Thursday, September 29, 2005

Wah!! Bring me a blankey!

Ah, isn't life in our whiney United States grand?

It seems everyone, every group, is a poor, put-upon, misunderstood, undervalued yet heroic group - and one which Hollywood has maliciously misportrayed. Let's take to the streets. Let's boycott those bastards!

And don't forget - while we're at it let's make sure we somehow weave in a reference to 9/11.

The latest in a long line of whiners are the various flight attendant unions who are decrying as foul-play, and calling for a boycott of, the recent Jodie Foster movie FlightPlan. Can you believe that several flight attendants are portrayed in the film as rude and uncaring? Despicable.

Even worse - sit down and prepare yourself for the shock of all shocks (I wouldn't want you to pass out and hurt yourself) - one flight attendant is actually one of the bad guys in the movie! How offensive! In the words of Corey Caldwell, spokeswoman for the Association of Flight Attendants:
"We could get over the rudeness, but the evilness, to be the villain, that is not acceptable"
She's right - I don't think I'll be able to carry on with life or ever fly again after having seen this movie. My reality is shattered, my brain's been battered... oh, sorry, drifted into a Stones' moment for a second... Back to reality.

First, I have one thing to remind Ms. Caldwell of: "It's a movie!" And, it's called fiction - that means it's made up, not real, pretend, make believe - get the picture? Secondly, if people actually watch the film, they will see that not all the flight attendants are portrayed in a negative light. And, the flight attendant villain does what in the end? Decides NOT to be a villain anymore.

So... what about the captain of the plane? The Air Marshall? And ALL the passengers on the plane - every single one? They are ALL painted negatively in this film. Guess we all should be pissed, right?

But that doesn't register with the brave flight attendants. According to Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) International President Patricia Friend:
"Flight attendants continue to be the first line of defense on an aircraft and put their lives on the line day after day for the safety of passengers."
Really? Wow, I never viewed the job responsibiliites of a flight attendant as being equal to police and firefighters. Nor did I know the hiring requirements were as stringent. I hope she doesn't mean that just the act of flying itself is putting your life on the line - otherwise that's not a reassuring endorsement of commercial aviation.

But wait, it gets better. Let's read some more choice statements by Tommie Hutto-Blake, president of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants:
"Should there be another 9-11, it would be critical for the cabin crew to have the support of their passengers, not the distrust that this movie may engender."
That seems a fair enough comment, until followed up by:
"Our fellow crew members who perished in the line of duty deserve more respect"
Oh, now you've done it. Crossed the line by pulling the 9-11 card. That's right, the profession of everyone who perished in 9-11 is now off-limits to ever having a character in a movie being portrayed in a negative light - because to do so would dishonor the individuals who perished in the attack. Okay, so what about the professions of those who perished in WWII? Korea? Vietnam? The Gulf War? Oklahoma City?

Maybe Hollywood, as a whole, should subscribe to the following dictum:
After careful consideration of our industry, and in light of revelations brought to our attention by the Association of Flight Attendants, we realize that many of our films have villainous characters and do in fact portray these characters in a negative light. We are shocked and embarrassed by this realization. From this point further, we vow to make all human characters in films positive role models for their culture, religion, and profession and if we must use a villain in our story line it will, from this day forward, be portrayed only by robotic figures with no human characteristics - until such time as the robots evolve and complain.
Well... maybe not.

Don't get me wrong. Flight attendants provide a valuable service. And while serving pretzels and drinks may seem to be the cornerstone of their responsibilities, their presence on an airplane also provides a necessary authority and calming effect.

But to claim that because of 9-11 they are elevated to the level of police and firefighters, or are somehow better than the rest, and should be exempt from ever being shown in a negative light in film is not only an ignorant belief, it is also an arrogant, uncaring, rude and offensive statement from the airline attendants unions.

Funny how they seem to be showcasing the very thing they are protesting against.

Shame on them.



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