Profiles in Cowardice

It’s the must-listen audio of the day as the “captain” of the Costa Concordia refuses to obey the Coast Guard’s increasingly angry demands that he return to his sinking ship:

I ran this by a few native Italian speakers and they have told me the translation doesn’t quite capture the color of the Coast Guard’s language. At one point, he calls Schettino an Italian slang word for penis, the equivalent of calling him a little shit. But you don’t have to be a native speaker to catch the outrage in the call.

If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that Schettino deserves what’s coming to him. It’s bad enough to damage your ship and then run it aground and roll it over. That’s incompetence. But abandoning drowning passengers and crew while you speed off in a taxi? Passengers panic in danger situations. But boat crews are trained for these situations.

I listen to to this recording and I can’t help but think of the brave crew of United 232, who saved 2/3 of the passengers in a fireball crash. I think of Arland Williams on Air Florida 90, passing the rescue line to other before his strength gave out. I think of the band aboard the Titanic playing until the ship went under the waves. And then I think of Schettino, comfortable in a taxi while his charges died. He’s now claiming he tripped and fell into a lifeboat — wasn’t that an episode of The Love Boat or something? I’m sure it will be space aliens next.

Fuck him. His name is already a byword for cowardice. Let’s focus our attention on the heroes. By the time we get the full story, it will turn out there were a lot more people on that ship like James Thomas than there were like Schettino.

Comments are closed.

  1. AlexInCT

    Trust me when I tell you that the Coast Guard captain basically cursed out this buffoon for what he did, and rightly so. Lets just say that the Coast Guard captain let loose with some serious and righteous indignation when Shettino refused to go back on board as he was ordering him to (after he had asked twice if not three times politely for Shettino to get back and coordinate the evacuations). He even tells Shettino that he is going to personally make sure Shettino pays for his cowardice. Hope they lock Shettino’s arse in jail for a very long time and he gets a lot of love there.

    BTW, don’t balme the crew much in this case. When the captian is the first to abandon ship, before the order really goes out, you should not be surprised the crew follows right after him. Not making excuses for them, but that’s why the captain is the last to leave: he leads by example. If Shettino had done the basic stuff to start evacuations I doubt there would have been casualties, even with a lot of the crew bailing early.

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  2. Seattle Outcast

    This one one of those times when someone needs to be led to a small room which has a large knife sitting the table and a guy with a sword in the corner. You tell them “I think you know what happens next, don’t make this any harder than it needs to be” and then you shut the door behind you on the way out.

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  3. Hal_10000 *

    MY, I really don’t think liberalness had anything to do with this. Everyone is blasting him as a coward and many in the crew behaved heroically.

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  4. Mississippi Yankee

    Hal, they specifically identify it as progressiveness not liberalness. And there is a definite distinction both in this context and in American politics.

    The clip is only 8:18. If you watch it they even specifically compare the captain of the Titanic and his actions with the captain of the Costa Concordia.

    They acknowledged his cowardliness, but go on to explain how he (Capt. Francesco Schettino) is just the face of a much larger social problem.

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  5. Hal_10000 *

    I think there is a tendency, in general, to see tragedies through the lens of whatever social problem concerns us. Last year, it was the Giffords shooting, which was a result, we were told, of incivility in debate. Militia groups are always blamed on whatever the right wing happens to be saying I’m just not a big believer in playing that game, especially based on a sample of N=1. There have been cowards in every age.

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  6. hohokiss

    They acknowledged his cowardliness, but go on to explain how he (Capt. Francesco Schettino) is just the face of a much larger social problem.

    At casual glance it looks like a bunch of rich people were on a cruise when the captain of the ship decided to do some fancy showing off and managed to run the ship aground, then proceeded to abandon it and passengers because he doesn’t get paid enought to care. This sounds like a lot of big corportations are doing these days
    It also shows that affluent people are no “smarter” than ordinary folks; they panicked and thought about their own welfare first.

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  7. Hal_10000 *

    At casual glance it looks like a bunch of rich people were on a cruise when the captain of the ship decided to do some fancy showing off and managed to run the ship aground, then proceeded to abandon it and passengers because he doesn’t get paid enought to care. This sounds like a lot of big corportations are doing these days

    Wow. Just wow. The below decks crew, who are paid a pittance if at all, stayed behind and helped save people’s lives. The story I linked above was about one guy who let people use his body as a ladder. But the highest-paid person on the ship left because the greedy corporation just wasn’t paying him enough.

    1000 of the people on board were crew — not paid very well. And cruise ships are not that expensive. It’s well within the price range of most middle-class people now.

    hoho, you wouldn’t happen to know a guy name muirgeo, would you?

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  8. hohokiss

    hoho, you wouldn’t happen to know a guy name muirgeo, would you

    No. And you say the crew is paid a pittance, so whats wrong with their forming some kind of union to secure fair wage. Everything, from what I read around here. What to do? Chalk it up to being some isolated incident, won’t happen again.

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  9. Seattle Outcast

    And you say the crew is paid a pittance, so whats wrong with their forming some kind of union to secure fair wage

    Most cruise ships are crewed by people from countries where that “pittance” is actually a good wage – they work a 90 or 180 day contract, their living quarters and meals are part of their pay, and when they go home they are quite well off. You might want to to talk to the crew sometime – most of them are rather happy with the arrangement and are rather cheerful people to talk to.

    Forming a union won’t do anything for them, except of course, raise ticket prices, which would price people out of taking a cruise, meaning fewer work opportunities. Then those of them that had a job would see a chunk of that taken by the union, which would then lobby to make the cruise industry even more regulated, which would drive even more people away.

    And that was the least clueless statement you’ve made….

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  10. Hal_10000 *

    If they want to form a union, that’s fine. But I have friends who did years of cruise service. Pay was not what they took the job for; adventure was. And you’re diverting us into a side issue. The main issue is that a greedy corporation had nothing to do with this. Greedy corporations tend not to like half billion dollar write-offs.

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  11. Monolith

    At casual glance it looks like a bunch of rich people were on a cruise when the captain of the ship decided to do some fancy showing off and managed to run the ship aground, then proceeded to abandon it and passengers because he doesn’t get paid enought to care. This sounds like a lot of big corportations are doing these days
    It also shows that affluent people are no “smarter” than ordinary folks; they panicked and thought about their own welfare first.

    WTF are you talking about? Corporations and affluent people? You’re a tool.

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  12. balthazar

    For those of you that done know, HOHO is a troll of the largest order, some of us can only aspire to attain the greatness that he exhibits when he throws his down-riggers into the waters of right-thinking.

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  13. hohokiss

    I think there is a tendency, in general, to see tragedies through the lens of whatever social problem concerns us.

    and

    They acknowledged his cowardliness, but go on to explain how he (Capt. Francesco Schettino) is just the face of a much larger social problem.

    So I watched the trifecta video. “Women and children first” is the essence of civilization.
    What might the solution to men being expendable etc. be, how are men going to get/give some respect here?

    This one one of those times when someone needs to be led to a small room which has a large knife sitting the table and a guy with a sword in the corner

    . Hope they lock Shettino’s arse in jail for a very long time and he gets a lot of love there.

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