Thursday, April 27, 2017

Let's hear it for corporate responsibility!

Trains: "for when you're not in any
particular rush to get somewhere..."
Hey, remember that time a 69 year-old Doctor was brutally dragged off a plane he paid a lot of money to ride on? And remember the subsequent fuckstorm of negative press, the responsibility-free non-apology from United Airline CEO Oscar Munoz and the general reinforcement of the sense that airlines, like any industry basically run by a few giant corporations, are free to treat people like shit because hey, what else are you going to do, take a train? Like it's the 1890's? Remember all that?

Well it happened. It was shocking, it was outrageous, but now it's all over because the passenger, Dr. David Dao and United have come to an amicable agreement.
Pictured: an amicable agreement.
Look on the bright side, a six-figure
settlement will pay for tons of sex.
They're not saying exactly how amicable it was, but I'm going to go ahead and guess that there're six figures involved and. And that's super, I say. But is it me, or is the whole thing still pretty...icky? And no, I'm not referring to the part about Dr. Dao having been convicted of multiple felony drug counts back in 2004. Yeah, he was writing painkiller prescriptions in exchange for sexual favors. I'm not saying he deserved what happened to him on the plane, but no one comes out of this looking good and I haven't even gotten to the lawyer yet.

Too bad Demetrio wasn't representing Dao
in his criminal case. I'm sure he would have
gotten him exchange for drugs. Zing!
Speaking of, Dao's attorney, Thomas Demetrio, had this to say of United and Munoz:

"Mr. Munoz said he was going to do the right thing, and he has. In addition, United has taken full responsibility for what happened on Flight 3411, without attempting to blame others including the City of Chicago. For this acceptance of corporate accountability, United is to be applauded."

-Dr. Sex for Drugs' lawyer

"Regret was expressed for unfortunateness
that exists, and compensation was offered." 

-United CEO and master of 
the passive voice, Oscar Munoz
Did he though? And have they? The 'right thing' here refers to some changes to policies that were kind of shitty to begin with. And I don't remember Munoz or United accepting responsibility here, not when this first happened, and not now. The statement on United's website just says that they're pleased that the company and Dr. Dao have 'reached an amicable resolution' to the 'unfortunate indecent that occurred.' That's not exactly the same thing as 'we fucked up big time, we're sorry.' This is just a passive voice acknowledgement that a thing happened and here's some money.

Incredulity is expressed, and baked
goods are not being offered.
So why should United be applauded? For 'acceptance of corporate responsibility?' First of all, isn't it just responsibility? They don't need to say 'corporate.' It was United who, in violation of their own policy not to mention bafflingly heedless of the hundred other passengers with smartphones, had the Chicago PD beat and drag a paying customer off their plane because they overbooked. And they're to be applauded for accepting responsibility which they did in fact, not do? Holy shit, do they want a cookie too? Because no cookie.

At the risk of sounding shrill, and possibly like Andy Rooney, what happened to us, as a civilization I mean? Like, have we become so numb to the diffusion of responsibility that has come to define corporate America that a limp, fake apology and a big cash pay off is not only unsurprising but praise worthy? When did we get so used to the abuses of privilege and the naked hypocrisy of power that something like this fails to elicit any kind of...of...
...oh, right.

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