Angry Doctor

Friday, May 22, 2009

Mountain, Mole

angry doc doesn't celebrate the Singapore Women’s Everest Team success as a sucess for Singapore or women, because he believes that climbing to the summit of Mount Everest, regardless of the climbers' nationality or gender, is a personal achievement on the part of each of the climbers and a testament to their teamwork, and that transcends national and gender boundaries. Good for you. Respek. But angry doc doesn't see why Singaporeans or women in general have any right to feel proud for what they did.

Fellow-blogger Gigamole thinks the team "achieved for women in Singapore, what all the cat fighting at AWARE failed miserably to do". angry doc disagrees.

angry doc has posted his thoughts over at Gigamole's blog (along with the story of his traumatic childhood encounters with paedophiles...). Do have a read.

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  • Haha.... I do want to apologise to the Everest team for dragging them into the AWARE mud. I don't think they derserved it.Their achievement stands on it's own merit.

    I don't mind saying I am so damned proud of those girls, and if what they accomplished can inspire a couple more girls to reach beyond themselves, and be not afraid to aspire to great things, then I think they deserve more than jus my accolades.


    By Blogger gigamole, At May 23, 2009 9:39 am  

  • I think doing something which is so dangerous and which does not directly contribute to the welfare of others is, well, just that. It proves to yourself you can do it, puts the people who love you at the risk of losing a loved one, and doesn't really say anything about whether other people "like you" (women, handicapped persons, young, old, etc.) can do the same thing. I don't see it as something that inspires me to great things. Heck, men have been climbing up there for decades and I still think it's a stupid thing to do. I think it's sad that the climbers bought into the "men did it so we women can too" trope.

    By Blogger angry doc, At May 23, 2009 10:15 am  

  • I also used to hold mountain climbers in high regard until I read "Everest: Eighty Years of Triumph and Tragedy" by Peter Gillman and "Into Thin Air" by Jon Krakauer, which provide some insight into the psyche of the climbers.

    I wish the Everest team a safe return.

    By Blogger The Key Question, At May 23, 2009 12:53 pm  

  • But I'll tell you something: it's tempting.

    I was at the foothills of the Himalayas recently, and looking at the snowy peaks I felt drawn to reach the snowline, just to see what it's like...

    By Blogger angry doc, At May 23, 2009 1:06 pm  

  • Not so enticing to me.

    The mountain is daunting, no doubt. People are even more daunting.

    By Blogger The Key Question, At May 23, 2009 1:49 pm  

  • [Heck, men have been climbing up there for decades and I still think it's a stupid thing to do. I think it's sad that the climbers bought into the "men did it so we women can too" trope.]

    Hey AngryDoc, that's rather sexist. Just because men do it for stupid reasons doesn't mean these girls did too...Why the immediate assumption that they did it to imitated the stupidity of men?

    I enjoy trekking and climbing but was only game enuff to make it up Kinabalu. It was truly exhilarating. A challenge in itself. So I can understand how compelling the drive for these young ladies to get up to the peak. And I cannot believe that all they were thinking of was how manly they were going to be when they reached the peak.

    These young ladies have hormones and physiologies that do not make them naturally athletic, beefy or strong. Yet they pushed themselves beyond the expected limits of their physiology to achieve something they (and us, if we have that much grace) can be proud of.

    Let's not take it away from them.

    By Blogger gigamole, At May 24, 2009 8:49 am  

  • Kinabalu is a totally different exercise from Everest.

    I think climbing Everest is a different category of things - one that is in the "if all the cool kids jumped off a cliff will you do it too?" category. There are other ways to prove yourself and inspire people that also helps people directly and doesn't involve a high risk of death and injury.

    By Blogger angry doc, At May 24, 2009 10:36 am  

  • Much less publicized than the Everest expedition is the achievement of another team of Singaporeans who produced the first "black box" data recorder for ships in Southeast Asia that will help save many lives in the future.

    Which of these two is a greater achievement for Singapore as a whole?

    Well I don't know much about trekking or climbing, since I've only hiked up a small hill in Jasper, Canada.

    I also can't say much about ship safety, since I've been stuck on a small ferry in a thunderstorm off the coast of Phuket, Thailand for only a few hours.

    Guess I can't go around compelling people to agree with me about the awesomeness of either achievement then.

    Which reminds me of a story:

    Many years ago a colleague tried to encourage some of us to appreciate fine dining and wine.

    He took us to a wine kitchen and said that a well-aged wine "tastes mellow like the sound of an antique violin."

    You see, he is a wine connoisseur and a violinist. But, at that time, none of us were wine connoisseurs or violinists, so we really had no idea what he meant.

    The only things that struck me emotionally were the loud, incessant complaining by the chef and that sky-high price tag.

    Today I am happy to say that I enjoy the taste of good sake and the sound of a good electric violin.

    By Blogger The Key Question, At May 24, 2009 1:07 pm  

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