Readability

Comfort is Expensive

by baldilocks

Hot news flash, yes?

I don’t know. Peo­ple accu­mu­late money for rea­sons, with com­fort being among them. But the impli­ca­tion in this Guardian piece is that there is some­thing wrong with pur­chas­ing insu­la­tion against the Spe­cial Hell that is LAX.

The guilti­est plea­sure at Los Ange­les inter­na­tional airport’s (LAX) new pri­vate ter­mi­nal for the mega-​rich is not the plush, hushed pri­vacy, or the beds with com­forters, or the mas­sages, or the coriander-​scented soap, or the Willie Wonka-​style array of choco­lates and jelly beans, or the Napa Val­ley cabernet.

It is the iPad that sits on a counter at the entrance, with a typed lit­tle note: “Here is a glimpse of what you’re miss­ing over at the main ter­mi­nal right now.”

The screen shows trav­ellers haul­ing bags through packed ter­mi­nals, queu­ing in long lines, look­ing harassed and being swal­lowed into push­ing, shov­ing paparazzi scrums – rou­tine haz­ards for the 80 mil­lion peo­ple who pass through LAX each year.

There they process thou­sands of peo­ple at a time, they’re bark­ing. It’s loud. Here it’s very, very lovely,” said Gavin de Becker [yes], who runs the new ter­mi­nal, called Pri­vate Suite.

He wasn’t wrong. The $22m facil­ity, the first of its kind in the US, opens on Mon­day, giv­ing the 1% a whole new way to sep­a­rate them­selves from every­one else’s reality. (…)

It is pricey. In addi­tion to annual mem­ber­ship of $7,500, you pay $2,700 per domes­tic flight and $3,000 per inter­na­tional flight. The cost cov­ers a group of up to four peo­ple. If you aren’t a mem­ber, you pay $3,500 for a domes­tic flight and $4,000 for inter­na­tional flight for a group of up to three people.

I don’t recall any bark­ing, dur­ing the two round trips I made via LAX last year — to Nairobi and to Albu­querque in order to visit my var­i­ous parental units. What I do recall about the Tom Bradley Inter­na­tional Ter­mi­nal, how­ever, is that I couldn’t find one sin­gle elec­tri­cal out­let except near the exit. After a ten-​hour trip from Ams­ter­dam — also with no access to elec­tri­cal out­lets — try­ing to use my Über app was a pre­car­i­ous busi­ness with nearly no juice on my phone.

I couldn’t care less about some phan­tom rich guy allegedly laugh­ing at me. I do care about not being able to charge my %^%*&$ phone in the huge feces­hole that is the Bradley Ter­mi­nal while try­ing to get home after 18 hours of air travel.

If in need of some Hunger Games-​style schaden­freude check out the iPad show­ing the hoi pol­loi run­ning gauntlets over at the main terminal.

Remem­ber: the ani­mos­ity that some have for the rich is cover for unac­knowl­edged if thinly dis­guised cov­etous­ness and per­sonal feel­ings of inad­e­quacy. This piece is designed to exac­er­bate that.

But, do the rich laugh at the poor? I’m sure some do, and that says a lot about the laugh­ers’ per­sonal feel­ings of inad­e­quacy as well. I guess that there are things against which money is scant refuge. And Mr. de Becker seems intent on exploit­ing that. Cap­i­tal­ism – the worst eco­nomic sys­tem there is…except for all of the others.

Would I buy a spot in this bit of LAX pur­ga­tory if I had the means? You bet your ass I would. And I would have bet­ter things to do with my time than laugh at some poor black chick who can’t find an elec­tri­cal out­let in the inter­na­tional ter­mi­nal — like help the own­ers of the ter­mi­nal install acknowl­edge­ment to the facts of the 21st century.

(Thanks to Lib­erty Blitzkrieg)

Juli­ette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was pub­lished in 2012. Her sec­ond novel ten­ta­tively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Fol­low her on Twit­ter and on Gab​.ai.

Please con­tribute to Juliette’s JOB: Her new novel, her blog, her Inter­net to keep the lat­ter going and COF­FEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Inde­pen­dent Journalism!

by baldilocks

Hot news flash, yes?

I don’t know. People accumulate money for reasons, with comfort being among them. But the implication in this Guardian piece is that there is something wrong with purchasing insulation against the Special Hell that is LAX.

The guiltiest pleasure at Los Angeles international airport’s (LAX) new private terminal for the mega-rich is not the plush, hushed privacy, or the beds with comforters, or the massages, or the coriander-scented soap, or the Willie Wonka-style array of chocolates and jelly beans, or the Napa Valley cabernet.

It is the iPad that sits on a counter at the entrance, with a typed little note: “Here is a glimpse of what you’re missing over at the main terminal right now.”

The screen shows travellers hauling bags through packed terminals, queuing in long lines, looking harassed and being swallowed into pushing, shoving paparazzi scrums – routine hazards for the 80 million people who pass through LAX each year.

“There they process thousands of people at a time, they’re barking. It’s loud. Here it’s very, very lovely,” said Gavin de Becker [yes], who runs the new terminal, called Private Suite.

He wasn’t wrong. The $22m facility, the first of its kind in the US, opens on Monday, giving the 1% a whole new way to separate themselves from everyone else’s reality. (…)

It is pricey. In addition to annual membership of $7,500, you pay $2,700 per domestic flight and $3,000 per international flight. The cost covers a group of up to four people. If you aren’t a member, you pay $3,500 for a domestic flight and $4,000 for international flight for a group of up to three people.

I don’t recall any barking, during the two round trips I made via LAX last year—to Nairobi and to Albuquerque in order to visit my various parental units. What I do recall about the Tom Bradley International Terminal, however, is that I couldn’t find one single electrical outlet except near the exit. After a ten-hour trip from Amsterdam—also with no access to electrical outlets—trying to use my Über app was a precarious business with nearly no juice on my phone.

I couldn’t care less about some phantom rich guy allegedly laughing at me. I do care about not being able to charge my  %^%*&$ phone in the huge feceshole that is the Bradley Terminal while trying to get home after 18 hours of air travel.

If in need of some Hunger Games-style schadenfreude check out the iPad showing the hoi polloi running gauntlets over at the main terminal.

Remember: the animosity that some have for the rich is cover for unacknowledged if thinly disguised covetousness and personal feelings of inadequacy.  This piece is designed to exacerbate that.

But, do the rich laugh at the poor? I’m sure some do, and that says a lot about the laughers’ personal feelings of inadequacy as well. I guess that there are things against which money is scant refuge. And Mr. de Becker seems intent on exploiting that. Capitalism–the worst economic system there is…except for all of the others.

Would I buy a spot in this bit of LAX purgatory if I had the means? You bet your ass I would. And I would have better things to do with my time than laugh at some poor black chick who can’t find an electrical outlet in the international terminal—like help the owners of the terminal install acknowledgement to the facts of the 21st century.

(Thanks to Liberty Blitzkrieg)

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!