What L-dotters think about girl sailing alone around world

Here are the first 27 comments at Lucianne.com responding to the news that Abby Sunderland is alive in the Indian Ocean. In the first ten or so comments, there is a lot of mindless cheerleading of the “People should do whatever they want to do, Yay Abby!” sort. It made my heart sink. Then, starting with comment 13, the discussion turns sharply against Abby and her parents, which made me feel that all is not lost.

Update: But before the comments start, the story is posted like this on the main page, with an admonitory note by Lucianne Goldberg:

US teenage sailor ‘found safe’ in Indian Ocean
Argue about whether she should have been there at
all later. Thank God she’s alive and well

How ridiculous. If people don’t discuss now, when the story is in the news, whether she should have been there at all, when will they discuss it? Never, because the story will have gone away. So Lucianne’s message really comes down to this:

Don’t say anything critical of the cult of female empowerment, no matter what idiotic excesses it goes to. Just do your sentimental duty and thank God when one of the little darlings emerges safe and sound from some ego-enhancing adventure it was criminally irresponsible for her to embark on in the first place. In the Land of the Free, in the Age of Palin, nothing must be done to discourage girls and women from fulfilling their desires, no matter how stupid and harmful their desires may be.

Thankfully, many of Lucianne’s readers ignored her command, as you will see below.

Reply 1—Posted by: hishandmaiden, 6/11/2010 3:15:02 AM

Other reports said the mast broke, but the boat was upright and she is fine … thank You, Lord.

Reply 2—Posted by: DARling, 6/11/2010 4:22:46 AM

Thank God. I love it when families get good news for a change.

Reply 3—Posted by: Lou Noleum, 6/11/2010 4:47:15 AM

I too am greatly relieved the kid is safe.

I know there are going to be some posts here jumping all over her parents for not keeping her hung up on a hook in the closet “for her own good” but I think there are at least two sides to this argument. The parents are probably scared witless over this turn of events but they can’t spend their lives trying to live Abby’s life for her. The kid definitely displayed spunk. I’m proud of her. I think she’s already proved all she needs to prove and I hope she goes home now feeling satisfied. Maybe she can try it again when she’s a bit older. She’s already a lot more “experienced.” Learn the lesson, kid.

Reply 4—Posted by: Spidey, 6/11/2010 5:09:32 AM

Great news,you have to admire this kid’s courage.

Reply 5—Posted by: ranger06, 6/11/2010 6:38:41 AM

I have mixed thoughts on young kids that do these sort of things—Part of me thinks they should wait a few years and part of me thinks they should go for it—I’m all for nothing ventured nothing gained—but I think as a parent if something happened I’d be haunted by it for the rest of my life knowing I could have just stopped or delayed the whole production.

Reply 6—Posted by: Redbone, 6/11/2010 6:46:54 AM

My great grandfather came to America alone from Germany, with almost no money, when he was fourteen years old. He did fine and no one thought that he was “too young”.

Her parents should pay all costs associated with her rescue, and I have no reason to believe that they won’t.

A good story, if nothing else. I tip my hat to Abby.

Reply 7—Posted by: Bulletthole, 6/11/2010 6:57:01 AM

With all the drug cartels, the pirates and otherwise crazy folks in the world I just can’t imagine supporting my daughter in something like this.

Mine might go, but it wouldn’t have been with my help, money or blessing.

Crazy enough for a Rambo!

Reply 8—Posted by: mrduc, 6/11/2010 7:02:06 AM

I have no problem with anyone attempting anything like this, male, female, young, old, handicapped, be it sail around the world, climb Mt Everest, surf in a hurricane, or whatever, as long as they realize that they may have to wait for a rescue if it means endangering the lives of the rescuers, and that they/their families assume all the costs of the rescue.

Reply 9—Posted by: Patriot and a Lady2, 6/11/2010 7:27:34 AM

Wonderful news! I’m thrilled! This is great news to start the weekend when so much else is going wrong in this world.

As I commented last evening, this young lady had big dreams. How many teenagers have dreams like this? How many teenagers are really “doing hard things”?

I think we need to step back and consider how we view teenagers. 70 or so years ago, there was no such thing as the word “teenager.” One was either a child or an adult. That changed with the laws concerning child labor, of course but consider this:

David Farragut took command of a British whaling ship when he was 12 years old. He later became Admiral of the United States Navy. Five ships are named USS Farragut.

George Washington was the chief surveyor of Culpepper County, VA at 16 years of age.

Clara Barton showed such talent in nursing at age 14 that the family doctor turned over care of her sick brother to her.

Before we criticize this young lady, remember that she wasn’t out smoking crack or getting pregnant. She is smart, and she is an experienced sailor, like the rest of her family.

This young lady isn’t going to get into trouble any time soon, I guarantee you that. And I have no doubt that this won’t be her last attempt to sail around the world.

Reply 10—Posted by: puggirl, 6/11/2010 7:27:49 AM

I felt sick when I so the headlines saying she was missing. My daughter and I had heard of her plan to break the age record this spring.

On the other hand, this girl is too young to do this. This is why kids (yes, she is still a child) have parents. Thank God she is safe.

Reply 11—Posted by: Yephora, 6/11/2010 7:35:58 AM

Thank God she is alive and well.

Memo to her parents: Some teenage kids’ ideas are foolhardy. Next time learn to put your foot down.

Reply 12—Posted by: CharlesMartel732, 6/11/2010 7:39:01 AM

Hey, sacrificing your kid’s life is not too high a price to pay for your 15 minutes of fame. After all, they have more than one.

Reply 13—Posted by: viperdog, 6/11/2010 7:44:47 AM

I am astonished that so many posters here think this is all just fine and dandy. I am glad the girl is safe, and true her parents can’t live her life for her, but what would all of you be saying if Somali Pirates had captured her? Seems like everyone nowadays is trying to seperate themselves from the masses by doing more and more outrageous stuff, just so they can have fifteen minutes of fame. The world is quickly running out of firsts and is having to break it down into categories like the first girl, the first 16 year old, the first left handed … in the end it is all transitory. She’s fine, that’s great, but what exactly was the point??? The world is still a very dangerous place and with crazy muslims running around loose and jerks like Van Der Sloot, I’m surprised people, especially her parents just don’t seem to get it. If something had happened, we’d have had never ending sob stories. Fortunately for her, God watches out for the clueless.

Reply 14—Posted by: ROLFnader, 6/11/2010 7:48:30 AM

I’ve been on some pretty big adventures but nothing close to what this young woman has accomplished. I love happy endings and look forward to hearing about her next attempt.

Reply 15—Posted by: SGMIsles, 6/11/2010 7:48:41 AM

I have no sympathy for these fools and idiots. Her parents should be made to pay every expense of the search and rescue. They can use the money from her book, which of course will come out next, to pay for the expenses. Those parents need to realize they are her parents, not her best friends.

Reply 16—Posted by: TheMotherCO, 6/11/2010 8:00:47 AM

The darwin award goes to those very stupid, feckless twits that permitted this child to go into the boundless waters, damn near got her killed and now are costing millions of dollars to track her down and save her. I don’t admire her or her supposed parents. Lord, I hope they don’t have a ten years old that is the next to be sent on some goofy quest. How about Mount Everest, parents? Is that next?

Reply 17—Posted by: sunnyday, 6/11/2010 8:03:48 AM

Personally I don’t think I would let my 16 year old daughter or son do this alone. She is okay this time, but there are more dangers than what the waters hold out there. What will the outcome be if, God forbid, she is seized by pirates. I think that she is putting a lot of folks lives in danger for personal reasons.

Reply 18—Posted by: seminolesecure, 6/11/2010 8:04:22 AM

At least balloon boy was hiding safe in an attic while we worried.

Reply 19—Posted by: Throwback, 6/11/2010 8:05:05 AM

I have a 17 year old daughter. Sorry, would not turn her loose with a car overnight and would have her committed before I would let her sail off alone around the world.

Sometimes you have to protect the young.

I did alot of stupid risky stuff as a teenager and still shudder to this day when think about how close I got to disaster.

I Thank heaven I had parents that stopped me from doing worse.

All this self realization cr-p is what has otherwise intelligent people riding bicycles in traffic like idiots and putting themselves in danger unnecessarily. They are the ones who cry the loudest when reality slaps them upside the head. So spare me the people did worse a hundred years ago stuff.

A hundred years ago people generally died by 40.

Reply 20—Posted by: mc squared, 6/11/2010 8:08:11 AM

Dinner table discussion last night was about the possibility that a 16 year old girl may have been met by pirates. Wonder if she had a gun aboard?

Reply 21—Posted by: Sfacheem, 6/11/2010 8:09:59 AM

If my 16 year-old son had a driver’s license, I wouldn’t let him drive to Florida from New Jersey by himself, much less sail around the world by himself. Comparing what teen aged kids “used to do” a hundred years ago is ridiculous. It was a different world.

In my parents’ Brooklyn neighborhood, when they were youths, women used to leave their babies in carriages unattended on the front stoop. If they cried, complete strangers would knock on the front door, crack it open and say “lady, your baby is crying”. “Okay, thanks!”

Reply 22—Posted by: cake crumb, 6/11/2010 8:10:03 AM

What relief!

Reply 23—Posted by: gargoyle, 6/11/2010 8:12:46 AM

The only legitimate issue for anyone other than the family is: who is going to pay for the rescue? Otherwise—hooray for Abby.

Reply 24—Posted by: Garage Logician, 6/11/2010 8:16:28 AM

Once she returns home and dry, she will have no problem getting permission to ride in cars with boys. On the other hand, maybe her parents won’t let her out of their sight.

I was just wondering if the insurance company had anything to say about this round the world trip, solo, 16 year-old girl.

Reply 25—Posted by: NorthernDog, 6/11/2010 8:19:12 AM

That’s an answer to prayer! I thought she’d be sleeping with the coelacanths.

Reply 26—Posted by: BigGeorgeTX, 6/11/2010 8:24:26 AM

All this fuss just so a wealthy young girl can get her 15 minutes of fame by becoming the youngest girl to circumnavigate the globe? I’m reminded of the young girl who crashed her plane trying to become the youngest girl ever to fly cross country. The stupidity of risking the life of your child for earthly glory is appalling. Make her parents pay every cent of the search and rescue costs!

Reply 27—Posted by: steelbreeze, 6/11/2010 8:28:01 AM

glad they found her,but in mho she should not have been there period

Posted by Lawrence Auster at June 11, 2010 11:35 AM | Send

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