Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Empathy and Air Travel



A few days ago, I ranted about how I was detained by security at an airport, then lost my computer.  I've put an update on the bottom of the that post: My Disasters, Natural and Otherwise.

So let me talk about my new friend, whom I've never met and whom I know pretty much nothing about, Steve Silberman, blogger over on Neurotribes.  Now I've never actually read much of Neurotribes, and maybe he express opinions that would make me feel ill, but when one of our readers pointed out the post called "Dear United Airlines: I Want My Kindle and My Dignity Back", I felt like I had found a soul mate in my distress over my lost laptop and the frustration I have felt in trying to inspire some sense of caring or empathy from TSA or the airlines. 

Mr. Silberman writes:


The metaphor of frogs that don’t notice the water around them is getting warmer until it’s boiling (and they’re cooked) is only an urban legend, say the vigilant debunkers at Snopes.com — but it’s an apt image for today’s frequent flyers. Schlepping their carry-ons through security mazes, standing shoeless with arms outstretched in bleeping machines, shrugging off dramatic confiscations of shampoo and toothpaste, and frantically rejiggering carefully-plotted itineraries at a moment’s notice, we’ve come to accept the current state of affairs as just another way that life sucks in the post-9/11 era. Never mind that I’m old enough to recall when a cross-country trip on an airplane, even in economy class, offered an opportunity to unwind and feel coddled in the lap of luxury for a few hours with a stratospheric view. Now I look forward to flying about as much as I look forward to a trip to the dentist.


Okay, Steve, it was nice to meet you. 
My Disasters, Natural and Otherwise, now updated.