Wednesday, August 11, 2010

All Hail!

The Slater

You most likely know who this is. If you don't, go here.

Steven Slater has become the poster boy for the frustrated and repressed masses in the United States virtually overnight. I am absolutely positive that he will be making the rounds of EVER television news show and late night discussion show for the next three weeks.

Without a doubt, Mr. Slater has touched a nerve in the American psyche that is resonating very long and deep.

While I cheered to myself when I read about his exploits and also envied him for his balls and hutzpa, there is also a darker side to this.

Five or six years ago when things were 'better', this sort of behavior would have been looked upon as very unprofessional and somewhat lunatic. He certainly would not have been made into a media darling.

Such is not the case today. Which is a bell-weather of sorts. More Americans than not identify with Mr. Slater. They feel his anger and frustration and admire him for what he did. Indeed, it appears that many Americans wish they could emulate him, and many may do so in the near future.

This is a very disturbing sign. In a time of economic stagnation and deflation, when we should be grateful we have any job, many people seem poised on the brink and are ready to shuck it all and pull the escape chute. I don't sense a lot of optimism here.

A society that is not optimistic about their future and in fact is pessimistic to the extent that they will burn their bridges just to leave the only employment they have is not good. It shows a fundamental shift in the perception of the country and it's future.

At this point, I am not quite sure what that future will be.


  1. I don't know if it would have been looked at differently five or six years ago. His "heroic" act has really nothing to do with the economic situation of the country, although the related frustration we all feel may play into it a bit.

    No, it's more about manners and dealing with your every day rude idiot. Here's a guy who did that for twenty-something years and just couldn't take it any more. That's all that this is about.

  2. I think it says a lot about how people treat others these days. Those in the service industry are often at the receiving end of a customer's bad day. It seems as though people can no longer contain their frustrations with life and they just infect others.

    I can understand his reaction. And that is why I would never work in his field. I am sure I would tip food on someone's head if they were being moronic.

  3. It is a somewhat explosive topic. Not quite akin to going postal, but definitely retaliative behavior that originates from work related stress.

    For a long time I've suspected that airline related stress in the traveling public has a lot to do with the space allocated per passenger. You know those studies with mice and rats where the scientists crowd them into smaller spaces in order to increase their stress? Well it works. When you reduce a person's access to space, it dramatically increases their stress.

    The economics of less expensive airline tickets come with the added stress-factor bonus built in.

    Not sure that's the precise root cause of Mr. Slater's situation, but I'd be surprised if the troublesome customer situations he has had to work with in his career were not aggravated by that sardine-sqeezing-space-restricting situation on aircraft.

    Interesting and thought provoking to be sure!

  4. Earl: Perception is probably different in every part of the country, but down here in the Southwest it is morbid. I don't anyone that isn't set to go off just like Mr. Slater. It is like living on a powder keg down here.

    Linda: Sadly, this is all the United States is anymore. A service economy. All the manufacturing is done in China and India these days (except for nuclear subs and space shuttles, and we know how much those are in demand.)

    Poindexter: Excatly, which is why I never fly. I don't particularly care for 'cattle cars with wings'. I always go by rail if at all possible.

  5. I really don't find anything heroic about this guy.

    I'm just glad he didn't resort to any type of physical violence such as "going postal" with the passengers.

  6. i just cant believe all the press this guy has gotten.

    yes, we can all relate to dealing with idiots in our job, but in HIS profession, what he did was inexcusable really.

    I dont necessarily BLAME him, but i wouldnt make him a hero, either...

  7. I think the way people treat each other has become based on monetary value, and that in itself is the cause for frustration in a time of perceived scant resources. We're raised to believe that we were all "created equal" just to grow up in a world where equality does not truly exist in the way people treat each other.