We’ve been busy on the home-front, more on that next post.
The past week I might have been able to avoid the wall-to-wall clickbaity coverage of the United denied boarding incident if it weren’t the talk of the town wherever I went.
I have not read through a single article about the incident. My interest is chiefly in the range and passion of reactions. Rationally, this is something that will impact very few people and we will all be better off spending the time learning something useful to our lives. But, we are not rational and this is irresistible clickbait.
Scholars employ the word palimpsest here, where everyone layers their own views on to the event. Law and order types see rules to be followed, social crusaders see lack of fairness, anti-elitists see evil in frequent flyer elite status, anti-corporatists see the evils of big corporations, some Chinese see racism, etc, etc, etc.
My pet sociological theory is the tension in American society between rules and fairness. We see rules as useful for society to function. We are happy when others follow rules, yet we bristle at following rules ourselves. We think rules should be fair in our interpretation, otherwise me may justify their violation. We lionize innovative businesspeople as ‘rule-breakers’. ‘Rules are meant to be broken,’ ‘it is better to ask for forgiveness that permission,’ and so on. We elected a President who has lived a boastful life of breaking rules and exploiting those who follow them. We contradict ourselves. This event salaciously highlights the contradiction.
I am no sociologist and what I say is as much poppycock as anyone.
What we can all agree is we need endless coverage of this event. I have noticed a dangerous tailing off of coverage. Some major blogs are down to one post per day.
As I need web clicks and other outlets are unable to sustain momentum, I will pick up the baton in post after post after post on this incident. Consider it my apology for being away from the blog for a couple weeks. I will not confine myself to facts or reason. Rest assured, you will click!