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No smoking, some peanuts, partial nudity, chilled Pellegrino, please

No smoking, some peanuts, partial nudity, chilled Pellegrino, please

The latest self-absorbed manifesto is that airlines should be forced to stop showing movies with violence just in case someone’s child may glance up at the screen and be damaged for life. Apparently, some people in Congress are actually considering such legislation.

We’ve already lost peanuts, because of rare allergic reactions (according to John Weisnagel, M.D. 125 people died last year in the U.S. due to anaphylaxis, which includes all food allergies, including peanuts).

Then there are the people who object to the passenger in front of them reclining a seat which is designed to be reclined (and they even buy gizmos to jam in their seats to prevent the dastardly recliners in front of them).

Southwest Air tried to evict a woman for wearing a sexy outfit, even though I’ve seen attire far more riské in fine restaurants, and would like to see Southwest ticket agents groomed as well.

Whose rules do we live by? Does everyone have the right to demand a customized flight experience? What about people who are allergic to shell fish? Should we banish shrimp? What about the vegetarians who have to stare at a seatmate consuming something that passes for meat somewhere over Iowa?

Shouldn’t parents play a game with children or converse with them to occupy attention so that they don’t glance at an undesirable screen (that is probably less damaging than their normal television regimen)? Aren’t people with various medical conditions accountable for taking proper preventive and contingent actions to deal with them?

The airlines are in neither the entertainment nor culinary professions. They do offer a first class (well, outside of Southwest Air) if you desire more individualized treatment.

How can we legislate conditions in life that are optimal for each, single individual without paralyzing all of us into inaction? Freedom, I think, is about personal accountability, not learned helplessness requiring protection from the state.

I’m tired of people demanding that their personal comfort and preferences should take precedence over everyone else’s. Otherwise, seat me up front in an area of no smoking, some peanuts, partial nudity, and chilled Pellegrino, please. Oh, yes, and no children below the age of 18.

I don’t see how you could possibly object.

© Alan Weiss 2007. All rights reserved.

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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