A (Not So) Brief Note on All This Steven Slater Bullshit
I am quite sure exactly one person in the entire world reads this blog. Maybe because I am a nobody, or because it’s updated on the same schedule that a chimpanzee updates his blog (lately I’m thinking this is accurate), either way, I get that it’s not the internet’s HOTZONE for cultural critique with a capital TIQUE. But I just have to vent about this ridiculous JetBlue Flight attendant situation since it seems YET ANOTHER newsday has gone by with no end of coverage of this topic in sight.
Being a flight attendant probably sucks. Unless you love doing it…but maybe even then, it still sucks? I mean, I am guessing here. I am hazarding this educated guess because as someone who has flown places in recent years, I know how annoying it is to be a passenger, and all I have to do is get where I’m going. I also know how annoyed I am when I’m traveling. So, if you’re job is to be in an airport and STAY THERE, or be in an airplane and NOT GET OFF, but rather, DEAL WITH THE ANNOYED PEOPLE GOING PLACES, AND ALL THE INCREASINGLY RIDICULOUS POLICIES YOU MUST ENFORCE TO GIVE WHAT IS ESSENTIALLY AN ILLUSION OF SAFETY AND SECURITY TO THOSE ANNOYED PEOPLE, I can only conclude it’s not much fun on a daily basis. But that’s “just me,” as they say. And that’s why I’m not a flight attendant!
When I first heard the story of Steven Slater (you know, like when you first heard JFK died or the Beatles broke up, or were shot, or whatever, whichever one, basically the same thing) ok, yeah, maybe I thought “Ha. Awesome.” BUT THEN I THOUGHT ABOUT IT FOR ONE MORE MOMENT and I realized that, no, actually, that’s not awesome. Yeah, it sounds hilarious and cool IN THEORY to curse people out on an intercom, grab a brew and too-da-loo-ski out the emergency exit, and that’s why that entire scenario I just described SHOULD HAVE BEEN A COMEDY SKETCH OR A SCENE FROM A MOVIE THAT NOBODY WROTE FAST ENOUGH BEFORE IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED, so like, OUR BAD, WRITERS AND PERFORMERS OF COMEDY. HILARIOUS MISSED OPPORTUNITY THERE. It should NOT have been something that an actual adult did in real life to deal with a difficult situation, and it certainly should not be something people think is awesome or cool or appropriate.
Let me explain: aside from the whole memes-as-news issue and the internet dictating what makes it to our TV screens and newspapers, the proportion of this story to the media and popular reaction is so exponentially unbalanced that I can’t believe people are still talking about it in a serious way. But putting that aside…
A movie? And a reality show? Really? For what exactly? Oh yeah, acting like an irresponsible and petulant child? Oh, also, he could have killed someone if anyone had been standing under the plane when he deployed the emergency slide. Hey, next time I almost get into a car accident because of road rage and endanger someone else’s life (because that is analogous to what Steven Slater did), can you put my glamour shots on the internet and get Ian Zeiring to play me in a movie? Please? Oh, and also, I am NOT excusing the woman who ignored dude’s admonishments to sit down and stop fiddling with her bag; that lady was being a complete jerk, too.
I think I have one of the more difficult day jobs around; most people who work with children with any kind of special needs would agree that it’s amazing work, but it’s not easy. There have been many times when I’ve had a very demoralizing experience (or whole day) and felt like taking this job and shoving it just like I’m sure everyone else in the world who’s ever worked has. I think a lot of creative people have probably had this experience as well, when they’ve wanted to throw in the towel when a big setback comes along. But when I feel this way, I definitely DON’T act like a dangerous and entitled jerk? I don’t know Steven Slater, he could be a perfectly nice man! All-around great dude! BUT: what he did was irresponsible and he looked more like an angry baby having a tantrum than the mythic folk hero everyone is making him out to be for “sticking it to the man in the only way he knew how.” Please.
Also, media: how about reporting on actual important things? Let me ask you this: what happens in the first act of the Steven Slater movie? or the final act? Really, I want people to pitch that story to me right now. What’s his “arc” gonna be like? and what about his reality show? Are we just going to see him walking around and doing ridiculously short-sighted crap and being rewarded for it? Oh, and another thing: thanks for proving how great the gays have it by making sure to include in the news reports of the story that Slater was later found at home “in a sexual embrace with his partner.” Great job, there. Vital detail. What a “subtle dig.” I would maybe add; “…because he is gay [sick]” but your wording works, too.