Andrew Breitbart, RIP
March 02, 2012, 03:26 AM
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I don't actually know much about the late Andrew Breitbart, who dropped dead last night at age 43, but I want to relate something my wife observed when I had cancer at 38. Lots of people would eventually ask her, "So ... Steve smokes, right?" When she said I didn't, the nonsmokers would look worried and unhappy, and the smokers would look relieved.

We like to believe that whenever anybody dies, it's his own fault. That means, that you, personally, not having any major faults, don't ever have to die.

It's like the test pilots at Edwards AFB in The Right Stuff sitting around at a backyard cookout after one of their neighbors died flying some experimental piece of junk.

Husband 1: Poor Mike ...

Husband 2: Yeah, it's kind of surprising he let himself get in that situation.

Wife 2: What situation?

Husband 2: You know, not being able to handle it.

Wife 1: Handle it? The left wing fell off his airplane!

Husband 3: Yeah, but if afterward's he'd vectored the ailerons with a little more reactive thrust.

Husband 1: And updrafted the trailing surfaces.

Husband 2: Of course.

Wives 1, 2, and 3: The wing fell off!

Husbands 1, 2, and 3: He just didn't have the Right Stuff ...

Conversely, this reminds me of my own automatic assumptions about anybody with more energy than myself (i.e., about 75% of humanity):

A. Obviously, he's on cocaine / Adderall / steroids / adrenochrome etc.

B. Obviously, he's bipolar and is this close to snapping into a full-blown manic episode in which he declares himself the Emperor of Antarctica.