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You Gotta Keep ‘Em Separated

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The Long Flight to Japan

Some segregation I find necessary. Before anyone screams bloody murder and accuses me of bigotry, hear me out. None of it pertains to race, religion, creed, or any of that sort. On my way home from Saigon to Texas, I changed planes in Tokyo before venturing to Houston. The trip to Japan was a nightmare. The seats were uncomfortable with limited leg room. They’re made for short Asian people not tall Westerners like me. The flight full, and I had difficulty sleeping. A couple across the aisle had a 2-year-old infant crying her head off. I know nobody can calculate how fussy their children will be. I suspect the cabin pressure made her ears hurt. She was probably scared of the turbulence, moreover. I wanted to catch rest on the plane, but I deduced that would be impossible with that baby wailing non-stop. It was hard practicing restraint and not yelling, “Shut up!” in their direction. Not giving the parents scornful look was a greater challenge. Being the nice guy I am, I said nothing.

Judge Not Less Ye be Judged

I shared a status on Facebook venting my frustration stating they should make families sit at the back of the plane in an enclosed area with soundproof curtains. I imagine the readers want to tell me the same thing one woman said – “It’s easy for him to say when he has no kids.” Like I haven’t heard that a thousand times before when I got irritated. It’s easy for them to scold me when they weren’t the ones who had to sit on that plane. None of those naysayers are on the autism spectrum and hypersensitive to high-pitched sounds, either. I’m sure the parents were embarrassed and felt they were being judged. Periodically, the dad would sing a tune or the mother would carry the tyke to burp her. Just because I didn’t wear my heart on my sleeve doesn’t mean I don’t empathize. You wouldn’t believe the flack I caught. Left and right, I got bombarded with remarks from parents giving me the runaround about how insensitive I was. Despite what my critics concluded, I was thinking about that child. I was also factoring the well-being and comfort of the other passengers. I’ll bet if I spoke Japanese and took a consensus, most of those other travelers would say they wanted that baby to keep quiet.

Separate But Equal

Having a designated area for families in the back with a soundproof wall for a few hours is nothing like forcing African-Americans and other minorities to live in separate parts of towns with inadequate facilities. I don’t know where someone came up with this grandiose idea to use that strawman argument, but it holds no water; apples and oranges. By that logic, I guess we shouldn’t have people fly first class or coach. I don’t see anyone lamenting over the airlines allowing folks with greater finances to sit at the front of the plane. Oh, wait! That’s different! We’re supposed to give them preferential treatment because they paid more money, right? Like I said, having a region towards the tail of the plane is no worse to me than having first class and coach seating or smoking and non-smoking sections in restaurants. On that note, I say restaurants should adopt the same practice or have certain hours which children can attend. While the PC police might jump on this like white on rice, I stand by my point. Most people don’t want kids running around terrorizing the other patrons while they want to eat their meals in peace or kids screaming at the top of their lungs when people are trying to unwind. I don’t recall hearing about any time civil rights leaders caused that kind of disruption unless you count Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on the bus in Montgomery, Alabama back in 1955.

Remember the Heysel and Hillsborough Stadiums

There is a time and place for everything. I don’t expect everyone to opine like me, but I’m using facts and first-hand experience to state my argument. I also believe they should separate fans of home and visiting teams during sporting events. Not only do I declare alcohol shouldn’t be served; I also feel there should be family and adult sections. I’ve been to more than one ballgame in my life to see alcohol brings out the worst in people. I’m more familiar with the mob mentality than I care to admit. One particular event that molded my standpoint is the Heysel Stadium Disaster in 1985. Several soccer fans gathered to cheer a match between Liverpool FC and AC Juventus. Numerous British fans assaulted the Italian spectators causing a human crush. In the end, 39 people were killed while 600 were injured. Something worse unfolded four years later during the Hillsborough Tragedy in Sheffield, England. Not only were the stadiums overcrowded, many victims in both cases were children.

The Long Track Record

There’ve even been incidents during NFL games where things have gotten out of hand and brawls have broken out. This is one reason the Oakland Raiders left the Coliseum in Los Angeles. They didn’t want to be affiliated with gang culture which was another causation towards their relocation to Las Vegas for the 2020 season. Philadelphia Eagles fans have a long track record of causing ruckuses, too. All the reason more why I think sports fans should be segregated, and alcohol should be either prohibited or at least limited during events. To put it bluntly, I’m more concerned about the safety and security of everyone around than I am the revenue alcohol brings in towards an organization, the feelings of emotional hemophiliacs who expect everyone to do things by their universal PC playbook, or entitled parents who want everyone to accommodate them because they have children. Nobody ever afforded me that courtesy for having autism, so I don’t owe them the same in return.

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