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Thursday, December 14, 2017

CNN and Airports

A new theory about how airports caused the collapse of the Soviet Union

C NN is in every airport and every bus station. People hate CNN. Coincidence? I think not. There's a logical cause-and-effect relationship going on there.

In an airport, you're surrounded by fidgety passengers like yourself, who are all worrying about two things: (1) missing the final boarding call and (2) finding out that your seat is right in front of that one screaming kid that, by law, all airline flights are required to have.

What, you thought it was flight marshals? Snicker. Those screaming kids are there to stop terrorists. After sitting for two hours listening to one, any terrorist will get torn to pieces by passengers like a pack of enraged wildebeest and tossed out the nearest emergency exit before he can finish saying the word “Alla-. . . aaaaaaaaaa!

Airplane with orange vapor trail

The latest fad is for the announcers to all talk at the same time (a trick they might have learned from Fox News): “Attention passengers, now boarding for flight—Please do not leave your luggage unattended! Repeat, all passengers for San—Luggage that is left unattended—Would passengers Frooj Bovnik and Fambi Buffnap please report—may be destroyed—To gate twenty-seven—Repeat, last call for flight—For your safety!

Yes, they actually admit it now: your luggage is destroyed on purpose. It wasn't really just sent to Pocatello Idaho (PIH) instead of Pittsburgh (PIT) by mistake. If you travel to Birmingham, Alabama (BHM) your luggage ends up in Bukhara, Uzbekistan (BHK). This is all part of the plan to make you safe by keeping you just a little bit pissed.

When people think of airports, they also think of the TSA, the paramilitary organization that keeps changing their rules to keep us disoriented and insecure. Do we have to put our shoes in a plastic tray or not? Will they grope us or just wave their magic wand over us? Who knows? It's a deliberate strategy designed make us subordinate to them.

It probably takes a toll on employees as well: “What do you do at work, daddy/mommy?” “Shut the hell up! Hold still! And take that out of your pocket and put it on the table!

Whenever two things occur within a short period of time, they are associated in our memory. It's how nature reminded us to avoid areas where bad things have happened to us. Other animals are the same: farmers know that a skull of a cow makes an effective and inexpensive barrier to keep live ones from straying.

Speaking of dead cows, psychologists tell us that learned associations are particularly strong when it comes to food. So, after you've been sitting in one of those plastic chairs for two hours trying to relax after being felt up by uniformed agents of the United States Government, and waiting for your carry-on luggage to stop fluorescing, you have to shut your brain off to avoid contaminating your cortical neurons with incorrect and misleading information. Your memories of that day are reinforced and consolidated by association with a hunk of dried, inedible dead beef. And a piece of lettuce with a radish on it, indelibly associated with CNN.

As the announcer says: This is CNN! Every time the viewer clicks on the channel, those memories of sticky plastic chairs and inscrutable boarding passes resurface and are reinforced. Psychologists call it reconsolidation.

Maybe the citizens of the former USSR had the same feelings about the connection between Aeroflot and Pravda. If so, it supports my new theory: whatever happens to us at an airport becomes the object of loathing. It could explain the fall of both the Soviet Union and CNN.

category: airport jokes; articles written at 3:00 am

dec 14, 2017, 4:22 am; last edited 1:11 pm

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