Jan Scruggs
Memorial founder

Jan Scruggs

Founder and president of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.


The guy's a lout

Q: The flight attendant who melted down after a passenger's overhead luggage beaned him, has become something of a folk hero. Steven Slater cursed out the traveler over a loudspeaker and then slid out of the plane's exit chute, exclaiming "I quit!" Can blowing up -- even in a professional capacity -- be a good thing? Have you ever rebelled, or wanted to?

Can blowing up be a good thing?

A controlled blow-up now and then is -- or can be -- useful to get people's attention. A little temper tantrum is sometimes about the only way to get some people to pay to take note of the fact that you are a living, breathing human being who has a grievance that you expect to be dealt with.

A calm, unmodulated voice protesting some injustice will not even get the bus driver to turn his head. One must turn up the heat, so to speak -- when appropriate, of course.

Making a national spectacle out of something as uninteresting as dealing with an annoying passenger on an airplane does not seem to even remotely rise to the level of folk hero status. Can you imagine our troops in Afghanistan, many of whom dodge bullets daily, laughing at the attention this goofy fellow has achieved?

Such behavior goes against our societal values and individual sensibilities. There is nothing to admire about this abhorrent behavior. It may be funny in a movie like "Airport," but in real life the result is that many people were inconvenienced and few, if any, present found his behavior either funny or admirable.

Have I ever wanted to rebel? Well, if I ever do, it will not be through the use of an airplane's emergency equipment!!

By Jan Scruggs  |  August 15, 2010; 7:25 PM ET  | Category:  Success and controversy Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: A well-traveled path | Next: Getting a grip


Please report offensive comments below.

Hero. My gosh, some people are so uptight they can't pass gas! I would have liked to smack that passenger...he chose to leave the situation (with flair). He's my hero.

Posted by: snowbucks | August 16, 2010 2:16 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Congratulations to you, Steve. I'm looking for may parachute.

Posted by: farnaz_mansouri2 | August 16, 2010 3:36 AM
Report Offensive Comment

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company