Fade to Gray: Baby put your seat back up

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - John Gray John Gray is a news an­chor on WXXA-Fox TV 23 and ABC’S WTEN News Chan­nel 10. His col­umn is pub­lished ev­ery Wed­nes­day. Email him at [email protected]

I know I’ve said it be­fore but we, as a peo­ple, used to be tougher.

Things didn’t up­set us so eas­ily and when we ran into the lit­tle bumps and bruises life sends our way we sprayed on some Bac­tine (do they still sell that stuff?), slapped on a band aid and went on our merry way with­out com­plaint.

Three times on the same day I found my­self rolling my eyes at just how del­i­cate we have be­come in this never end­ing quest to make ev­ery­one happy all the time. Let me list them off for you and then you can tell me if I’m just a grumpy old di­nosaur be­ing nuts.

First up I pe­ruse the re­cent USA To­day news­pa­per and hap­pen upon an opin­ion piece on air­line eti­quette. Specif­i­cally the ar­ti­cle said that you should, un­der no cir­cum­stances, EVER put your seat back to re­lax when you’re fly­ing. Why?

Be­cause the two inches you go back don’t re­ally be­long to you and your seat is now in the pri­vate space of the per­son to your rear.

Now let me be clear, I am never very happy when the guy in front of me slams the seat back but I un­der­stand that reclining is one of the two func­tions of an air­line seat and if the dude wants to take a nap, he’s en­ti­tled. The ob­vi­ous so­lu­tion to hav­ing those two or three inches in­fringed upon is to sim­ply re­cline my own seat.

Like a stack of domi­nos this may cause ev­ery­one be­hind ev­ery­one to click the but­ton and go back but at least we all end up with the same lim­ited room.

The per­son writ­ing the opin­ion piece says it is rude to re­cline your seat, you don’t have the right to take that space and you should be ashamed if you do it. We have more peo­ple dy­ing of over­doses each year than we lost in the Viet­nam War but this is what a na­tional news­pa­per ded­i­cates col­umn inches to.

Not long af­ter read­ing this ar­ti­cle I stum­ble upon one that tells me the new James Bond movie is go­ing to be su­per “woke.” For those who don’t un­der­stand that word, it means Daniel Craig’s char­ac­ter is go­ing to be less of a male chau­vin­ist and the women in his life are go­ing to put him in his place when ap­pro­pri­ate. For starters he gets mar­ried and his new wife re­minds him that she’s not tak­ing his name.

That’s cer­tainly fine, take a man’s name or don’t that’s to­tally up to you, I’m just not sure why the writ­ers felt the need to point that out in a Bond film. I don’t want to spoil any of the movie but ap­par­ently that’s not the only “woke mo­ment” in there. I per­son­ally like the Bond movies for the ac­tion, sus­pense and chase scenes but, like the newer Star Wars films, it ap­pears we are now go­ing to use them to make po­lit­i­cal state­ments. Good luck with that. There was se­ri­ous talk of hav­ing Bond drive an elec­tric car in­stead of his su­per cool As­ton Martin but it ap­pears that idea was put back on the shelf for now. Lis­ten, any­one who loves the Bond movies knows he is a ridicu­lous char­ac­ter do­ing ridicu­lously dan­ger­ous things. He has al­ways had that “man’s man” per­sona and all the women I know kind of liked it.

It’s a shame if we are plan­ning to trade en­ter­tain­ment in our movies for the need to make po­lit­i­cal state­ments all the time. I thought Bond, James Bond, would be im­mune to that but I guess not.

I guess as well we can’t turn on the ra­dio and hear Christ­mas mu­sic with­out con­tro­versy as well. I read that singers John Leg­end (not his real last name by the way) and Kelly Clark­son (real, mid­dle name Bri­anne) have re­leased a new ver­sion of the hor­ri­bly over­rated “Baby, its Cold Out­side.” The orig­i­nal song was writ­ten in 1944 and no­body seemed to care about the lyrics un­til a cou­ple of years ago.

Since each year it draws protests, Leg­end and Clark­son have a ver­sion that’s less creepy.

Can’t we just agree that a song writ­ten 65 years ago wasn’t meant to be an an­them for Har­vey We­in­stein? That back then those words were taken in a much dif­fer­ent way than 2019. There’s also an­other op­tion when you hear a song you don’t like on the ra­dio; just turn it off.

I for one am much more of­fended by Ru­dolph The Red-Nosed Rein­deer. They pick on this poor lit­tle deer be­cause he’s dif­fer­ent and then when the storm comes and all hell is break­ing loose they ask Ru­dolph to bail them out. The nerve!

Then there’s that elf per­form­ing den­tistry with­out no­va­caine or a li­cense. And don’t get me started on the is­land of mis­fit toys. And not to switch gears or films but I’m pretty sure the writ­ers mur­dered Frosty the Snow­man in the sec­ond act of that play.

Oh sure he came back but I needed ther­apy af­ter see­ing him melt that way.

You know what? I take ev­ery­thing in this col­umn back. I am of­fended. Now kindly put your seat in the up­right po­si­tion.

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