Peggy Noonan: The Captain and the King

At a time of new beginnings in Washington, and as a new year starts, some thoughts on leadership that begin with two questions. First, why is it a good thing that the captain of the USS Enterprise was this week relieved of his duties? Second, why is the movie “The King’s Speech” so popular and admired? The questions are united by a theme. It is that no one knows how to act anymore, and people miss people who knew how to act.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, History, Military / Armed Forces, Movies & Television

One comment on “Peggy Noonan: The Captain and the King

  1. Bookworm(God keep Snarkster) says:

    Interesting that I traded some email yesterday with a retired Navy captain friend of mine. Excerpt:

    “…for Peggy Noonan to imply that 0-6’s of bygone days were choirboys, she’s wrong–the advantage back then was that there were no videotapes, DVD’s, cell phones, live feeds, instant messaging, and the texting of pictures. Now we all have to hope there’s not hidden cameras in the boys’ room, too–“NAVY CAPTAIN HOLLERS PROFANITY BECAUSE HE IS CONSTIPATED”…

    Because then it would be all over the internet in record time. But still, I fully realize that leaders are supposed to act like leaders, and being a leader means being an example, not a profanity-ridden comedian, even though a peon like me can thoroughly enjoy the latter, at times.

    “Kate should take her polite and striving middle class upbringing and use it to add dignity and distance to the House of Windsor. They came close to losing public support for the monarchy the past 40 years, in part due to the advice of PR geniuses who told them, in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, to get with it”.

    I don’t think the problem was bad advice from PR “geniuses”. I think the public was turned off by a lot of the antics displayed by those royals not taking the marriage vows seriously. Hopefully Ms. Middleton and Prince William will use as their examples some family further back(at least on the Prince’s side; I don’t know about the lady’s); notably Prince Albert/Queen Victoria, George V and Queen Mary, and George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

    “He sacrifices his desire not to be king, not to lead, not to make that damn speech. He does it with commitment, courage, effort. He does it for his country. He and his wife aren’t attempting to be hip, they are attempting to be adequate to the situation. The king is aware of the responsibilities of his position, and demands a certain deference…the Journal’s Joe Morgenstern called the movie “simply sublime,” and it is, for some simple reasons. It’s about someone being a grown-up, someone doing his job, someone assuming responsibility. It is about a time when someone was taking on the mantle of leadership, someone was sacrificing his comfort for his country. Someone was old-school”.

    Yes, I’d agree that’s great–and luckily, someone wasn’t tape-recorded telling his mistress that he wanted to be reincarnated as one of her unmentionables.

    Yup, roles like this are increasingly tough–one never knows WHO is listening, and who is getting one’s words on tape and/or shooting them around cyberspace. Hence the reason why I loved a past ship’s motto, “Eternal Vigilance”…