Monday, March 16, 2015

Week of 03/16/2015

Hey Airport People! We Will Call You What We Want!
Apparently the people in charge of the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport have a real problem on their hands.
And we’re the problem.
The Atlanta City Council are upset that people – you know, us - are not calling Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport as “Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport” in our conversations.  We’re simply calling it “The airport” or “Hartsfield”.  We’re not calling it “Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport” every single time.
Oh the horrors!  How dare we do that!
So the City Council have directed the airport’s general manager to come up with some remedy by June.
Yes, you read that right.  The Atlanta City Council is going to spend taxpayer money to have a government official come up with ways to force everyone in Atlanta to refer to the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport as the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in all of our conversations, communications, and references.  Not “The airport” or “Hartsfield” or “The Atlanta Airport” or even “Hartsfield-Jackson”.  No, they want us to say “Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport” each and every time.
Now the reason they give is this: when you don’t refer to the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport by its full name, you are somehow “disrespecting” the memories of either William Hartsfield or Maynard Jackson, the two former mayors whose names got tacked onto the front of the Atlanta International Airport by the Atlanta City Council.
Did you get that?  If you do not refer to the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport as the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, then you are supposedly “disrespecting” two dead people.
And here I thought only young homicidal gang-banger wannabes were so vain and egomaniacal.
Tell me something, airport people... have you ever heard of the First Amendment?  Do you even know how asinine you appear when you approved of your little speech-control measure without even one of you opposing it on constitutional grounds?
How about this... how many of you in the Atlanta City Council refer to the Metropolitan Atlanta Transit Authority bus or rail line as the “Metropolitan Atlanta Transit Authority”?  Or do you simply call it by its acronym?  I’m guessing all of you simply call it “MARTA”.  According to your logic, you’re “disrespecting” the whole Metropolitan Atlanta area by not using the full name.
How about Turner Field?  How many of you simply call it “The Ted”?  Isn’t that “disrespecting” Ted Turner, for whom the field is named after?
Let’s get brutally honest here, Atlanta City Counselors... we will refer to Atlanta’s airport as we wish, and there is absolutely nothing that you can do to stop it!  We will call it “Hartsfield” or “The Airport” or “Hartsfield Airport” as we wish because it’s shorter than to call it by its full name.
A name, I should point out, that you – the Atlanta City Council – chose all on your own to make longer and longer.
You chose to add the late Maynard Jackson’s name to the already-long William B. Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport.  You did that.  Not the voters.  Not the people that use the airport and keep it going through their dollars.  You imposed this change and expected us all to simply accept it.   But what you can’t do is tell the rest of the world what to think or how to call it.  You have neither the power nor the authority to do that.
What adds insult to injury is that you chose to pick this fight at a time when your precious airport has some serious problems.  Not too long ago it was revealed the airport was the hub for illegal gun-smuggling.  More recently, it was revealed that some 1400 security badges were missing.
And here you are demanding the airport manager focus his attention on why the masses don’t call your precious airport by its full name instead of trying to plug all the security breaches.
Let’s not forget that the most dominant airline in your precious airport is on a money-grubbing fee-happy spree, hitting passengers up for every kind of additional fee that they can imagine.  And your second-dominant airline has a notorious history of being clothing Nazis.  No joke; they make the “Fashion Police” look petty in comparison. 
I don’t know about you, but I think those issues are far more important than whether or not the masses refer to your precious airport by its full name.
In fact, I think that’s what I’ll be referring to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport from now on. 
“Your precious airport.”
Go ahead and try to stop me. 
The real problem, of course, is not whether the masses call your precious airport by its full name.  It’s not even about gun-smuggling or missing or stolen security badges or excessive fees or a draconian dress code.
The real problem is not the world, Atlanta City Council.
The real problem is you.
If you think that it is more important that you should worry about whether the masses refer to your precious airport by its full name instead of real security issues, then it is clear that you don’t deserve to be running the airport.  Maybe it would be better for the city and for your precious airport if control was given to an independent private entity.  Then at least the emphasis would be on making the “World’s Busiest Airport” one of the safest in the world.
Meanwhile, don’t worry about what people call your precious airport.  You should be more concerned that they are still using it, because all the names tacked on to it won’t mean a thing if people decide that it just isn’t worth the effort to fly anywhere.

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