Thursday, August 10, 2006
Soft Landing
I complain a lot about how having kids restricts my ability to go places and do things, but sometimes it works out OK. My practical inability to jet off to London on a moment's notice for this week at least will save me a lot of time and anxiety what with all the plans for scary bad guys to blow up planes in-flight.

I know we're not supposed to show terrorists that they scare us, so let's just keep my discomfort between us, yes? Great.

Even though I myself am not planning on taking any transcontinental trips, there are people very close to me who may be in the next 2-3 months. So that's something fun to ponder. For the sake of my sanity, let's employ the ole Human Capacity For Self-Deception and see what alternative explanations for this threat we can come up with to allay some public worry, shall we?

1) The British are liars. Never mind the elaborate practical joke they've been trying to pass off to the world as "British cuisine" over the last thousand years or so ("No really, you stuff all the internal organs into a pouch made from the stomach, throw it in a pot full of blood and dirt and boil it for three days... absolutely scrummy, wot!"), but you know they've got a motive not to be truthful. It's been 230 years since we left them, but they still want us back. Causing all this panic and claiming to have "foiled the plot" is the oldest trick in the book. It's like when you're in high school and your girlfriend breaks up with you, so you pay off a homeless guy to pistol-whip her in an alley on the way home from school just so you can happen by just at the right moment and break up the assault with a staged fight. Then you get to be the hero AND the guy who nurses her back to health and then loves her despite her new facial deformity. Oldest trick in the book. Substitute "terrorists" for "homeless guy" and "exploding transcontinental jetliners" for "pistol-whip" and I think the pattern is pretty clear. We see you working, United Kingdom. We are not fooled. As a nation, our legs remain closed.

2) Everyone knows Tony Blair is George Bush's bitch. He nods and smiles when told, he hangs around the back of the chair while the boss open-mouth chews his food and makes inane pontifications which Blair is obliged to pretend are pithy or even coherent. So yesterday, Joe Lieberman (a man known to kiss George Bush on the mouth in public) gets beaten in his primary. A pro-war incumbent--though a Democrat--angrily rebuked by voters. Not a good sign for November. What to do? ORANGE ALERT! Haven't had one since late summer 2004, have we? Strange, isn't it? One phone call to Downing Street and all of a sudden terrorists are thick as flies in London. Seriously, there are a lot of flies in London. You can order them as a side with your awful, awful food.

3) Aircraft imperiled by a dangerous liquid, hmm... let me see... what else is liquid and deadly? Napalm? Sure. Cyanide? Absolutely. Mel Gibson's eleventh vodka tonic (hold the tonic)? Only to Hollywood careers, but why not. Hey, you know what else is liquid and deadly? SNAKE VENOM. On a plane.

It's a long way to go, but New Line Cinema has pulled out all the stops to market Snakes on a Plane. Get people thinking about planes in crisis, raise the social awareness level and then... hey, you know what might be fun to watch? A movie about a guy on a plane in trouble that is then saved with a combination of American bravado and some well-placed, expertly delivered F-bombs. Sounds wonderfully diverting and cathartic to me! It's a cultural and psychological must-do.

I continue to be amazed by the creative lengths the people at New Line have gone to promote Snakes on a Plane, but this is just too far. I almost want to see it now just to reward the sheer audacity. Just be warned though that the next step is clearly for them to actually release some deadly snakes on an actual plane containing a well-known African-American actor. Not Sam Jackson though, he's worth too much. Maybe Omar Epps or something. Look for it.

That's it, that's all I've got. I'll go to great lengths to bend reality to fit my psychological needs, but it's not impossible. If a blog isn't for this, what is it for?

Oh, that's right. It's for this (possbily NSFW). To think I nearly forgot.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 6.1


EDIT: Warning added. Your bosses are prudes.


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