Jeff Jarvis at BuzzMachine is ranting some more about John Gilmore’s altercation with British Airways over his refusal to remove a “Suspected Terrorist” button. Although I feel Jeff gets carried away with his obvious disgust at the end of his post, I understand his anger. As I mentioned in an earlier post I made on Lies, Gilmore’s actions and reactions to the requests and demands of the flight crew indicate to me a person who acts so self-focused on his personal mission to protest the grievous violation of his personal rights that he decides that the rights of his fellow passengers are of lesser importance.
Jeff focuses on one particular section of the justification that Gilmore makes for his actions. I’d like to point out a few other things. First, is Gilmore’s smug comment about how he doesn’t fly much anymore so he isn’t use to”life in a gulag”. There is nothing that hits my hot button harder during a political discussion as when someone casually throws out a comparison of a personal experience to something truly sinister like a Russian Gulag!!! Where does this pompous ass get the nerve to dare to put his experiences with airport security at the same level of those who suffered and died in merciless slave labor camps!!!!!! This comment is coming from someone who is privileged and well-off enough to be making all these international trips in the first place, and he dares to align his “indignities” with those innocents who died brutal and senseless deaths!! When I hear self-important elitists of any political persuasion make those kind of ignorant, disrespectful comments, I can chew through concrete!!
Next, is his total shock that HE would actually have some responsibility for causing a safety concern or, by resisting the orders of a flight crew, for causing the plane to turn back to the gate and be delayed. As I mentioned in my earlier post, those who are as self-absorbed as Gilmore, tend to view any perceived interference in what they want to do, say, or wear, as being of paramount importance. While showing no sense of obligation or responsibility to others affected by their actions. Yes, the airline employees had control of choosing to turn the plane around, but GILMORE had control of removing the button to avoid the situation. And yes, he DID bear some responsibility for whatever safety concerns there were, since he was the one implying that he might be a terrorist. As unlikely as it may be, you don’t know everyone’s health condition, frame of mind or emotional reactions in a potentially anxious or stressful situation. The flight crew didn’t create the guidelines for security and safety, but they do have to follow them, and often make judgement calls in enforcing them. Instead of taking his beef to the policy-makers, Gilmore confronts those who are just trying to do what is already a difficult, stressful and often thankless job.
Lastly, he reveals his perceived moral and intellectual superiority over those who may disagree with him by claiming that “you readers” are mere mindless passives of a bullying, fascist US Government, not unlike the Polish Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto in WWII. (Ahhh, another grossly overstated comparison to a truly dark historical period involving REAL despair, human devaluation and death. Someone please give me some nails to bite on!)
It makes me wish that the next time Gilmore relates his most recent horrific experience of suffering through another torturous, demeaning “carry-on bag” inspection, he would suddenly be transported through time to a remote Siberian prison in 1939. But then again, it may look amazingly like Terminal B at LAX.
As I also mentioned in my earlier post, anyone can protest the perceived death of their personal freedoms that current airport security is creating. But what is Gilmore’s magical alternative for a massive public transportation system which carries dual high expectations for efficiency and safety, while protecting everyone’s real and imagined personal rights of privacy, while operating in an ever more dangerous world?