Tuesday, April 8, 2014
The Man Who Saved The World: Vasili Arkhipov
You know the world is screwed up when a guy who saved the world is less well known than a picture of a block cat in space that farts rainbows. And by that, I mean the INFAMOUS Nyan cat. What did it do to gain wide spread fame and fortune? It waved around over and over again, filling people's brain with crap, and instantly became an icon. Our friend, and he was our friend, instead got nothing but a Wikipedia page and died from radiation poisoning. Did I mention how crappy that is? But anyway, the goal of this is to honor him, in what ever miserable way I can, not lament the ignorance of the world. So, here's what happened. Vasili and his boys, the Soviets, (you know, Mother Russia?) were cruising along underwater with nuclear warheads near Cuba during the missile crisis, when the US detected them. Just imagine the conversation. So what do they do? The US, instead of trying any other way to get the submarine to come up, they freaking drop DEPTH CHARGES on the sub! "Uh, boss, I found a submarine chilling along. 'Nuke it, sergeant!' But sir, it's not really doing anything. 'Fine. Bomb it!'" Bravo, US military. Now, in the US's defense, this was a tough time for everyone, what with nuclear armageddon on hand, but if a ship is potentially carrying nukes, wouldn't it be safer not to blow this thing up? Then, like any sane human, the commander of the ship starts to get edgy. "Why are they bombing us? Has the war started? Fire the nukes!" Okay, maybe not that sane, but still. Now, here's where our hero comes into play. Vasili, who's second in command, tries to calm the chief down. They'd previously almost had a nuclear meltdown, which Vasili helped prevent (hence the poisoning), so he takes the man seriously. Vasili's like, nah brah, we can't go blow these ships up. What if the war hasn't started? Would Mother Russia look kindly at us. What is they don't know about the cargo? And, what if the conflict has been resolved, and we're trespassing somewhere? We're running low on oxygen and fuel too, so let's just go up, and get out of here. And the commander listened. They got up, and went back to Moscow. The world didn't blow up. Happily ever after. Yet the thing is, no. This dude deserves recognition, and he didn't get it. Did Nyan Cat save the world? No, but this guy did, and look what happened to him. That's a problem with the media in general. Sure, they show all the bad stuff a few people do, but then they don't pay attention to all the awesome stuff people are doing. With them, it's anything that catches eyes, and happiness is too boring. It's just a few people screwing the world up, it just seems like more. And eventually, people will be doing the bad things more than the right, because that's their concept of normal. So, try and remember the good people more than the bad. Try and encourage courage, like Vasili, and all those other morals. Try like humans have been trying for millennia. But most of all, get him a TROPHY or something for his awesome deeds.