Steven Slater: Hero or Zero?

Posted by cher on August 12th, 2010

Unless you live in a cave, I’m sure you’ve heard about Steven Slater, a Jet Blue flight attendant who lost his cool when a passenger ignored the rules regarding overhead luggage.

The story:

According to the New York Post, Slater, who resides in Queens, told a woman when they were on the tarmac in Pittsburgh that one of her bags was too big and must be checked. She cursed him out and slammed the overhead shut, supposedly hitting him in the head. Flash forward a couple hours and the same woman ignores the rules again, trying to take down her other bag before the captain gave the ok. She cursed Slater out again.

This is when the self-proclaimed “bag Nazi” lost it. He grabbed the microphone, shouting a few expletives of his own toward the woman, as well as, “‘To those who have shown dignity and respect these last 20 years, thanks for a great ride.” He then grabbed his bags, swiped a couple of beers, activated the inflatable emergency chute, slid down and headed for the parking lot.

The Aftermath:

Slater was obviously arrested and removed from his position with Jet Blue pending investigation. He was released on bail tonight and came face-to-face with a flurry of media attention; he essentially became an overnight “hero” to disgruntled workers around the world and an Internet sensation. His Facebook fanpage already has over 150,000 fans, with hundreds of comments on each post. Donkey Tees has already created a shirt that says “Quit your Job with Style, Steven Slater”. Headline News host Nancy Grace has spoken out in support of him, saying “Power to the flight attendants!” There’s even a lovely musical ballad of Slater’s plight (yes, I meant plight, not flight) on YouTube. The chorus goes a little something like this: “F*ck you. F*ck all of you. I’m f*cking through with this. I’ve had it.” It’s actually quite catchy, I’m hoping it’ll be on iTunes soon.

There’s been some backlash, however. TMZ came across an internal Jet Blue email that describes his actions as “a forceful event…and could have severely injured or even killed.” Some comments on news sources call him a “jerk” and claim he wasted money by activating the shoot, and say he “could’ve handled it better.”

To the people who are bitching about his decision I say: Do I consider Slater a hero? No, I think he’s a guy who had taken enough abuse in the industry and made an impulsive decision. What I do appreciate, however, is that Slater decided that his way of going out consisted of cursing, grabbing a couple of beers and sliding down a chute – instead of using a gun (or some other force) and taking out people. Let’s not forget the shooting that recently occurred in Connecticut when an upset employee shot eight people out of revenge because of alleged racist comments. So, whether you think Slater is a hero or a douchebag, let’s all just be grateful he went out in such a peaceful and classy way. ‘Cause really, what’s more classy (and by classy, I mean awesome) than grabbing a few brews before you peace out?

FlipMe! Dating

Posted by cher on August 5th, 2010

I saw an ad in this week’s issue of Time Out New York for a new concept to help people make “connections.” It’s a pretty basic concept called FlipMe! dating: When you’re out at a bar, restaurant, laundromat, wherever, and you see someone you’re attracted to, you give them a FlipMe card. Every card reads “I’ve said ‘what if …’ too many times. Not this time,” and has a unique ID that the receiver can use to log in to and then contact you personally, if so inclined. (I.e. if he or she thinks you’re hot.)

The FlipMe! website gives tips on “how to flip.” Such suggestions include: The Flip-and-Run, which occurs when the flipper approaches a person of interest, hands over a card without any conversation, and walks away. There’s also the Wingman Flip, where you give the card to a friend to hand over to the hottie who’s caught your eye.

It seems a little pricey: $24.99 for 30 cards and 3-months of access to the site. The website doesn’t indicate what the costs are after the first 3 months. And obviously there’s no guarantee that anyone you give a card to will actually contact you. It’s a clever idea, but I have doubts about the effectiveness.

Forget, for a second, about getting up the nerve to give someone a card. What if you received one? I think I’d be intrigued but I would wonder: Why didn’t he just talk to me in the moment? I get that the point is you can let someone know you’re attracted to them without making any major effort, but it’s kind of a catch 22 – you have to get up the balls to give someone a card but then it looks like you have no balls because you didn’t strike up a conversation on your own – you had to use an internet site as a go-between.

So, thoughts? Would you have the guts to give these out to strangers? And if you received one, would you play the ball that’s been put in your court and contact the person? If you do decide to experiment with FlipMe! cards, don’t take all 30 of them with you if you’re planning on drinking. Liquid courage can be a good thing…but beer goggles can be a very, very bad thing.

Coney Island: Where $5 gets you 52 balls and a fish

Posted by cher on August 3rd, 2010

After over an hour on the train, thanks to the D turning into the N on the local track (don’t get me started on another MTA rant), we stepped off the train and were immediately greeted with the giant yellow and green signs indicating a Nathan’s hotdog was within steps of our salivating mouths.

I didn’t know what to expect of Coney Island. From old movies and negative articles, I’d designed in my mind a broken-down, dilapidated beach-front full of depressing creaky rides and a sullen overcast of fun-that-once-was.

I was, however, wrong. First, let me set the scene: it was a perfect summer day; a mere 80 degrees compared to the near 100 degree days we’ve been experiencing as of late. Families were abundant and the beach was crowded. After we devoured hot dogs and cheese fries, we headed to the boardwalk.

First stop: an arcade where we were promised a fish for $5.00. More specifically, we were given a bucket of 52 balls for $5 with a guarantee of a fish even if we didn’t make a ball into one of the dozens of glass bowls in front of us. Fortunately, our beer pong skills from college paid off and we each walked away with a new pet fish.

Next stop: the newly opened Luna Park. It’s set next to the still running 90 year old roller coaster (which we decided against riding) and other, older rides. Luna Park’s rides are more geared toward younger kids (but hell yeah we rode the teacups!)

From there, we stopped at the Circus Side Show and contemplated going in. The little curtain and screams coming from within kind of deterred us, though. I’m sure it might be cool but something about the dinginess made it feel like a peep show – except with clothes and knives and snakes.

Final take: Coney Island certainly isn’t glamorous. It has a seedy aura to it that I’m not sure will dissipate anytime soon. But, the beach was beautiful and well taken care of. Plenty of snacks and games to play. Luna Park is new and shiny and family-friendly. We didn’t get to the aquarium because it was so beautiful out that we decided to save it for another day. Yes, we will go back.