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By Rick M
NMERider wrote:Which is why I take exception and offense at the ga ga attitude towards what struck me as little more than a cheap exploitation of our sport in the name of filling dead air on some TV show.
You must have watched a different video. Take my word for it, I don't go ga-ga over any celebrity. But the words spoken by Cage and Letterman on this national broadcast worth nothing but positive. It's rare to see anything about HG on TV. It's even more rare to see something positive.

How you can call their conversation "cheap exploitation" is beyond me. It doesn't matter what the response was. The sheeple don't really care. That's not the point. To me it was just nice to hear a positive discussion about HG on TV. It doesn't happen very often.
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By NMERider
Rick M wrote:.............That's not the point. To me it was just nice to hear a positive discussion about HG on TV. It doesn't happen very often.
I fully agree that their conversation cast our sport in a positive light which is very nice to see and hear along with a few million other viewers. :thumbsup:

But in the long run it is to me, a non-event. I believe that it is the responsibility of each and every one of us to present the sport in a positive light and on a person-to-person level. Apparently that message has been lost in all the fanfare. :ahh:
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By NMERider
Here is evidence that the USHPA takes the Org seriously! look at what the editors recently posted on the front page! http://www.ushpa.aero/
I'm proud to be a member of an online community where each of us respects each other's right to publicly express his or her individual opinion. :thumbsup: At least I think we do that?
Cage.jpg (80.64 KiB) Viewed 2955 times
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By Jason
NMERider wrote:Here is evidence that the USHPA takes the Org seriously!

um........I dont follow........
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By NMERider
Jason wrote:.................
NMERider wrote:Here is evidence that the USHPA takes the Org seriously!
..........um........I dont follow........
It was tongue-in-cheek humor given all the flap over the EC and Torrey, etc. I believe this was picked up first on this thread before it was broadcast on the USHPA, so I'm poking a little fun.
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By Avnav8r

Regardless whether you liked the interview or not, it was just refreshing to hear someone talk about our sport without referring to us as a bunch of crazy Mofos! I believe Nick is sincere enough to take lessons and will learn to fly.

John Stokes
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By NMERider
I've been away from the sport for 26-years and was completely unaware that it had been given such disrespect in the popular media. Having participated through the heyday of staggering annual fatalities during the mid-70s, it was my impression that things were pretty quiet from the mid-'80s through the present. Can anyone show me some talk show video where we get slammed? Or any scenes from movies or television where we are lampooned as crazies? I really don't recall seeing very much of this from 1982 through 2008.

Even if Nicholas Cage takes lessons and creates a wonderfully produced 1/2 hour special that's aired on prime-time television I still don't believe it will have any measurable impact on the sport. He is part of the Hollywood elite and not considered an ordinary, everyday person. Who will he attract to the sport? Nobody who will ever stay with it and help it grow, if you ask me. In fact it may harm the sport by giving it an added air of elitism that it sure doesn't need.

What I feel we need is media attention on regular folks who have joined the sport and grown with it and helped it grow. Those people are the bread and butter and backbone of the sport, if you ask me. Media personalities, in my view often cheapen and trivialize the things they touch or embrace. Can you say, FAD?

The worst thing that ever happened to this sport when I was growing up in it was when the media labeled it as a fad. Most of us here should know what happened to fads. They die out and blow away like so much sand on the winds of time. So that's the hot button of my psyche that got pushed when I watched that saccharine diatribe on Letterman. Here we go with the hang gliding is a fad for a week nonsense all over again. I hope I'm wrong!

When was the last time anyone posting here wore his hang gliding wore his/her hang gliding hat or T-shirt in public and talked up the sport to potential new participants and then gave them a business card to their local school, or wrote down the url of hangglding.org or the USHPA on a napkin and handed it to them and said, "Why don't you look up your local school at either of these web sites?" And better yet, did you give them your own phone number or email address and say, :Don't hesitate to follow up with me if there's anything I can do to help."? Well, did you?

Do you want to see this sport grow and be taken seriously? Then reach out to your friends, neighbors, co-workers and to your local media yourselves. Nicholas Cage and David Letterman aren't going to make it happen.

You are!
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By Avnav8r
Hey NMERider,

My wife and I do birds of prey programs called Rock City Raptors at a local attraction called Rock City www.seerockcity.com We have brochures that are on display for Lookout Mountain Flight Park. We have given away several thousand of these brochures (with no financial incentives from LMFP). We do occasionally show a hang gliding music video before our presentations. LMFP has reported to us that they have had quite a number of people take tandem flights and several people have continued with lessons, all from these brochures and us talking about hang gliding. We also travel quite a bit in our off season from Rock City Raptors and we do talk about hang gliding at our presentations, even showing a video of Osceola the hang gliding eagle. Last Fall, we taught a class called "Birds, Flight and Falconry" at a local university. The flight part of the class included a tandem flight at Lookout for 13 of our students. At least three of the students plan to take lessons this Spring. Wherever we are, we try to direct anyone interested in flying to a local Instructor or school. So, we try to do our part to promote our wonderful sport.

John Stokes

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By Wingspan34

I most certainly agree that WE the pilots need to do as much as we can to promote our sport. That's why I came up with the "Spread Your Wings" idea/campaign. I'm ashamed that I have neglected its development, but the core idea is being followed already on many fronts. Your own any many other's YouTube videos are one of the best ways to spread our wings.

All that being said, the whole goal is to put the kernel or seed of an idea into people's minds about giving hang gliding a try. The Cage/Letterman interview amounted to a full frontal WMD (Wings for Media Dissemination) attack on people's awareness of hang gliding.

Whether it was "saccharine" (I would disagree) or not, it was two important people talking hang gliding in front of MILLIONS of people. Nicholas Cage and David Letterman, instantaneously put the idea of hang gliding, via positive comments and mental images, however momentarily, into the minds of a whole sh*t load of people. Some of those seeds will grow and some may very well result in a (small?) new crop of respectable new hang glider pilots. I see no way to argue against that.

But I do agree that we should not grow complacent about our local, individual and group, efforts to spread our wings.
By blindrodie
All I want to know is who was the pilot that brought the bubbly to Francis' party!!!
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By henderthing
Umm--minor thing to add here--several posts late...

NME--Is there anything that could have been said about HG between NC and DL that would have escaped your disdain?

Since when were celebrities anything more or less than ordinary people?

If NC follows through, gets his H3, and shows up at Crestline will you treat him with the same contempt you do in your posts?

Contrary to some comments here--I believe that many see celebrities as being too physically inept and precious to partake in a sport like HG. If someone like NC were to go and get some training I believe it would show that it's not just for the stuntman elite--but for everyone.

I promote accessibility of the sport of hang gliding to anyone who will listen. Pitiful efforts compared to others, for sure. I don't think it's something to talk someone into. But demonstrating that it is within anyone's reach is another story...

my .02

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By NMERider
Some very good posts since my last diatribe and some great outreach going on. I was busy most of today avoiding clients and getting out there and had two good flight from Marshall Peak and then from Crestline. Up on Crestline I met a gentleman and his wife who recognized me from a recent flight and from my videos. He told me that he really liked the one where I'm sing songs from the '60s, where I fly from Strawberry Peak to the high school. See: http://www.hanggliding.org/viewtopic.php?t=11205

He said that their 15-year old daughter will be taking lessons and he will be doing a tandem as soon as his weight gets below Rob's 215# limit. Last time we met up there he was with their daughter and she talked to a bunch of us.

So, when Nicholas Cage shows up alone, without an entourage and get his Hang 3 I will buy him a beer and shake his hand the same as any other person I meet who learns this wonderful sport. I have some contacts in the industry and will try and track him or his agent down and invite him to come fly with us if he ever has a free minute. The guy is hot property right now and in his acting prime so we may have to wait until he cools off.

Meanwhile I tip my OHF hat to anyone and everyone who is personally engaged in outreach. And my sincere apologies for raining on the parade. I could have had a conversation about my personal views on this with some local pilots and left it at that. I have a load of flight video to edit now.

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By jjcote
Looks like that entertainmentandshowbiz thing was just written by somebody who watched the Letterman segment.
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By Jason
jjcote wrote:Looks like that entertainmentandshowbiz thing was just written by somebody who watched the Letterman segment.
this is true
By blindrodie
I would make the friendly suggestion that the HG community reach out to Mr. Cage in a big way...

Strike while the iron is hot.
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By knumbknuts
There's a pilot in the community who's got some showbiz connections who may turn to this challenge next... he's got a knack for gettin' things done. Let's see.
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By NMERider
knumbknuts wrote:There's a pilot in the community who's got some showbiz connections who may turn to this challenge next... he's got a knack for gettin' things done. Let's see.
Are you sending us a Morse code message? We're already owe'n thing guy such a debt we'll need AIG to issue a credit default swap. :rofl:
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By sg
I just dont get this whole swiss alps thing.
I hope he knows he can get his rating in 2 weeks here at a flight park too.
I got mine in 3 days, sheeesh.

:shock: :shock: :shock:

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