Just an Angry Day All Around

Oh, the shoot today went fine. I’d have to say the biggest lesson learned this time around was never go into the hospital in July. July being when all the new residents start. Believe me, I’ll be scheduling all my accidents and other inpatient conditions in the midddle of the winter, thank you very much.

No, my ire started this morning with the news that CBS has caved to right-wing pressure and cancelled the upcoming TV movie The Reagans. Okay, so technically, they shunted it off to Showtime, but it amounts to the same thing. Now, I don’t mean to defend the show itself — I haven’t seen it, but I’d strongly suspect that the production’s on a par with most television movies. But here’s the kicker: The nut jobs protesting the show haven’t seen it either. This is shades of Dogma all over again. CBS is, naturally, spouting the expected corporate horseshit about the decision not being because of the protests, but because after castrato-in-chief Les Moonves’s viewing the film, they don’t believe... oh, who gives a shit?

Now, are people allowed to protest the broadcast of content they don’t like? Yeah, sure. First Amendment, remember? I’ll mock them ’til I’m blue in the face, of course — that’s my right. But CBS, as a broadcaster, has an obligation to tell them to go fuck themselves. It wasn’t like it was even a considered business decision — there was no organized boycott, either of viewership or advertisers. CBS just rolled over for the freaks. I suppose I shouldn’t be all that surprised: In several recent studies, the right-wing slant of CBS has in many ways surpassed Fox News. And that’s saying something. I figure Fox may have the most extreme fascists on its payroll, but CBS just keeps its right-wing agenda going slow and steadily — law of averages, and all that.

But it’s one thing to get pissed off at the outside world; quite another to have it hit home. We finished with the shoot this afternoon, got back to the hotel, managed to make our way to the FedEx office, and then to the airport a good three-and-a-half hours before my flight. Since I didn’t have any baggage to check, I thought I’d breeze in, get my boarding pass at the self-serve kiosk — Nashville Airport’s littered with ’em — and settle in for a long wait.

I think my sentiments can be summed up in three words: FUCK UNITED AIRLINES!

Wouldn’t you know that one airline at Nashville doesn’t have a self-serve kiosk. And had a woefully undermanned ticket counter. And just cancelled an apparently packed flight to Chicago.

So I stood in a line for two fucking hours just for the thirty-second check-in I needed. Apparently, the geniuses at United decided to dedicate all of their counter agents to helping people out with alternate travel arrangements. All of them. Which meant that all of us who just wanted to check in had to stand in the same damn line. Hell, the local news team came to cover the event: All the other airline counters were purring along smoothly — even with their own share of cancellations and delays — but United just couldn’t get their shit together. (The camera operator did have a pretty sweet Steadicam rig, though.)

So now I’m sitting at the gate — after going through security, grabbing a bite to eat, and having a stiff drink — and the one attendant they have at the counter is trying to route all of the passengers to Chicago, Denver, Toronto, and Washington simultaneously. And as I’m typing this — fifteen minutes before my flight’s supposed to take off — she’s put up the “Delayed” placard, with a new departure time an hour and a half later. Naturally, the “Departures” screens still happily say the flight’s “On Time.”

Now, I know that United basically abandoned service to Nashville a few years back, leaving only their “United Express” commuter service running, and I know that’s technically operated by Atlantic Coast Airlines. I also know that Atlantic Coast is planning on going independent in the near future, dropping the United affiliation altogether. So sure, there are excuses for all of the above. But as long as they’re running under the United banner, I’m not letting anyone pass the buck. So, in conclusion, just in case anybody missed it: FUCK UNITED AIRLINES.


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