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In-Flight Fright
Townhall.com ^ | September 7, 2007 | Brent Bozell III

Posted on 09/07/2007 12:15:15 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Historians have discovered that Dante actually envisioned a 10th circle of hell, with sinners condemned to spend their eternities traveling from one destination to the next on any one of America's insufferable airlines. It appears that the people running this industry have found a way to make every single aspect of this form of travel an experience in misery.

The latest casualty is to be found in the in-flight movies. Most offerings these days are monumental cinematic embarrassments, movies that would never rise to the level of the $1 stack at Blockbuster, and probably cost the airlines even less. So most passengers take a pass these days when those $5 headphones are offered, finding it more entertaining to stare at the back of the seats in front of them.

I can lose myself easily in work or a book while these movies are playing, but a strange thing happened a couple of weeks ago during one of these flights. After hearing the ping of a couple of attendant call buttons, I looked up and saw that all the screens had gone blank. A few minutes later, the stewardess came on the intercom to announce that because of numerous complaints from passengers with families about the graphic violence being shown in this particular film, it had been stopped.

Chalk up a new outrage. The airlines are now airing graphically violent and sexualized R-rated movies, and it matters not a bit to them that children cannot help but sit there and watch, headphones or not. Delta started showing R-rated films in December, while United and US Airways have increased the frequency with which they show such films. Last month, the three airlines all featured "Fracture," in which Anthony Hopkins shoots his wife in the face, then drags her body away from the pool of blood.

The New York Times published a report on the trend, focusing on Thomas Fine and Sara Susskind of Cambridge, Mass., who were forced to spend two hours on a United Airlines flight desperately trying to distract their 6-year-old son from screens displaying the R-rated "Shooter," which depicts multiple gory killings.

"It's not like he can look away when he hears the sound (of gunshots coming through nearby headphones), and he's sitting on a plane bored, and he's 6," Fine said. The Times also featured a mother whose 7-year-old daughter has nightmares after watching a graphic preview for the latest "King Kong" movie on a US Airways flight.

But even more shocking than that frustrating situation is how callous some airline executives sound in response to protests. "Parents have to be responsible for the actions of their kids -- whether they shouldn't look at the screen or look away," said Eric Kleiman, director of product marketing for Continental Airlines. If you think that was a dodge, try this: "People love Pepsi, and we don't serve that, so there you go, we just ruined their flight. That's an accurate analogy."

That's a ridiculous analogy. Next we will be told that a half-ounce stale pretzel bag constitutes a meal. Such is the arrogance of those who care not a wit about their passengers.

Crumbling Hollywood standards in television and movies are spreading their imposing effects across the culture. The airlines defend their increasing embrace of R-rated films by saying this is the direction that entertainment is headed, so therefore they're only following where the market is going. Airlines are also moving into showing sleazy television shows, like ABC's "Desperate Housewives," so young children can also now witness suburban adultery and seduction at 30,000 feet.

What in the world is wrong with these airlines? For decades, they entertained their passengers with quality films. Every once in a blue moon, they still do, and passengers are treated to a movie they otherwise might never know existed. A couple of years ago, I caught "The Legend of the Pianist on the Ocean," a fascinating work of creative genius. A few months ago it was "Copying Beethoven," with an extraordinary performance by Ed Harris in the lead role.

When quality films contained adult matter, the airlines simply edited it out, respecting that impressionable children -- and discerning adults, too -- were on board. Have you ever heard a passenger exclaim after a flight that he would have enjoyed the film more had there been graphic violence or gratuitous obscenities?

The situation has become so obnoxious that North Carolina parent Jesse Kalisher has started a Website called KidSafeFilms.org to lobby the airlines to stop this visual abuse of children. Good for him. Even better: Next time you're on one of those insufferable flights, and one of these shows comes on, do as the passengers did on my flight a couple of weeks ago. Raise hell.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: airlines; bozell; children; entertainment; familyvalues; inflightmovies; lewdness; obscenities; raisehell; ratedr; sex; violence
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I think the roads will become more crowded if this crap continues.
1 posted on 09/07/2007 12:15:17 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

The last international flight I took, featured a wide selection of in-flight movies and everyone had an individual screen.

A flight I took from Detroit to LA a few months ago, had no movies at all.


2 posted on 09/07/2007 12:19:56 PM PDT by Alouette (Vicious Babushka)
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Comment #3 Removed by Moderator

To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Dear Mr. Bozell,

I have one word for you:

Amtrak.

Regards,

L

4 posted on 09/07/2007 12:21:29 PM PDT by Lurker ( Comparing moderate islam to extremist islam is like comparing smallpox to ebola.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

My wife just spent 30 hours traveling by air from Peoria, Illinois to Medford, Oregon.

22 hours from Lancaster, California to Peoria, Illinois.

Cancelled flights, missed connections because of air line delays. It’s the norm.

Plane had a flat tire, 8 hour delay because the air line had to fly a mechanic in to fix it.


5 posted on 09/07/2007 12:22:13 PM PDT by Graybeard58 (Remember and pray for SSgt. Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: arbooz

Wow, that was a pretty fast shutter to freeze those props that way. The nose gunners an ass, I see.


6 posted on 09/07/2007 12:24:52 PM PDT by VR-21
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To: arbooz

Wow, that was a pretty fast shutter to freeze those props that way. The nose gunners an ass, I see.


7 posted on 09/07/2007 12:24:55 PM PDT by VR-21
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

I won’t fly anywhere if I can help. If I can drive in under 18 hours, that’s how I’m going. I love to fly, but I just can’t stand stupidity from gate to gate.


8 posted on 09/07/2007 12:25:05 PM PDT by quikdrw (Life is tough....it's even tougher if you are stupid.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
"Parents have to be responsible for the actions of their kids -- whether they shouldn't look at the screen or look away," said Eric Kleiman, director of product marketing for Continental Airlines. If you think that was a dodge, try this: "People love Pepsi, and we don't serve that, so there you go, we just ruined their flight. That's an accurate analogy."

Gee, I really didn't need another reason never to fly in-Continental Airlines, but this puss-brained twit just gave me one anyway.

9 posted on 09/07/2007 12:26:16 PM PDT by FormerLib (Sacrificing our land and our blood cannot buy protection from jihad.-Bishop Artemije of Kosovo)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

The move will be towards individual screens in the seatbacks with a hard drive full of movies so everyone can choose what to watch instead of being forced into the one option.


10 posted on 09/07/2007 12:26:50 PM PDT by Mr. Blonde (You ever thought about being weird for a living?)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Seems like an easy moneymaking fix to me. Instead of selling $5 headphones, sell $5 blindfolds.


11 posted on 09/07/2007 12:26:53 PM PDT by 70times7 (Serving Free Republic's warped and obscure humor needs since 1999)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

I stood in line with her for 40 minutes at the Northwest ticket counter, she was first in line. The security man explained that the ticket agent was unloading baggage from an incoming flight.

My wife has to fly frequently, it’s the only part of her job that she hates. I will never fly.


12 posted on 09/07/2007 12:27:43 PM PDT by Graybeard58 (Remember and pray for SSgt. Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: Alouette
The last international flight I took, featured a wide selection of in-flight movies and everyone had an individual screen.

A wide selection of potboilers, in my experience. It was the only way I'd ever look at MI:III. The movie distributors use the airlines as a way to recover a little loose change from stuff that would infallibly empty any theater where people could actually use the exits.

13 posted on 09/07/2007 12:28:02 PM PDT by thulldud (Millete adi politikacilar gibi yalanci vaadlerde bulunmaktan nefret ederiz. -- (Ataturk))
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To: Graybeard58

I had a travel day back in 1985 where I arrived at the airport at 6:30 am for a 7:30 scheduled flight with one connection. I arrived at my destination at midnight having set foot in; Bozeman, Billings, Salt Lake, Denver, San Jose and Burbank.


14 posted on 09/07/2007 12:28:37 PM PDT by ElkGroveDan (When toilet paper is a luxury, you have achieved communism.)
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To: quikdrw

See #5 and #12.


15 posted on 09/07/2007 12:28:59 PM PDT by Graybeard58 (Remember and pray for SSgt. Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: VR-21
"The nose gunners an ass, I see."

A great asstronomical photo---"A View of the Moon from an Airplane".

16 posted on 09/07/2007 12:29:22 PM PDT by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel-NRA)
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To: VR-21

“”Wow, that was a pretty fast shutter to freeze those props that way. The nose gunners an ass, I see.””


I’m army, I thought that was some kind of air refueling signal.


17 posted on 09/07/2007 12:31:04 PM PDT by ansel12 (How do you recognize a cult member?)
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To: arbooz

Military salute to Hillary and Obama. That’s as much respect either of them deserve.


18 posted on 09/07/2007 12:31:50 PM PDT by ExTexasRedhead
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To: Lurker

You know you’re going to catch hell for that, don’t you?

You RR-loving fool dinosaur!


19 posted on 09/07/2007 12:33:40 PM PDT by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue.)
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To: Lurker
Dear Mr. Bozell, I have one word for you: Amtrak. Regards, L

So let me get this straight...these airlines are showing R-rated movies, knowing small children will see them, and you think Bozell has no business objecting, but shopuld take a train?

20 posted on 09/07/2007 12:33:58 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback (Libs obviously donít believe pro-lifers are terrorists, or they'd placate us by banning abortion.)
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