United Airlines had a fully booked flight but also had several employees who needed transport to where they would be working the next day. They asked passengers to give up their seats for an $800 travel voucher. Nobody volunteered.
Maybe because it was a Sunday night and they all had work the next day. And their boss wasn’t going to pay them for the day off. What a bunch of selfish pricks.
Anyway, rather than upping the offer (which they totally could have done), the airline opted to pick people at random. And one guy didn’t want to go. So they had security drag him off the airline in front of a bunch of cell phone cameras.
As you might imagine, it has been a bad week for United.
But it has also been a bad week for the passenger who was dragged off the plane. As soon as his name became public, news organizations began to dig into his past and it turns out he’s not a perfect person.
I’m shocked to discover that as everyone else I’ve ever met is completely perfect.
His past transgressions have nothing to do with not wanted to be forced to take a different flight after he paid for his ticket and the airline made some poor planning decisions.
The response from a few corners of the internet have been, basically, he deserved it.
Um…no. The guy was violently removed from the plane. Not removed from the plane. Violently removed from the plane.
You can argue all you like how three other people voluntarily left after being randomly selected. Doesn’t matter. Beating people up just isn’t something you should be doing unless they are a Nazi.
And in spite of all the muckraking our media has done over this fellow, they have not been able to turn up any evidence that the guy is a Nazi. So I’m going to say the beating was entirely unjustified.
He didn’t deserve it. That’s the problem with this whole “let’s wait for all the facts to come out” mentality. It doesn’t matter what type of guy he was. It doesn’t matter if he was a little bit belligerent when told he’d have to leave the plane after buying a ticket.
He was violently removed from the plane. He didn’t deserve it. That is the only fact that matters.
Look – as someone who has done a lot of improvisational theater in my life, I have a lot of respect for improvisation.
But Donald Trump feels like an improvisational President. Syrian President Assad uses chemical weapons on his own people and Trump’s first response is “we should do something.”
So everyone responds by saying “yeah – OK – can you be a little more specific?”
And Trump responds by saying “BOOM! Just bombed a military base! How do you like that something?”
And everyone is like “?????”
Never mind that Trump pretended to be a dove on the campaign trail and managed to convince far too many people Hillary Clinton would have us in a war with Syria before she finished her inauguration speech. Never mind that this bombing run did nothing to prevent the next chemical weapons attack on civilians.
In the end, it is military theater. It makes Trump look tough without actually risking anything. Nobody really cares about what is going on in Syria anyway. I mean, we care in the sense that it sounds awful but we don’t care in the sense that it affects our lives in any tangible way.
Kind of like the way that military strike affected the actions of Assad.
Bad Headline Theater
Dear liberal friends. We had a bad election. We are going to have a bad run here and the conservatives are going to do a lot of stuff that makes us angry. At least fifty percent of the time, our anger will be justified.
Some of the time, though, we need to make sure we understand what is making us angry.
Earlier this week, a friend posted this article with the headline “Dino’s Gyros Cans Employee who Took off for ‘Day Without Immigrants’ Protest.”
Now it is true Dino’s Gyros canned an employee who didn’t show up for work and it is true that employee was taking part in the day without immigrants protest. This headline would make you think Dino’s Gyros were Capitalist fucks who didn’t give a shit about causes important to their employees.
And let’s be fair – they may be.
The truth, which we see if we read the whole article, is that they admitted they should not have fired him because he was participating in a legal strike and they offered him his job back with a raise. He turned it down.
Then there is this story which has the headline “Oklahoma Legislature Just Passed the Most Oppressive law Against Women in History.”
In this case, the law in question is pretty horrible. It requires a woman to get permission from the father before she has an abortion, which is some seriously misogynistic bullshit because it takes a woman’s control of her own body away from her.
But – and given the headline this is super important – the law hasn’t passed yet. Later in the article you will read that it has only been passed out of committee.
And believe me, if the legislature actually passes this law as it is written, I’m going to be bringing it up again. And I will find an opportunity to refer to Oklahoma lawmakers as “controlling gibbons who care about the lives and health of women only slightly less than they care about the lives and health of babies once they are born” when that happens.
All the bad laws in the world don’t justify a headline that is demonstrably untrue. In a world where the term “fake news” is used as a weapon, we have to be doubly sure we are precise.
President-Elect Trump (fuuuuuuuuck) tweeted this week that flag burners should go to jail for a year or lose their citizenship. Nothing about how burning the flag is a constitutionally protected right and he just doesn’t like it. No – he thinks people should lose their citizenship if they burn the flag.
While Trump fills his cabinet with individuals who will repeal or cripple the Affordable Care Act (which is sure as fuck going to affect me and my family), we talk about flag burning.
OK, so let’s talk about it. And let’s ditch the “flag burning is a reprehensible act but it is protected” part of the conversation. It’s as if we all need to hold up our hands and protest that we don’t like something because so many people are bothered by it.
And that is what pisses me off. Who gives an actual fuck? Has anyone ever been harmed by the burning of a flag? I mean besides the person burning the flag who might have, you know, gotten a burn because they were holding a burning piece of cloth?
Why have we, as Americans, decided that burning the flag is a despicable act? It’s a flag! A piece of cloth. It is not our country.
That the flag has become a sacred relic is embarrassing. So let me step up and say I don’t have an issue with anyone burning a flag. I’m reasonably certain that a country with enough nuclear capability to turn every other continent into a pile of atomic slag is strong enough to handle a few flags on fire.
I’m sick of the feeling that before we say something (flag burning, abortion, Hillary Clinton) is OK, we have to acknowledge how awful it is.
There is nothing awful about burning a flag. Our freedoms are not irreparably damaged when a flag is set on fire. In fact, our freedoms are enhanced. Burning a flag is an act of defiance but it is also an act of celebration.
It celebrates our right as citizens to openly criticize our government. Have we forgotten how many places on Earth that is not allowed? Is that really what we want here?
If it isn’t, then nobody should say “flag burning is a horrible act.” We should, instead, say “flag burning is a celebration of our constitution.”
And the thing is – this is all a distraction. Flags don’t get burned a lot. In fact, they hardly ever get burned at all. The fact we are talking about something that almost never happens is a ridiculous waste of time.
Our response should be “huh. Someone burned a flag. I wouldn’t even know about this if it weren’t for the 24 hour news cycle.”
Now who the fuck is in Trump’s cabinet again?
In another move meant to remind us how important control of the Supreme Court has become, Oklahoma appears poised to test exactly how far you can go in the control of women’s health decisions.
The state governor has not yet decided whether or not to sign this bill, which goes so far as to tell the state medical board which doctors they can certify.
Rather than targeting the mothers, this law rewards doctors who perform abortions with felony charges. Even if the abortion is required to save the life of the mother.
More and more, it becomes clear that lawmakers on one side of the issue are far more concerned about the next generation than the current one. Unless we are talking about global climate change. Or overpopulation. Or pollution.
Then the needs (or wants) of this generation are far more important.
Unless, of course, they need to go to the bathroom.
So Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear came out with an expansion and it includes a transgender character. Which is cool.
No word on what bathrooms the character is allowed to use. I suppose it depends on the state…
Anyway, a bunch of dickweed gamers are apparently pissed because the writer of the game had the audacity to introduce her social opinions into a video game! They are dropping one star reviews in the gamer equivalent of carpet bombing. With Cheetos and Mountain Dew.
Amber Scott, who wrote the game, has this to say:
As I’ve said before (and I won’t say much more on this subject other than to get my perspective out there): I’m the writer and creator. I get to make decisions about who I write about and why. I don’t like writing about straight/white/cis people all the time. It’s not reflective of the real world, it sets up s/w/c as the “normal” baseline from which “other” characters must be added, and it’s boring.
So that seems pretty logical. Nobody should give a shit.
But apparently including a transgender character in a fictional world that has ogres and goblins is just to unrealistic for some gamers. The best solution, of course, is to shut up and complain about the gameplay.
So the Japanese are still whaling in the name of “legitimate research.” They headed off for their yearly kill of Minke whales and, among the 333 whales they were permitted to kill, they managed to bag 200 pregnant females.
To be fair – when you are killing a whale, you can’t tell if it is a pregnant female. I’m sure if they had known that almost 2/3 of the whales they were killing were pregnant, they would have killed them anyway.
The excuse they give is that they are researching the breeding habits of whales or some other bullshit that basically comes down to “fuck you, rest of the world, we just want to kill whales.”
I don’t get it. I really don’t. All this bullshit to keep the members of four whaling vessels employed.
If they can’t find any other jobs for these guys, Trump could probably use some help building a wall. I don’t think he has any problems with the Japanese.
Oh. Um….never mind….