Behold, Progressive Entitlement Syndrome:
There’s a small act of rebellion that I indulge in whenever I’m on an airplane. I don’t turn off my iPhone or iPod during takeoff and landing. And if I’m tucked away in a window seat where the flight attendants can’t see me, I actually use them. Emails and texts start coming in as the plane descends. Why do I do this? Because I have a problem with following rules that don’t make any sense, and the rule that we must turn off all electronic devices during the beginning and end of the flight makes no sense to me.
Touré is apparently oblivious to the other, non electronic means of distraction like reading (I myself knit). I have a sneaking suspicion that his situational rebellious badassedry doesn’t apply to the TSA sexual assaults that our government likes to pass off as security checks.
The airplane experience has become so arduous — from the strip search and feel-up of the TSA to the curt rudeness of airline employees to the loss of amenities that have turned flying from something fun and sexy into a depressing ride on an airbus that you just try to get through. After getting molested by the TSA, making my way through a long line filled with annoyed people and snuggling into a tiny seat, the last thing I need is to be cut off from my iPhone and iPod and left alone with my thoughts.
I’d be much more impressed if Touré had written a screed detailing how he stood up to the TSA and his various forms of related protest. Sadly, he glosses over this more pressing problem for the travesty that is the few minutes of lost email time. Personally, I sometimes relish the flights that don’t have wifi. We’ve become so constantly connected that we exhibit irrational withdrawal symptoms if we’re unable to check our email every two minutes — and I say this as a gadget-aholic.
Call me a rebel without a cause if you like but I have a cause — the need to be distracted. I don’t want to be forced to listen to other people’s phone conversations because we’re inches away on a plane, but I also don’t want my plane neighbors making idle conversation with me because their minds are restless without their e-reader.
No, Touré is not a rebel; the words for which I’m looking are “snob” and “juvenile.” A few minutes of small talk is that beneath him? I thought progressives were champions of the people, compassionate empathizing populists. Touré is a writer which is why I find it difficult to believe that he is unable to parse together a few polite words to excuse himself from conversation during takeoff.
His cause is the need to be distracted, my (and many other Americans) have a cause as well: the cause not to be felt up just to get on a plane. I once had less than an hour after a television hit to catch a flight leaving La Guardia and no time to change from my dress into more suitable flight attire. That day security ran their hands up my skirt and down the front and back of my tights, in full view of the public, as I had no time to wait the 20 or so minutes for security to escort me to a private room. That concerns me more than some man’s inability to fiddle with his phone because he can’t be bothered to talk to people during takeoff.
Your right to free speech isn’t violated by having to wait to break out your cellphone, your right to be secure from unreasonable searches isn’t infringed upon because you can’t play Words with Friends as the plane ascends to cruising altitude.