Sunday, May 23, 2004

America Is Not The World

Well, I’ve been off the blog thing lately, for reasons that will become clear at TechEd tomorrow. I’m on my way to San Diego as I type, on one of those flights that last exactly 75 minutes longer than your laptop battery. If you’re one of three people who read this before Monday, come visit us at the booth after noon tomorrow.

American has removed its “More room in coach” program except on its 767s, so try to get one when you fly cross-country. This seat isn’t that bad – 34” pitch – but I’ve set a new record in that my assbone is already in searing pain and we haven’t even closed the door and pulled back from the gate yet. I discovered SeatGuru – it lets you check the exact configuration of the plane you’re about to take domestically. I discovered that American puts underseat power in every third row and that JetBlue has smaller seats in front of the exit rows.

But back to this flight. The woman in 35H is now eating a can of Bush’s baked beans with a plastic spoon. And reading the first two chapters of a Dick Francis novel, ripped from the full paperback. I always wondered who they were addressing when they explained how to use a seatbelt, but I think I have my answer.

Dinner was chicken. Not just any chicken, mind you. That’s right! The old paradigm is gone. No more flabby chicken breast with some BBQ sauce slapped on top. Now you get little cubes of that flabby chicken breast with some BBQ sauce slapped on top, pushed right up against some burning hot red potato cubes with cheese sauce slapped on top, accompanied by some green bean cubes with, well, nothing slapped on top.

Dessert was a little cube of cake. Actually, that’s not fair – it was more of a rectangular prism of cake, except that it was opaque to light and flavor. It looked like pineapple upside-down cake, but the yellowish topping emitted more of a vague coconut burst upon entry into one’s cakehole. The roll was exquisite. In fact, airline rolls are always top-notch. They’re completely uniform in texture – not light, yet crumbly. They usually taste better dipped in the pepper ranch dressing than slathered with the fingernail-sized packet of “Now! More Buttery Taste!” spread provided for a $2 fee in coach.

Okay, here’s the next problem. I’ve got Morrissey’s new CD, “You Are The Quarry.” I turned it on, and within about 45 seconds I wanted to put a fist through his throat. He’s come up with the revelation that America is a dominant country and is driving it home through shocking lines like “America, your belly’s too big.” So not only is he repeating the bleeding obvious, fashionable opinion but he’s STEALING FROM CROWDED HOUSE.

That’s right. Morrissey, who used to write about topics that touched all of us – topics like headmaster abuse of fifth-form students and clergymen who dance ballet – has now decided to take on his least controversial topic to date – the concept that America exports gluttony. Well, duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuur.
. . .
But when the president is never black, female or gay
And until that day you’ve got nothing to say to me
To help me believe in America

Sorry, but which nation WERE you going to believe in then? The one where they filmed that Old Navy commercial with a black guy, a gay guy in a sweater, and Fran Drescher? Morrissey: his ideal nation is a TV commercial for cargo pants.

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