July 24, 2004

· Personal

After a year of leave in Australia (well, someone has to act as a counterweight to all those Aussie backpackers), I just arrived back in the U.S. Three observations:

  • It should not surprise you that making a c.1 year-old boy watch the in-flight TV system for six hours of a Sydney-to-Los Angeles flight would lead to emotional problems (viz, crying, screaming, kicking) for the following six hours. It seemed to surprise the parents of the c.1 year-old boy sitting next to us, however.

  • A clear-eyed assessment of Los Angeles International Airport (e.g., by Martians) would conclude that it is a machine designed to produce unhappy, stressed-out people by means of multiple queues, unnecessary bottlenecks, pointless dumping of international transfer passengers out onto the sidewalk, and other more sophisticated methods.

  • What the hell is Hooters doing with an airline? When I saw the jet trundle by on the runway I thought I was hallucinating.

After spending the next few days recovering from jetlag, I’m going to drive from South Carolina to Arizona, probably along I-40. (I have to do this, for various reasons.) Any advice? Apart from “Book a flight instead”, I mean.

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I am Associate Professor of Sociology at Duke University. I’m affiliated with the Kenan Institute for Ethics, the Markets and Management Studies program, and the Duke Network Analysis Center.



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