2010-08-27 / Letters

Flyboy On The Block

Dear Editor,

Yes. The infamous flight attendant lives on my block in the oceanfront apartment. He’s been there for only three months and no one I know has met him or spoken to him. He shares the apartment with a gentleman whom I do not know. What I do know is this country has gone bonkers: News vans line up as early as 5 a.m. and stalk this guy’s every move. (This is going on day five.) Reporters, hungry to make a non-story a story, rang every door bell from mid-block to the ocean asking if people knew him. When they all answered in the negative, they asked what we thought of the situation (anything to make a non-story a story.) I was cornered yesterday morning only to tell the reporters the stock market went down 265 points the day before, the economy is in the crapper, we are engaged in two wars with one looming, Fanny and Freddy are kaput and the job market is non-existent. The reporter said that I could say that on camera. I told her, “no.” I warned her if she turned on the camera she would have to delete every third word. She was even willing to do that. Then, I told her to look for somebody who really hungered to be on TV. I was not the one. She left.

Blockies have called the police to restore order from the press feeding frenzy as news van after news van lined our streets blocking our driveways with their towers deployed. In this neighborhood, this kind of news coverage is normally regrettably reserved for drownings. I phoned the precinct this a.m. to request they clear the block of their vehicles or our garbage would go uncollected. Last night, they all received summonses for parking in No Parking Zones when I was not at home.

Their vigil seems to be waning. However, all this attention may already have made this flight attendant a millionaire. America is desperate for a diversion. Let’s see if there’s a book and/or movie in this one. The last scene of the movie will probably be his sliding down the chute flipping onlookers the bird.

Seriously, the entire scenario points out the lack of respect people show for one another: He, for his job, his passengers and peers; the passengers who allegedly fought, for their inability to be gracious and respect their fellow passengers’ rights for the uninvolved passengers and the flight attendants.

In the big bad world out there, absence of respect is rampant: Banks for the little people; SEC for investors; government for everybody unaffiliated with the government; politicians for everyone but themselves unless it’s re-election time; mortgagors for applicants; manufacturers for their customers; kids for their teachers; and citizens for their policemen...

The time has more than come for the clergy to emphasize respect in sermon after sermon to awaken our citizens to the fact that we, as a society, have traded respect for rudeness. Moreover, instead of President Obama delivering a long-winded speech on something about which he does nothing, he should return to our grass roots family values in his oratory and mean it. Perhaps the folly of the flyboy did the country a favor if he brought one ounce of civility back into American discourse, even if he failed to practice it himself.

JOAN METTLER

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