Universal income – the plane ride itself...it keeps on spewing.
Despite my better judgment, I am posting the view from my seat. There was a tired, hot mess of a woman, flustered and disheveled at the gate at the airport. She has a carry on that was the size of a full suit case. When i saw her, i thought, "how on earth was she allowed to get that through security?" Here are her lovely feet, up on the bulkhead. Technically, she is following direction…. her feet weren’t’ up on the bulkhead for take off or landing...just the entire flight.
the gold toenail polish really sets off the plane interior, no?
For the rest of the story of this flight…grab a coffee, perhaps go read the previous post…it all somehow ties together...think of it as a treasure hunt for thoughts that make sense...an adventure!"
THE REST OF THE STORY: The plane is the least populated I have ever been on since the one early Christmas morning flight in the early 90’swhen I think it was 12 or 16 of us were lucky enough to take a flight from LAX to Washington, DC. There were more crew than passengers- and we were treated to an amazing ride, as all of us were in a sense working on the holiday. I still am amazed they made the flight, considering the fuel cost, and it was the only time I have ever seen no traffic on the Los Angeles freeways.
We are somewhere over the Atlantic, despite the cabin crew doing the normal service, I was really thirsty.
Had I been in the other classes, just a look would have brought someone asking if I needed water. Planes all have call buttons, but unless you are flopping over about to die, having a heart attack or some medical malady, I will not touch the button. I have seen too many passengers push the button and repeatedly waste a flight attendants time with odd requests, many about nothing. If you need further proof, go back and look the photo that accompanies this post and i can see why a flight attendant would get a bit frustrated at times with humanity.
I was thirsty. really thirsty.
Maybe the thirst had me remember that 40 percent of our planet, drinks really bad water? It could have been the kids from the Congo in the airport I saw earlier? As we cruised over the Atlantic, perhaps it was the memory of the image of Kevin Carters photo of a starving teen in Africa sticking his head into he buttocks of a cow to drink whatever was coming out of the animal as waste that had me thirsty?
The irony - me in a comfortable seat, flying from the developed Europe to the States, whining, “I am thirsty. I need water!” snapping my fingers like a diva.
Rather than bother a flight attendant, I use common sense, I get up, and walk the length of the plane to the flight crew in the back. I see they are busy, so I just wait till one of them notices the large humanoid standing there in the galleyway. One finally realizes I am standing there, they ask, “can I help you?”
“Sorry to bother you, can I please have some water?”
“Go sit down sir, we will be having service soon.” was the response from a young flight attendant. It was a response more from an American flight attendant tired of slinging peanuts on a flight from hell than what I have known for this air carriers brand of quality of service.”
I got the message, understood they were busy, but there was something in my head that thought, “but I really want a glass of water.”
Have you ever been really thirsty? Dehydrated? To a point where you need to go to the hospital and get fluid shot into you? It was that odd feeling of thirst I had.
There must have been and odd, seeming quizzical look upon my face as I walked back up to the bulkhead where there was the wall of money i talked about in the previous post, separated the herd from the 40 or so passengers in the same plane in front of us.
But i keep thinking, “I just wanted a glass of water. How hard is that?”
Then I remembered, the previous post about the idea of universal income and the reality of the class systems of the world. What i had written earlier in the flight, came crashing into the realization that the world is not going to change in a way that will make it better for the majority.
“I just want a glass of clean water" is what 40% of the world thinks each day.
Future technology will be used to create a manipulation and image for most that is an illusion, a virtual or faux reality. My mind can imagine so many scenarios with robotics and advanced artificial intelligence for the lifestyle of those who have much, and those being manipulated into thinking they have the right “stuff” of life.
But as I walked up to my seat, thirsty, the reality that I had experienced before came forth:
In first class, they watch you like hawks, and won’t even ask or allow your glass of whatever libation you want, great wines, beverages, for all I remember, like listening to Lemmy from motorhead grumbling about festivals these days, “You have all these armbands, it is more like a military operation, and then they give you a choice of like 15 versions of bottle water. where is the rock and roll?"
First class, if you ask for pretty much anything, it is like living a life in Japan, they have no word for “no” and will accommodate whatever your service wish for food and drink is. "if you would like, i will ask the captain if he can land the plane by that glaciers and we will get you fresh water, would you like that?" I think you have 2 people to watch over 8 passengers.
In business class, you have a team of people that works with about 40 seats. The food is usually very good, if I pushed the call button, someone would be at the seat in short order, “could I please have some water?”
“Yes, of course, would you like any wine, coffee, tea, champagne, unlimited cocktails to go with that?” Might be the actual reply.
Economy-, I forgot i was in the land of the many with few to care for them, rather than ring a call button and annoy a flight attendant, I went and asked for some water and was told, “go sit down, it will come soon.”
Iif you fill first class, the flight is profitable, filling the business section, you get a decent ROI. Economy is simply lumpy gravy – you have a lot of people not paying much, there is no reason to make a nice gravy and sauce and put it over a bag of peanuts. but collectively, all the folks in economy help pay a lot of bills.
There is great irony in today’s flight. After I was told to go sit down…I did, then I opened up the computer to do work, have the sketchbooks ready and I impersonated a sardine in a can doing a study for how you can reduce the size of an airline seat and still theoretically allow someone to do some work. It is so comical that i am laughing, it reminds me of the time they gave us a bathroom in Gavle, Sweden for a show office. we somehow stuck four people in that room and worked. how? i don't really know, but this is very similar with the space limitations.
I keep giggling, in first you get big monitors and bed, business is great in that you get a power supply and I can almost lay out flat in the beds. In economy it is a study in pushing human factors beyond their limits and tell the passenger, "wow, you are in the super luxury economy seat. that extra money you paid gets you 5 extra millimeters of space! it is huge!"
I guess it is appropriate in that I am trying to bring wide creative spaces to life and will design the mobile maker space (think of a complete fab lab and warehouse style apartment where you put the cases on a truck, rent a big warehouse to work in anywhere on the planet and can unload it like a show. THis flight is simply pouring gasoline onto that fire.
So there i am laughing at myself, and the maître d cabin is working in economy, wondering whay i am laughing. First, this guy gained my respect already because we tend to live in a world where we want many chiefs and have too few Indians. The disconnect from leadership and the worker will be replaced by a robot soon, and then most the jobs will go kaput.
I am laughing because i feel like a sardine in the "super sized economy seat blindly typing this article, dreaming of driverless planes and tour bus's with lots of space and me sitting in it - working and not thirsty.
The sad reality of my mood is that I am really trying to do is type the vision of Kevin Carters image of thatkid with his head up the cow’s ass in Africa, dying of thirst. And then then forget smile of all the kids that walked by me in the nice airport this morning, kids from Congo – a place we won’t even go in anymore with Agrowbox, as the climate is so unpredictable. But here were these kids, going to a place where I pray they get a better life and have more opportunity, above all, peace. yet i know, the planet isn't really going to change much...
I did get a water, and even an extra quiche and some ice cream too. I traded some Springli chocolate with the cabin crew, for some of their chocolate. You always treat the crew well, even if they don't work for you...
I don’t want to be the one on the planet that if a kid walks up to me and is hungry, I say, “go sit down, it will come soon.”
I would rather be the one handing him the food and asking, “would you like to learn how to grow food for others?”
Addendum - the flight crew was really wonderful, but the maitre de cabin was passing out forms asking what I thought of the flight. So the last two posts about universal income are probably way more than they wanted for information. "It was great!", "all was good!" or, "it sucked!" or, “I wish I had a parachute” are all they want to hear. THis post will be far too much.
Overall, the crew did a great job that was on par to the high level of quality and service one would expect with SWISS. I had to simply stare in disbelief more at the behavior of the passengers. I stare at the photo of the hot mess woman with metallic gold toe nail polish, and it miraculously makes the image of Kevin Carters award winning photos go away.
“Can I please have some water?”