Every time I get down about world events—like the United States elects a reality TV star to be its president instead of addressing historic inequality and the threat of environmental collapse, or whatever—I remember that we live in the best of all possible worlds. How could it be otherwise? As we know from reading the philosopher Huckabee, God controls everything. God is also perfect and loves us, so this must be the best world He could arrange. Sure, it would be nice if Noah Baumbach had Lena Dunham’s career instead of her, but then some kid in Chile would fall in love with his sister or something. Trust us—this is as good as it can get. Today is Friday, and non-deities shouldn’t expect so much. Won’t you reconcile yourself to this world with me?
It’s a good thing United Airlines recently changed its slogan from “fly the friendly skies” to “get knocked unconscious and dragged off the plane,” or they might be vulnerable to ribbing. Last night, passengers on flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville were asked to volunteer f0r a later flight so that four members of another United flight crew could take their seats. Two passengers volunteered and received $800 vouchers. The airline randomly selected another passenger for removal: a man who said he was as a physician scheduled to see patients in Louisville the next day and refused. Eventually, security officers pulled the man screaming from his seat, apparently knocking him unconscious before dragging his limp body down the aisle. Seriously. Here’s a statement from United:
Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville was overbooked. After our team looked for volunteers, one customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily and law enforcement was asked to come to the gate. We apologize for the overbook situation. Further details on the removed customer should be directed to authorities.
Classic use of the passive voice here: The flight “was overbooked,” so law enforcement “was asked” to manhandle one of United’s customers. By whom we cannot know—probably the same disembodied forces that created the “overbook situation.” But perhaps the most thrilling part of this statement is its bold new use of the words “volunteer” and “voluntarily.” Close reading and fairly disturbing video after the jump.