There can be only one boss on a sailboat. By the very nature of things, a skipper must be a dictator — a benevolent dictator if you’re lucky. There can be no democratic committee meeting about whether or not to take in a reef, in the face of an approaching line squall. There can be no split vote on the question of whether or not to put the engine in reverse with the dock fast approaching.
Call me Captain Bligh if you must. I don’t mind. Bligh, in fact, has often been unfairly characterized. He was a very skilled navigator who chose to apply the shipboard rules quite strictly. But he applied them fairly, and he safely delivered to their destinations those who spoke only when spoken to.
One of the persistent fantasies of democracy is to imagine you can be the boss and everybody’s friend at the same time. Forget it. Just be the boss.
Today’s ThoughtIn some circles, Stalin has in fact been making a comeback. ... His portrait hangs above the dashboard of trucks, a symbol of blue-collar nostalgia for a tough leader.
— Serge Schmemann, NY Times, 31 Oct 86
Tailpiece“What is your age, madam?”
“Officer, I’m approaching 50.”
“Yes, but from which direction, madam?”
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