Wednesday, 1 April 2015


There is an awful, dark asymmetry to this, this is not what is supposed to happen,  the man supposed to make people safe instead making them dead; a cautionary re-balancing, this, of the mythology surrounding the pilot; the man who is supposed to pull back, Hollywood-style, on the Great Joystick of Life  instead pushing forward, down into rocky Death's  shattering impediment.

  Brazenly defying the conventions which keep modern life airborne, Andreas Lubitz mocks us all. Where now our safety regulations double and triple-locked, where now our back-up systems, failure-proofed, our cut-outs and our over-rides, our sensors and detectors? Smashed, in a million pieces of wire and plastic and aluminium, mingled and fused with limbs and heads and eyes and entrails, that's where they are, scattered all over Mutiny's mountainside.

And the gob-experts, les aviateurs scientifique, the black-boxers,  the industry insiders, the security experts, in-ruling  nothing  and out-ruling nothing, regiments of grey John Majors, gobbing cliche and dribbling platitude;  like the poor, they are always with us. It's a caravan, now, of fat ladies singing, moving from accident to outrage to  shooting-down to disappearance, gobbing for all its worth, it ain't over 'til it's over. 

Well, Herr Lubitz caught them all out; not a terrorist but a nutter on the flight deck, not too many experts in applied pilot craziness studies. But there will be. 
Next time, imagine, 

 this is Kay Bully here for you 
with skymadeupnewsandfilth at the top of the hour,

and in a moment we'll be talking to Professor Barrington Jibber, a leading expert in Jilted John Suicidal Pilot Studies at the University of Cradley Heath.  It seems, Professor Jibber, that it's not so much the fucking terrorists we have to guard against, it's achelly  the fucking pilots.  

I mean, there was that fucking dope of a captain on the Air France crash in the Atlantic, he fucked-off for a kip, leaving the teaboy at the wheel, is it a wheel, a handlebar, a stick, right, a stick, woddever, right at the most dangerous time in the flight;  God knows what happened to that Malaysian plane, the one  that just disappeared like the Marie Wotsaname, did it disappear, fuck knows, I'm just a journalist, something odd happened to that ship, anyway  but the AirPineapple 'plane, the  smart money is on someone in the cockpit being responsible;  and there was that Hermann the NutterGerman, last time, flew every bastard into a fucking mountain at the speed of sound. We all know what the Germans are like, I mean, look at them the wrong way and they start a world war;  this bloke, he was probably poking at his turds that morning, like they do, the Hermanns, with a stick, checking that his Camillas were working properly, maybe found a piece of undigested sauerkraut and thought, Ach, Gott in Himmel, meine arsche, it ist kaput, all must die, ist better zat all perish zan zat I live mit meine arsche all fucked-up, Heil Hitler.  
What's it all coming to, professor? 

I mean, am I safe to fly to Miami for my Spring Break, 
or what?

Well, Kay, that's an interesting question and all I can say, as the world's leading authority on the Jilted John Aeronautical Consequentials thing, is that at this stage we can rule nothing in and nothing out but we will know more when we know more, jibber, jibber, jibber, jibber......

That was Professor Wotsit,  there,  sharing his insight with us, stay tuned,  after the break - Is Ed Miliband a paedophile, our political editor, Adam Lard, reviews the evidence.......

It is a frightful Journey'sEnd to contemplate and while one would hope to sit Zen-quietly in such final moments, hoping that instantaneous meant what it said - split-second oblivion - it is more likely, of course,  that one would scream and swear and pray and bite and shit and it is this dreadful imagining with which Andreas Lubitz has slapped us in the face. Just imagine, being on that 'plane;  the captain locked-out, ranting, banging on his own door and a nutter at the wheel.

The community and national leaders were all as banal and shamelessly opportunistic as you would expect, Frankie Cock, Angie Hausfrau and that Dago prime minister, all  pulling their mourning faces and flying to Mont Mutinee, as though their presence meant anything.  

Ve must punish ze Greek partisans.
Do you want for me to get out mon cock grande et chaude, cherie, an' we 'ave some ooh la la, 'ere, on ze mountainside?
Ole, Ole, viva Espana.

They all do it; here, in Scotland, best part of England, Gnasher Sturgeon did it in Glasgow, before Christmas, 

when a bin lorry mowed down some shoppers; all preachy and know-it-all, Gnasher gave us the SNP's uniquely Scottish view on road traffic accidents, more sincere and meaningful that that of those discredited, scaremongering Westminster parties, the horrid, repulsive little cow. Tragedy, anyway, the politicians best photo-opportunity, fawts'n'prayers; CallHimDave, he must spend his every spare minute finkin' and prayin' his scabby arse off for people he never heard of before; must be sick as a parrot that he couldn't muscle-in on Mont Mutinee.  
The headteacher at the school affected, he was like all headteachers in the Western world,  when a pupil dies;
the deceased kids were all extremely popular, loved by all, destined for great careers, the school will never recover.  I don't know what he'd do if there was a fucking war on, like in Syria. And the wretched pupils, hamming it up for the cameras -  I just so can't believe it, that Gunther and Hildegard are dead, I have told all my followers on Twitter and stuff and they're all just in bits 4 me.

 Television has led us to this, everybody now mourns on cue. I blame Diana, if she'd kept her trap shut maybe she wouldn't have suffered that mysterious accident and grieving for the cameras might not have become a global pastime.  Diana, the Clintons, Geldof, a maelstrom of counterfeit emotion into which so many have been pulled, never to swim free, eternally drowning in fawts'n'prayers.

Everybody's been feasting, apart from the pastor of Lubitz's  village quietly distinguishing himself,

 Andreas and his family are ours, he said, living the Gospel which sustains him, we love them and pray for them. 

 Here, in Ruin's vain and greedy land,  Soham's lickspittling, cowardly cleric, Tim Alban Jones,
The Reverend Media Slag demonstrates Ruin's progress, waving a bauble he accepted merely for doing his Saviour's bidding,  his job; well, part of his job, not the hard part, the loving the sinner part, he didn't do that part.

  reading from the Gospel according to the Daily Mail, Tim  had no Christian words for the soul of the media-accursed Ian Huntley. His cowardice got him a medal down here, from Ruritania plc,   but I don't know what his Heavenly Father will make of him, even less than do I, probably, if that's possible.

I really admired the Kraut cleric, for saying what he did.

  I fly a few times a year, on those rusty, old, thirty-seat LoganAir Saabs,  ancient prop engines banging and thumping, exhaust fumes  pouring from them,

half- and three-quarter-hour flights to Inverness and Aberdeen and I always wonder why the pilots are done-up like admirals of the fleet from a comic opera,

 all shiny, 

in brilliant white shirts 
and peaked caps, ring after ring of gold braid on their sleeves;  you don't get that Ruritanian chic on a train driver although  he can be responsible for many more lives than the pilots of these  old nails. It must be - the costumery, the fancy dress, the militaria - to reassure the air passengers that their lives, more important than those of travellers on the smelly old Virgin train,  are safely in the hands of, well, people like Admiral James Tiberius Kirk.

No, viewers, the gold braid, it really does prevent crashes. 
And the epaulettes.
No yourself, Jim, jeans and tee-shirt'd be much safer.

mr mike  informed us recently that in Australia doctoring is demystified and the medic is looked upon as just another service provider, like a plumber or a mechanic;  quite shocking, really, to those of us who still timidly venerate those in what we formerly called the professions - everybody, now, instead of decent wages, receives the nomenclature of professional; professional lorry drivers,  extremely professional police constables, professional fast food operatives, all, now,  professionals with careers, not jobs. And with colleagues where once they had workmates. The proper pros, the doctors, the lawyers, though, still manage to lord it over the rest of us,  and  the para-professionals, like the pilots, especially, try to do so,  with the gold braid and the Micky Mouse captaincies and the This Is Your Captain Speaking speech.  Maybe if his captain had been less the professional and more the service-provider he'd have noticed that Andreas wasn't the full pfennig.  I don't know how professional it is, anyway, being locked out of your cockpit and dying, screaming along  with all your helpless passengers; not very, I suggest.  

It is part of the rigidly-segregated-yet-all-in-it-together shit lie beloved of our masters;  the rich man in his castle, the poor man at his gate, God made them high and lowly and orders their estate, Zero hours for one and a million pounds bonus for another;  that's the way God planned it.

And  the world goes around driven by the impellers of divided labour and the alienation of each from his neighbour;  the professional and below him the hard-working families and below them the loafers and the niggers and the disabled. If you live in Scotland it's all that lot AND the fucking English to blame for you not owning a ten-thousand acre loch-side estate. Divide and rule, makes the world go round.

Andreas Lubitz's murderous mutiny - and the words of his pastor - hint at a different truth; one of which  mr mongoose reminded 
  us recently,  a salvation maxim from before-before - if you see your neighbour carrying something, help him with his load.

 Nobody helped young Andreas and so he helped himself, harvesting a hundred and forty-nine others, en route  not to their destination but to his.  Maybe he hid his turmoil where none viewing informally could see and I misjudge his associates but even if he did you would expect there to be some employer-devised supervisory health and safety procedure aimed at unearthing such conditions. Some, typically,  are enraged that lawnforcement sees his action as manslaughter and not murder, as if he could yet be punished;  to rage at him, however, is to miss the point, again and again and again.  Feasting thus, as he intended, we become accessories ourselves, after the fact;  feasting thus we are all become Tim Alban Jones, Kelvin McKenzie in a dog collar, whimpering, whistling in the dark, pissing in the wind.

It is probably naive and foolish to suggest, as I do, that a less brutal, more neighbourly and informal approach towards each other would prevent this sort of thing, the US high-school massacres, the spontaneous mass murders on our own streets, the crazy pilot siezeing control but even if it didn't I can't help but feel that overall things might improve.  Gnasher, however, and Ed and Dave  and Nick and Sid and Caroline, together with skymadeupnewsandfilth are doing their very best to persuade us that hatred of each other is the only way, is actually fun, entertaining and worth every penny we pay for it, hectored and coralled, bullied and kettled, spied upon and lied-to, strangers, in a strange land.

Maybe, after all, there is some symmetry, some reciprocity  in the Germanwings falling-from-the-sky event,  maybe, for an increasing number,  the pilots are losing their grip, the Rewards of Obedience their lustre.


Bungalow Bill said...

Brilliant. I agree with you about the German Pastor. We are, as you say, losing ourselves inexorably to the dark Gods. Soul-destroyed and soul-destroying people like Andreas, the tragic fucker, are the terrible result.

If we are going to be saved it will indeed be because of people like this Lutheran with his media-unfriendly faith and love.

Great writing thanks.

Alphons said...

If the worlds leaders (political and religious) do not give a shit about human life how do we expect lesser mortals to behave???

Mike said...

Yes, the Lutheran pastor bravely risked ordure to speak his faith, but when I saw him I immediately imagined him commanding a tiger tank.

call me ishmael said...

I did read, in an authentic memoir by an early member of the LRDG, that Rommel and his crews were the most chivalrous of warriors, mr mike, but I also read that tank regiments in Europe and Russia were quite the opposite.

I am beguiled by the idea of the warrior-priest but I suspect he is a creature of fiction, unless, of course, this Lutheran is one and I am just too stupid to see it.

Mike said...

I've mentioned before my old man was 5 years fighting in N Africa & thought the Germans were the best (in the military sense) troops, with the South Africans a close second. War on the eastern front was an entirely different matter, as you say.

mongoose said...

It is a wonder, I think, not that it happens but that it happens so seldom. Any damaged Joe, as you say, Mr Ishmael, a coach or train driver could do similar but they don't - not very often. At least I hope that they have not been doing. And the definition surely of a personal disarray to be pitied rather than pilloried is that you go to your death and take another 150 with you. Why? Is it so that it "means" something because the suicide doesn't? He didn't but they did? I don't know but the poor sod has carved himself a fifteen minute niche of infamy up on that desolate mountainside.

An engineer writes: can it be that difficult BTW in this world of about-to-be-driverless cars hurtling about to have automatic over-ride when terrain warnings happen or approach? If a tube train drives itself, why doesn't a plane? (And they do.) Two fingerprints needed to do X outside of the filed flight plan or normal response to events and environment. Or the plane goes to the nearest airport and lands. And damn fule could write the software.

The Engineer's Friend writes: the something-must-be-done over-reaction syndrome is the political equivalent of hard cases make bad law. One loon goes tonto and shoots a bunch of kids and all UK firearms are banned. A few loons go religio-political-tonto one day and invade some flight decks with box cutters in their paws and we barricade flight decks and, oh.

Caratacus said...

Best commentary on this sad episode I've read so far. Many thanks.

Agree about the pastor. My stock response when people bang on about how religion guides people toward goodness and morality (apart from 'bollocks') is that good men are inherently good despite their religion, not because of it.

call me ishmael said...

Asked, recently, about the development of AI so far, Clive Sinclair responded that it was shit - why aren't there robot surgeons in every operating theatre? And when you think that we can develop robots to perform precise experiments on Mars, Sinclair must be right. The reason we don't have robo-sawboneses, I told him, through the screen of celebrity, is the doctors, that is the last thing they'd want, mr mongoose. It will be the same with the air captaincy, a thoroughly reactionary bunch, all Norman Tebbits, they would declare that any reduction in their own importance would be inimical to public safety. It's the Tory party with an enhanced bloodlust, BALPA.

call me ishmael said...

It is a hard call, king caratacus, judging the Godly. Chad Varrah, before founding the impertinent Samaritans, produced a device to enable an armless, young, former airman to masturbate. That's as Godly as life gets, I do believe.

Doug Shoulders said...

The mere fact that celebs like gnasher and Cameron turn up wringing their hands in bogus platitudes…I wonder how many takes they do to get it right…
I’m surprised the pastors point of view was given airtime. The sentiment doesn’t belong in the world we live in these days.

walter said...

Mr ishmael, I get the news from your blog and several others,I do not posses a telly
and thank you very much for your efforts, On the aviation front i have several radio controlled models, but the most interesting bit of kit ive got is a flight controller
or an auto pilot if you like, you can program it put in flight parameters, waypoints etc
autonomous flight at your disposal, cost including gps £130, So i imagine airlines
must have very sophist icated autopilots so im a sceptic about plane crashes
Rolls royce apparently monitor their engines in real time from derby, so surely
the airlines must do something similar with their autopilots,At the moment i,m
babysitting a jack russel, a springer spaniel, 3 hens and a cooking fat, A t least the hens
provide breakfast

Anonymous said...

In the first day or two afterwards, the PR spinning was giddy with cynical haste: someone from the (or an) airline pronounced that passengers would have had no idea what was happening until the very last moment - I was only half paying attenton to the radio on in the kitchen at the time but that snapped me right back to: how the fuck do you know that? Oh, yeah, hang on - it's an insurance calculation: the longer the horror endured by each imminent corpse, the bigger the compensation package to each bereaved relative. Might something similar be going on with the rush to label the young pilot nuts? Cheaper than mechanical/systematic catastrophe? (A friend says he read about a French pilot familiar with the plane in question claiming that the cockpit would be too noisy for the headset-dependent voice-recorder to pick up anything much in the way of ambient sound; he was also skeptical about the "relaxed breathing" claims.)


Mark said...

Andreas Lubitz loved his passengers - in fact he luvedEm2Bits.
As to the public weeping it reminds me of how Andy Murray has managed to wrap himself with the weeds of the Dunblane massacre (he was there at the time, so fair enough perhaps).
I don't suppose that we will ever get to the bottom of who signed the firearms certificate application for for Thomas Hamilton - but I don't suppose it really matters.

call me ishmael said...

I feel about cynicism the way that Tatler people feel about money - you can never have too much of it.
I am quite prepared, therefore, mr verge, to believe the very worst of airline proprietors, isn't one of them Richard Branson, the famous Caribbean brothel-keeper?

In the documentaries about the Air France crash the authorities were pushing that Oh, they wouldn't have known about it line, it was a long flight, they would have been asleep; more honest heads said, Bollocks to that, of course they knew about it, the airframe noise of that descent would have woken all aboard. The Germanwings flight was a short haul, in broad daylight, unlikely that many would have slept and the captain yelling his head off would have woken any who did. No matter, the airline and their insurers will pull any stunt to minimise their costs and they will have, on their boards, to tutor them in evasion, their national equivalents to filth like Blair and Blunkett and Reid and Straw.

call me ishmael said...

No, mr mark, Dunblane does matter. There is the possibility that the perp was known to and endorsed by a minister of the Crown who was surprisingly air-lifted from MediaMinster, out of the way to Brussels as news filtered out. That the papers have been sealed for a hundred years, against the wishes of the bereaved, is monstrous criminal conspiracy. We must, at the very least, continue to complain about George Robertson and his chums.

Mark said...

Georgie-porgie tends to get a bit litigious about any mention of his name in this context.

Anonymous said...

Well, he would do wouldn't he?

call me ishmael said...

The families of those murdered want the papers opened, it is only an establishment, deeply tainted by paedophilia, which wants them buried. Fatso Robertson should come forward and explain the nature, if any, of his relationship with Thomas Hamilton. Nothing to hide, nothing to fear.

tdg said...

Not sympathy but easier suicide would have prevented this; he took others on his last journey not because he needed the company but because no other means was to hand. Public phoneboxes are dying for a new purpose, why not give them the purpose of dying, comfortably delivered by helium inhalalation. No public health intervention could ever spare more suffering.

Alphons said...

Blogger call me ishmael said...

No, mr mark, Dunblane does matter. There is the possibility that the perp was known to and endorsed by a minister of the Crown who was surprisingly air-lifted from MediaMinster, out of the way to Brussels as news filtered out. That the papers have been sealed for a hundred years, against the wishes of the bereaved, is monstrous criminal conspiracy. We must, at the very least, continue to complain about George Robertson and his chums.

As far as I know all that needs to be known is already known. How and why and by whom etc. The big stumbling block seems to be the law protecting the establishment.

call me ishmael said...

That did occur to me, mr tdg, and it may be the case but what little I knew of him led me to believe that the means was indivisible from the end, even though the deaths of the passengers may well have been coincidental, I think it was dying as a pilot which mattered more to him than the death toll.

The wider point, about the relative ease of suicide, is worth discusscusscussing.

call me ishmael said...

That is what the law is for, mr alphons, to protect the governors from the governed but there is stuff, documents and recorded oral evidence, placed beyond scrutiny; Scotland is very good at that sort of thing, at its own behest or that of MefiaMinster.

call me ishmael said...

No shame, anyway, in sympathy; John Donne wasn't lying.

SG said...

Your reflections, and those of the Pastor, seem apposite Mr I but I feel we should leave this place of sorrow and continue the journey down the road...

call me ishmael said...

Just gathering my thoughts, mr sg, as the nation chooses between its own would-be pilots.

walter said...

Boeing Honeywell ‘Uninterruptible’ Autopilot System.

Bungalow Bill said...

To distract from these griefs, there is a Monteverdi programme on BBC 2 tonight at 9.00 with Simon Russell Actor. Don't know if its a repeat or if it'll be any good but may be worth a look.

SG said...

Pilots? More like a pair of crash test dummies...

SG said...

I know I said we should leave this place but as a final thought, your observations regarding the gold braidiness etc. of pilots and and the comparative safety of jeans n' tee shirts reminded me of this for some reason or other (I'm fucked if I know)...

Dick the Prick said...


Flaxen Saxon said...

Bugger me, Ishmael- brevity does not abide in you. But you made me chortle all the same. You forgot to mention Rudolph Hess who flew to Scotland in 1941 leaving the Fuhrer with a barely comprensible conundrum. Shame he didn't take the leader's dog Blondie, thus saving her from cyanide poisoning in 1945. The British are kind to their animals but not to their political leaders.

call me ishmael said...

I know, I start, always, courting Brevity but she deserts me, ever.

I missed the Monteverdi, mr bungalow bill; people have arrived and shattered my equilibrium, family visitors; pray for me, my every moment punctuated with noisy intrusion, the population of my redoubt doubled, tranquility fled, mauled and ravaged. Roll on Winter.

Bungalow Bill said...

I know the feeling, Mr I. When you get the chance. look at it on the catch up thing. I think you'll enjoy it.

call me ishmael said...

Watching it now on the big screen, via the ipad, mr bungalow bill. I could watch it with just Harry Christophers and cut that Simon Russell Beale right out.

Bungalow Bill said...

When I watched it at the weekend I was a little woozy and let it wash over me. Simon didn't matter. I've just looked at it again and he's in fact infuriating, forever interrupting the music just as it gets going and simpering and thesping into the daft camera angles. The nadir was the pantomime with the echo voice and the tenor being pushed around the church.

That's two backfires recently: this one and Jim the Scientist. I'm resigning as a tv critic.

call me ishmael said...

Something about BBC presenters, be it David Jacobs, Jimmy Savile, Jeremy Paxman or this one, which permits them to intrude so far that they disembowel, with luvviness, whatever it is they are presenting. There are exceptions, in the early hours this morning I watched Michael Wood on Mary Arden's Warwickshire and he was unobtrusive, though deft and personable; I can usually watch Cruikshank, too.

It has happened on the new Kiddies' Newsnight, which has become the Evan Davies In His RentBoy Suit Show, plus some news, fucking awful, wretched little prat.