Welcome to the Plutocracy: S**t Flows Downhill, and You are on the Bottom

Posted on February 20, 2015


Rude little rich boy Conrad Hilton is an overgrown spoiled brat, but he may have been on to something by referring to everyone on BA Flight 269 as “peasants.” Wake up and smell the plutocracy!

Americans like to think we are all equal under the law, that we all have equal opportunities, that we all have equal rights. Ha, wrong. I am not talking about racial or gender inequality in this particular case… no, there is another much larger category of Americans who are second- or third-rate, regardless of race, religion, or gender, who have little right or recourse in the face of the privileged class.  We are the 99 percent, the overwhelming majority who are not kajillionaire moguls, CEOs, or financiers. And it only took little Conrad Hilton III to point this out to us in no uncertain terms. We are peasants, all of us.

At least, that’s what Little Conrad repeatedly called the crew and his fellow passengers during an epic 10-hour air rage tantrum during which he nearly punched a flight attendant, cursed so long and loudly that children were crying, smoked pot in the lavatory, threatened to “own” the flight attendants, bragged that he could have their jobs taken away in 30 seconds, made death threats … well, you get the idea. Total out-of-control punk.

And yet… the crew did not attempt to restrain Hilton for ten hours of this crap, until just 30 minutes before the plane was to land, after he finally fell asleep (which then caused him to launch even more death threats).

On the plus side, Hilton is now facing charges that could potentially land him a 20-year jail sentence (never gonna happen, but at least we peasants have now had the pleasure of seeing him appear before a judge in manacles and an orange jumpsuit). On the minus side… why the hell was Hilton allowed to carry on for ten hours, at the expense of the flight crew and all of the “peasants” aboard?  Do you think you would get away with even a whisper of a tiny particle of the crap he pulled?   NO.

Let’s compare:

Here’s a peasant: 68-year-old Jean Mamakos, arrested and dragged away by three policemen, and spent three days in jail because she tried to move to a less crowded seat on a United flight (something that I have done many times)… and this, even after she had returned peaceably to her assigned seat.

Here’s a peasant: Duff Watson of the Twin Cities, who was kicked off a Southwest flight because he had Tweeted a criticism of their customer service. The employee felt “threatened,” and the argument “escalated.”

Here’s a peasant: Mary Montesi, who was kicked off a United flight for wanting to sleep.   The crew said she was “impaired,” and they feared that she would be unable to “stay awake and follow instructions.”

Here’s a peasant: two-year-old Natalie Vieau, who got her whole family kicked off a Jet Blue flight because she had a tantrum (I hear this is a fairly common thing among two-year-olds). Somehow, the pilot didn’t feel “safe” taking off with the cranky toddler aboard.

So let’s get this straight: we can’t safely operate an aircraft because of a two-year-old’s meltdown which was kept under the control of her two parents, but we can blithely sail along while the entire crew and all the passengers have to deal with 20-year-old Conrad Hilton’s violent, abusive, threatening meltdown for ten hours??? Really? Couldn’t the passengers just jump him like they did the Shoe Bomber, or the Underwear Bomber?

You know what’s really going on here? Power is what’s going on. Airlines are not in the customer service business any more, they know you need them more than they need you, so they treat you like utter crap and won’t hesitate to rudely toss you off a flight and even have you arrested for the most minor “infractions,” or even just for calling them out on their own bad manners. Then they wrap themselves in the righteous cloak of “passenger safety,” and dispute your version of events.

But let an uber-wealthy man-child make a few pointed remarks about taking all their jobs, about knowing their boss, about “owning” all of them… the peasants… and it’s a different story, isn’t it? Then he can rage, and punch, and interfere, and threaten, and make little children cry and make everyone’s flight a living hell for ten hours, before the crew finally concedes that it might be a good idea to restrain him before trying to land the plane. Yup, that’s the power of the almighty dollar at work. Little Conrad has lots of ’em, and so does his Daddy, and I strongly suspect that made the flight crew a little more hesitant to do to him what they would have done to you in about ten seconds flat just for scratching your nose wrong.

The saying goes that “shit flows downhill.” On BA Flight 269, Little Conrad was clearly at the top of the hill. You, dear friend, are on the bottom.