Bill Whittle of EJECT EJECT EJECT has written a long, but utterly fascinating post he calls TRIBES. Now Bill doesn’t pull any punches and he’s both profane and testoterone loaded BUT he has some fascinating insights. Let me share one of his….
I live in both worlds. In entertainment, everything is Pink, the color of Angelyne’s Stingray – it’s exciting and dynamic and glamorous. I’m also a pilot, and I know honest-to-God rocket scientists, and combat flight crews and Special Ops guys -- stone-cold Grey, all of them -- and am proud and deeply honored to call them my friends.
The Pink Tribe is all about feeling good: feeling good about yourself! Sexually, emotionally, artistically – nothing is off limits, nothing is forbidden, convention is fossilized insanity and everybody gets to do their own thing without regard to consequences, reality, or natural law. We all have our own reality – one small personal reality is called “science,” say – and we Make Our Own Luck and we Visualize Good Things and There Are No Coincidences and Everything Happens for a Reason and You Can Be Whatever You Want to Be and we all have Special Psychic Powers and if something Bad should happen it’s because Someone Bad Made It Happen. A Spell, perhaps.
The Pink Tribe motto, in fact, is the ultimate Zen Koan, the sound of one hand clapping: EVERYBODY IS SPECIAL.
Then, in the other corner, there is the Grey Tribe – the grey of reinforced concrete. This is a Tribe where emotion is repressed because Emotion Clouds Judgment. This is the world of Quadratic Equations and Stress Risers and Loads Torsional, Compressive and Tensile, a place where Reality Can Ruin Your Best Day, the place where Murphy mercilessly picks off the Weak and the Incompetent, where the Speed Limit is 186,282.36 miles per second, where every bridge has a Failure Load and levees come in 50 year, 100 year and 1000 Year Flood Flavors.
The Grey Tribe motto is, near as I can tell, THINGS BREAK SOMETIMES AND PLEASE DON’T LET IT BE MY BRIDGE.
Bill goes on to describe Pink leadership and Gray Leadership. Guess who’s no good in a real emergency? Can you guess? That’s right; those feel good Pinks of the “can’t we all just get along” tribe rarely have the cojones to make tough decision – really tough decisions. Because tough decisions expose you to extreme abuse and hatred. The Pinks don’t want to be hated so instead of making touch decisions they simply wait hoping somebody or something will take care of the problem.
Unluckily, I have my share of Pink. I really don’t like to be hated and I am a kind of inclusive person. But my mind is always planning; planning how to prepare for emergencies and practicing what I should do if one happens.
Anyhow, if you can handle a little profanity and a lot of reading, Bill Whittle’s article is truly thought provoking. JB