Alas, a true lover of mankind, I am not. But as I fly through LaGuardia and then Atlanta/Hartsfield I wonder if Mother Teresa, St. Francis Assisi or, even, Mr. Rogers could make it through a day in "Economy" without rage.
Let's start with the "Breezeway," the name Delta's chosen for its unmoving line onto their aging jets. My row had no window--evidence that they jammed more seats in the vessel than originally intended and I could not cross my legs. My knees were flush against the seat in front of me.
On the PA system, they piped in the sounds of crying babies--if only to muffle the sounds of crying babies. The pilot took delight in calling terminal T terminal "tango." Do you tango? I don't and would have preferred T as in Terpsichore.
Now I sit in a processed food court that is lit brighter than the surface of the sun, the smell of refried grease permeating the refried people. The Cashew chicken is back at Panda Express. I hadn't known it ever left. My daughter says, "We could sit at Friday's but then we'd be sitting at Friday's."
Is this America today, I wonder, where everything feels processed, synthetic, cheap,run down, of low-quality. The staggering thing, I think is that amid all our choices, there are really no choices. What rotten airline do you want to fly, what lousy airport do you want to connect through, what lousy food do you want to eat, what mediocre candidates (or at least candidates who pander to the lowest common denominator) will you vote for?
Sallow black men in prison-style pants down around their knees sweep lazily pushing big grey petrochemical buckets and jawing with one another. Everyone, everyone seems to have latex gloves on, why? Is there still phantom anthrax in the air or is it AIDS or is it petrochemical companies adding yet another billion to their coffers?