or the other.
Facebook creates attention deficit, unless you’ve already got a case of it. It’s like ESPN morphed itself into the post-9/11 CNN News ticker, and that morphed itself into Facebook’s news feed. It shows you what it calculates you might be interested in, and makes you physically choose to see things from all the friends whom you follow in the order in which they’re posted. They’re taking liberties, and it’s affecting your life, as well as mine. I’m fucking mad as hell, and I’m fucking not going to fucking take it anymore.
Can you tell I’m sick of it?
Another of Facebook’s sins is that it fosters digital pseudo-relations between people. Example: You now only have to click when Facebook reminds you it’s someone’s birthday. And then, in return for the favor, the bastards self-servingly give you the option to send a gift card from one of their sponsors to give it that little extra personal touch. Digitally, of course. But they’re sticking that digit right up your ass, and they’ve all got dirty, untrimmed fingernails.
OK, so Hallmark is an old medium, and between the cost of a card and a stamp, it’s five bucks per occasion. What’s more important is that you know the birthdays of people you really care about, and you either have their email addresses (lame) or phone numbers, so you can call them on your unlimited talk & text plan. This way they know they matter to you, and will hopefully extend the same courtesy when it’s your birthday.
You’ll notice if and when you see this post that I’ve begun purging my account by taking the time (before I wrote this) to manually delete as many of the pictures I’ve posted that Facebook will allow me to delete, including my profile and cover pictures.
I also deleted and/or blocked a couple of people about whom, under any circumstances, I didn’t give a fuck. So, if you’re reading this, I do value your friendship.
And as you can probably guess, I’m about to shit-can my Facebook account for all of the above reasons, and some others I haven’t mentioned, although at some point I might. However I’m taking feedback via PRIVATE MESSAGES ONLY, but only for the next week or month, or whenever I stop getting the private messages asking where/how I can be reached online.
I’ve got some details for who posted on PFT where, apparently, it didn’t get published, grumble, grumble.
*Have Avs Stanley Cup Champs locker room hat signed by Peter Forsberg. If you’re interested, message me via warrenlevine dot WordPress.com. If you’re in Sweden, you get a very special deal. ;)