*and the pilot.
The pilot is important too.
Arguably just as important as you.
There's been a fight all day on the internet, a fight that comes up every few months like clockwork when a new video goes viral: airplane etiquette. Who is in the right and who is in the wrong for the situations you find yourself in when flying. Seat reclining and armrest space are the two biggies. Are you an asshole if you recline and violate someone's space behind you, or an asshole for making that person be uncomfortable so that YOU can be comfortable with your leg and knee space? Is it first-come-first-serve, "establish dominance," Darwinian survival-of-the-fittest for the armrest space, or do you share it like generous and civilized people? There are firm believers and strong voices on both sides and they love to go after each other, especially with Twitter, where everyone has an outlet to yell their correct opinions to the world.
There's another camp though, one that I don't see get represented very often. In fact I think I'm kind of the de-facto leader of that camp. And our motto is this: EVERYONE is wrong. The only person who is right: you.
I think of myself — and I think I've proven this over the years blogging on this thing — as a pretty rational person. I think I'm pretty fair. Yeah I'm pretty passionate about things, but I'm also pretty considerate of the other side, at least WILLING to try and see their side even if I don't agree with it, or even if it's just flat out wrong. Sometimes I'm too stubborn to show it, but in those cases, on the inside I'm still considering if maybe I'm wrong.
(Few exceptions of course. Nazis for example. I don't consider a Nazi's argument. I don't put myself in Nazi steel-toed boots and walk a mile with a tiki torch in their Nazi shoes. But for like, normal everyday issues, I keep an open mind.)
None of that applies to flying on an airplane. Or traveling in general. Anything to do with leaving where I am and going somewhere else. When on an airplane, all rationality goes out the window. There is no level-headed reason, no compromise, no empathy or compassion.
When I sit on a plane, whatever I want is the correct answer. Whatever is important to ME is right. MY comfort is all that matters, and if you are violating that, you are a fucking dipshit that I'm going to shred on Twitter to anyone who will listen.
I'm 6'2" with long ass legs — if you recline your seat and jam up my knees, if you shake my tray table and spill my Dewars on the rocks, if you make me shift myself in my seat in any way whatsoever, you're a fucking dick. Reclining is WRONG. Who the fuck needs to recline? Fucking sit there and shut up.
If it's a long flight and I'm a little tired and my back is stiff and I'm uncomfortable, I'm gonna recline. Get your knees the FUCK out of the way. Who the fuck are you to kick my seat? I'm uncomfortable — oh, YOUR comfort is more important than mine? Who the fuck are you? Do you pay my bills? Is your name Dave or Erika? No? Then I don't fucking care if your knees are cramped, you nobody.
This is what "good, considerate people" like Biz don't understand.
People who care about their fellow human beings in all situations, travel included. People who spend their whole day tweet-fighting with people imploring them to see the "other side." NO. No I will not see the other side. I'm fucking FLYING. I'm MISERABLE. I'm ANXIOUS. I paid 600 bucks for this dumbass gross coach seat because I didn't get my equity money yet. I don't even know where my bag is, I had to scramble and fight people to shove it into an undersized slot 10 rows up. Oh no my mistake, that was the last flight, they made me check it at the gate on this one because they were 100 slots short for the 150 person flight. Now I have to wait at fucking BAGGAGE CLAIM for 30 minutes like a JACKOFF for a 50/50 shot of even getting my bag back. Staring at the circle go around like an IDIOT, fighting with the rude ass people who stand right up against the railing the whole time, looking for a bag that looks like EVERY OTHER fucking bag on the thing.
So I'm gonna take this fucking armrest and I'm gonna recline my fucking seat or not recline my fucking seat and kick your reclined fucking seat depending on what my mood is at the moment because in this moment my mood and my comfort is the only thing on earth that matters to me.
I recommend everyone do the same. Stop fighting about being civilized and go out and enjoy the day. An airplane is no place for civilization. Look out for #1: yourself.
Your favorite pilot.