30 November 2013

Yesterday it seemed like the Intertoobs were all a-twitter over some reality show producer who live-tweeted someone else’s meltdown on an airplane he was suck in. And the general consensus iseems to be that the guy, Eli Langer, is some sort of heroic figure and damned funny to boot, having put that person in her place.

I enjoy reading Teh Funny, so I followed the link everyone was sharing and prepared to laugh my ass off.

I didn’t.

I didn’t even chuckle.

Instead, I spent some time trying to figure out what was so amusing about a guy taking to Twitter in order to show what a giant douche he can be. Because in the end, that’s all I saw. Someone who finds joy in picking on other people.

That’s what he did, folks. He wasn’t some champion of the Airplane Oppressed. He acted like a prepubescent troll, and offered it up live for mass consumption. And for God knows what reason, people found it funny.

Here’s the link [clicky here]. Go take a look. Laugh if you want to, but then really soak in what you’re reading.

The first few tweets are, I admit, a little interesting. They’re just over the top enough to wonder if he’s making it all up, but real enough to not care. Some woman is having a meltdown; all she wants is to get to her family for Thanksgiving, the flight is delayed, and she’s obviously a dozen kinds of upset and taking it out on the crew and everyone around her.

I was on his side (but not finding it funny) right up until the picture of the wine and first note he sent her. After that…you’re a jerk, mister. You had the chance to be nice, be the better person, to offer her the wine and a note that, while sympathetic, also let her know that enough was enough.

You can do stuff like that with kindness, you know. Instead he told her “Hopefully if you drink it, you won’t be able to use your mouth to talk.”

Real classy there.

He follows it up with two bottles of vodka. Sure, it pisses her off, and he thinks that’s just fine and dandy. She sends him a note telling him what she thinks, and for him, “this means war.”

And this is wear we learn a little bit about the woman. Her name is Diane, and she’s wearing a medical mask over her “idiot face.”

The medical mask wasn’t a clue? Like perhaps she’s got more crap going on than the stress of holiday travel? Like this trip wasn’t just important but important and that’s why she’s melting down?

So hey, let’s send her another note! Only this time, tell her “I hate you very much. Eat my dick.”

Let it go at that?

Of course not. Keep poking the bear. And make another dick-eating comment, because the first one was so mature.

I don’t see the humor in any of it. What I see is some guy bullying a woman who really can’t fight back.

Is she a douche, too?

Probably. The thing with this is we don’t get to know her side of the story. We get a narrow, one-sided look at a woman taking out her Very Bad Day on people who don’t deserve it.

And truly no one in that plane deserved it.

But that doesn’t mean it’s all right to bully her, and it’s really not all right to let the rest of the world pile on.

People like Diane are irritating. No one wants to be stuck where she is, complaining like she is, and it’s easy to say she got what she deserved.

We all think about doing just what Elan did, giving her a taste of her own medicine.

The problem with that? It’s mean. It makes us no better than the person at whom we’re poking back.

Elan Langer isn’t a hero.

He’s a jerk and a bully.

Picture yourself having a horrible, awful day; a soul crushing, can’t-get-much-worse-day. And you slip up, have a few minutes of a selfish, tantrum-tinged meltdown because you've hit your breaking point. Then someone like him comes along…

It’s not funny anymore, is it?

4 comments:

Dixiepaco said...

Well said!

gael mueller said...

I felt the same way. He was awful. And we are suppose to think that is funny? Making fun of people isn't funny. Not helping isn't funny.
And to be honest, I don't think it is true. Which makes it even more not funny because it was done so people would laugh at being mean and thoughtless.
Not funny. Not funny at all.

julier said...

Agreed 100%!! Kindness and empathy is what is called for - not bullying and making fun of somebody.

Victoria Henderson said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought all this guy did was make a crummy situation a zillion times worse. "Fly your lazy ass around" so I suppose he flapped his arms? I'm the wife of a "Diane" type traveler, and it's no fun for any of us. I have to tranq him to go anywhere without air marshalls and/or Homeland Security not being involved. He isn't on the no-fly list yet, but it's coming, and a jerk like this would kick off a midair brawl from hell.

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