With her finger once again squarely on the pulse of America right now, Peggy Noonan writes in today’s WSJ about Steven Slater, the now-famous JetBlue flight attendant who cursed out his passengers, grabbed a beer, and slid down the emergency exit chute and off into the night.
Her point wasn’t to praise Slater, but to lament about how damn rude people are, and how the government with its paranoia and determination to fit us all into one type, forces such behavior.
Her column was titled ‘We pay them to be rude to us,’ and she details time and again where she was confronted by rude people, who after being reminded of their rudeness, said trite things like ‘have a good day!’
She walks down the sidewalk and is stopped by a woman with a clipboard…another survey. She tries to avoid her and is met with a sullen ‘oh sorry!’ She waits in a hospital waiting room and deals with the classic ‘dead face,’ that public person who keeps his or her face stolid, refusing to emote, because she needed to be expressionless or else face the wrath of the seething people in line.
Noonan’s point here is that we are a service economy, so most people’s jobs now involve serving people. And we don’t like it, one bit. America, she declares, just wants to take the chute, curse them all and bail out.
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