Sir Simon the Irascible
on 6/17/2004 (0)
What, and who, is the real Simon Cowell?
|Simon: Pure British |
Timeline: July 10, 1940. The fate of the free world is literally in the hands of 2353 British airmen and their aircraft.
Flushed with victory after the shocking route of the French and harried evacuation of the British Expeditionary Forces at Dunkirk, Hitler looked across the Channel to the White Cliffs of Dover. A mere stones throw away, he would muse. Goering assured his Fuhrer that England would fall swiftly under the superior guns and bombs of the Luftwaffe.
2353 British men had other plans for England.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Cyril Newall, Chief of the Air Staff, had flown across the channel during wartime, albeit in the opposite direction in WW I, attacking the Hun. Commander of No. 12 squadron, Newall trained in flimsy Bristol biplanes that were more box kites and bailing wire than military aircraft.
Appointed Chief of Staff in 1937, Newall ordered an expansion of the RAF to at least meet the German, and had his way, and as sometimes happens in history, the foresite and determination of one man affects the the destiny of all Mankind.
Newall had no fear, or more likely refused to entertain it, in his men or in himself. He understood the importance of discipline and duty. The way to win wars was through a clever, manipulative metamorphosis of common flesh into the seeming ethereal by expressing constant dissatisfaction with results. Through an apparently unsatisfiable critical eye and ear, only and only by these seemingly heartless Draconian methods could a crysalis be woven and formed about a man, transmuting him into something grander, more Godlike...but not less human.
Mein Kampf had taught the Germans they were 'superior' to begin with. The British understood that superiority must be attained.
The chosen 2353 were never given sympathy or excessive praise. If an airman shot down 2 aircraft, why not 3? What had prevented him from doing so? Never mind the odds. Most of the men were lucky to steal a scant hour or less of sleep during the Blitz, but none complained, nor would sympathy be offered if he foolishly had. No one had slept. Especially the women and children in London.
A burning fragment from a 30mm German incendiary shell in ones shoulder was a mere 'flesh wound'. As long as one could hold the stick and fire the guns, he would carry on and fly the next mission with nary a complaint. No praise while the fight is on. No succor, no accolades, no commendations, no sympathetic words...only cheerfull and supportive ones. Pomp and circumstance would come later, once the battle had been won.
This is the British spirit. To grind and drive oneself not to just achieve, but to super-achieve. No place for tolerance or mediocrity. This sprirt is often misunderstood and maligned, as in the case of Simon Cowell himself. Simon is not cruel, he simply expects one to deliver beyond common flesh into the ethereal, just as Sir Cyrill Newall had done 65 years before.
The reason Cowell offers little praise is purely British...you can do better, therefore you bloody well should.
I personally cannot think of kinder, gentler words.h0" hei
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