Everybody's talking about Steven Slater, the JetBlue flight attendant who slid off a grounded plane in a rage after inflating its emergency evacuation slide. While Slater has earned pop notoriety and "folk hero" status, what he really needs, says Dr. Keith Ablow at Fox News, is a "complete psychiatric evaluation" and a stint in either jail or a mental-health facility. Flight attendants "are supposed to respect the safety equipment that might save lives one day, not deploy it in a narcissistic rant" (reportedly triggered by a confrontation with a passenger over her carry-on bags). With his melodramatic exit, Slater "showed reckless disregard for everything and everyone, except serving his own ego and rage." He should now pay the price for it. Here, an excerpt:
If we want to be a nation of children who act out for the camera — frustrated bank tellers who might decide to throw bags of money in the street, angry waiters who decide to pour water on patrons, bus drivers who abandon their routes and climb to roofs of their buses to enjoy some cold beer and give the finger to anxious parents — then we'd better understand what we are abandoning. It's not the America I know where people have always doubled down in their willingness to work harder, be kinder and find a way to stay aboard, not bail out.
Send Steven Slater to prison. Let our kids see that when adults act outrageously, they get time outs, just like they do. But for adults, it's called going to jail.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- Why Pakistan won't hunt down the terrorists within its borders
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Pope Francis' American problem
- A brief history of the Christmas present
- Sorry, GOP, tax cuts don't pay for themselves
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- The real story behind Deliver Us From Evil
Subscribe to the Week