As much as I hate clickbait troll posts (which is pretty much anything by Patrick Howley) some things need to be addressed because the fate of mankind hangs in the balance. Which brings us to this Slate post, so, yeah, expect the contrarian view no matter how ridiculous, by Matthew Yglesias who actually used to be thoughtful at one time (No, it’s true. Also the Red Hot Chili Peppers used to be interesting years ago – ask your grandparents.. ) but now his posts are like the bastard spawn of some unholy meth-fueled Slate-Buzzfeed-Upworthy threesome.
Under the subtle headline:
Stop Freaking Out About Phone Calls on Planes Stop Freaking Out About Phone Calls on Planes Stop Freaking Out About Phone Calls on Planes
The FCC is reconsidering the ban on cellphone use on airplanes, which was immediately met with action by the Department of Transportation to potentially re-ban them on consumer protection grounds.
Before the DOT acts, I think a deep breath is in order. The following things are currently legal in the United States of America:
- Talking on your cellphone in the movie theater
- Carrying on a loud conversation with the person next to you on a plane
- Showing up at a fine dining restaurant with shorts, flip-flops, and no shirt
- Yelling “Hey, man, f*** you!” at your bartender
It would be very annoying if these things happened frequently. And yet even in the absence of government regulation, they generally don’t happen. Precisely because they are annoying, there are norms against doing these things.
Well, yes there are. However most of them never happen at 30,000 feet, and that loud conversation on the plane one usually involves people sitting next to each other who can be coaxed into using their “inside voices” as opposed to the shitty-reception- it’s-going-to-space one-sided banality-fest that is an overheard cell phone conversation which people seem to think is God-given right because they are stupid people armed with smart phones. I, for one, would be fine with tossing shouty cell phone folks off of the plane mid-flight if it weren’t for that cabin depressurization thing that is in that movie they show us where we put our masks on before taking care of the kids because we have led a richer and fuller life than they have and we can always make another when we have relief sex on the ground.
I will freely admit that I don’t fly a lot because I don’t need to for work and because I live in San Diego and every time I go somewhere and people invariably ask me where I’m from and I say “San Diego” , they always respond “Why are you here?” …. and they’re right. And I will also admit that I don’t enjoy flying since I’m not a fan of being packed into a vacuum-sealed airborne Pringles can with a bunch of people I don’t know and have no wish to be associated with (i.e. CNN. com victim slideshow with Blitzer looking sad) should we plunge to a fiery death on earth below. I’m just weird that way. The last flight I remember being on was a return from Hawaii where I sat across the aisle from a ten year-old who occupied himself by slurping soda from the top of the Coke can (he tilted it just enough to get some on that little gutter inside the rim) across the WHOLE PACIFIC OCEAN while his mother looked on adoringly. This is the real reason, not hijackings, why they don’t allow guns on planes. Also because of that depressurization thing and stray bullets.
But, please, do go on Matt:
Airlines don’t ban conversations with fellow passengers, but if you carry on at unreasonable volume you’ll be shushed by your seatmates and eventually by the flight attendants. Life goes on.
Flight attendants have kind of shitty jobs that they take, mainly, because of the benefits of free travel and the last thing they need is to have to rein in a self-important black-BMW-driving MOTU dickhole who wants everyone on the flight to know about the client he just screwed (this is not limited to Goldman-Sachs employees, but it does include all of them) or someone reliving every ride at Disney World back to the yokel town-folk in Smallville. Unfortunately we were not all raised in Skinner boxes (if we were, Florida would be more tolerable) so these “norms” that Matt speaks of do not often come out and play well with others.
We are strong enough to survive this freedom. Either people will use their cellphones sparingly and in a considerate manner, or else airlines will move to ban their use as a matter of corporate policy.
No. No they won’t. Airlines will create another class of service (Quiet Quabins™ on Qantas) at a premium price and they’ll squeeze a few more seats together to make room for the privileged few who can buy anything and the rest of us will be shoved farther to the back of the plane which will start to look like one of those third-world buses where people board carrying crates of chickens and leading a pig on a leash.
Not that a squealing pig or squawking chickens wouldn’t be preferable to listen to than a sullen tween who is bitching to her friends that vacation was too short and her parents are so lame and they suck and life sucks even worse.
As in, sucks like being on a plane full of assholes talking on their cell phones.
On that note, here is your Friday Music Thing: