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April 25, 2017

Mark Halperin Hates Dogs and Joy

So journ0list Mark Halperin castigated Delta for the indignity of having to sit next to this obviously-dangerous dog on his first class flight:

He later clarified -- or clarilied, maybe, decide for yourself -- that his only thought here was that the dog had not been seated next to its owner, and he was just trying to get Delta to observe more rational seat assignments by putting this dog next to his owner.

Well, the guy who actually paid for the ticket for the dog says Mark Halperin's account is, um, flawed.

[Tweet] We were abt to take off on redeye. Dog was cute. I was sharing pix & expressing surprise owner/dog hadn't been put 2gether.No time for essay

Mark Halperin (@MarkHalperin) April 23, 2017

Talk about doubling down! However, Halperin's recollection of that fateful red-eye doesn't jibe with that of Charlie's owner, Anthony Pisano. Pisano, who works as a flight attendant for Delta, reached out via Twitter to say that, not only did Halperin not offer to trade seats but, rather than expressing concern that Delta was seating support animals apart from their owners, he told a flight attendant that he refused to sit next to a dog. What's more, in Pisano's telling, Halperin wouldn't speak to him or even look at him while the situation was resolved....

So it was the 10:45 red eye on delta. in first class the seating arrangement was A-BC-D seating. I had purchased 6A and 6B and Halperin was in 6C. The dog and I fly back and forth from California to NY 2-3 times a month. I am always aware to make sure to get the dog her own seat (she lays on the floor and sleeps) to ensure she doesn't encroach anyone's personal space. So I put Charlie (the dog) in 6A where she was great. She was in arms reach and everything was cool. Right before we took off the dog came and sat in between my legs for take off so she was secured. At this point halperin (I had no idea who he was) calls for a flight attendant and tells her that he refuses to sit next to a dog. Those were his exact words. At that point I noticed he took a picture of the dog which I just ignored. Next thing you know the lead flight attendant asked if I minded giving halperin 6A. It was so strange he wouldn't even look or speak to me about it. If he would have asked me I would have obliged, no big deal. I couldn't believe how rude this guy was carrying on as I sat right next to him. So I obliged, he moved into 6A and left his shoes and a mess in his little first class cubicle area. I politely brought him his shoes and belongings to which he literally looked the other way and that was that. I then woke up this morning to a friend sending me the article and was in shock reading his tweets. Mind you Delta did absolutely nothing wrong, the flight attendant were extremely accommodating to his wishes all while trying to make sure I wasn't upset in any way. They handled the situation kindly and professionally.

So, eh, in a way, Halperin is kind of right. The seating arrangement was

A (aisle) BC (aisle) D

Correction: If I'd read the damn article I quoted, which I obviously did not, I'd've known that Pisano says the dog was in A -- the window seat, all alone -- but only came over to B (next to Halperin) to be comforted during take-off. At all other times (or most other times), presumably, the dog would be all alone by the window.

This does make it look like Halperin is a dick who just wanted the window seat, or to sit alone, and used the Dog Complaint to get it.

Anyway, there's three sides to every story: My Side, Your Side, and Mark Halperin is Just a Dick. If Pisano is right, avoiding even looking at him during this easily-untangled knot is a dick move. Halperin has always struck me as uptight and high-strung, and refusing-to-look-someone-in-the-eye just because you're having minor conflict with them fits that impression.

And maybe he just wanted the window seat -- though no one who wants to broadcast that he's a frequent First Class flyer would admit he wants to sit by the window and see things he's seen a thousand times before.

I think Halperin was using the technique of grumbleflaunting here. It's considered rude and uncouth to, as Trump does, simply announce you have a lot of money and access to elite goods.

The way the well-educated, well-socialized upper middle class prefers to brag on itself is through grumbleflaunting, where you complain about some defect in an elite good, which demonstrates 1, you have access to that elite good (like First Class berthing) and 2, you're so sophisticated you can actually critique the relative goodness and eliteness of elite goods.

So like here's a grumbleflaunt:

So I was flying at Mach 5 in the Secret Concorde and this chubby model, Kate Upton or whatever, asked if she could "sit on my face later."

Really, @delta?! We have assigned seats for a reason! And maybe extend your legroom beyond the cramped three yards we have so that this busty supermodel doesn't have to make rude demands of fellow passengers just to stretch out her long legs, which are the color of pale honey infused with Pleasure-Heightening Drugs That Poor People Can't Afford and have the gracefully abrupt curves of my favorite Ferrari.*

* I mean of the street-legal Ferraris I own, of course. I'm not counting the unlicensed Flying Ferrari, for obvious reasons.

For Further Review and Contemplation: How do you think you can use the technique of grumbleflaunting to raise your own social cachet?

Putting Theory Into Practice: Try a series of grumbleflaunts with your friends and co-workers. If your grumbleflaunt is successful, you will see their eyebrows rise covetously and you will rise in social cachet.

If your grumbleflaunt is unsuccessful, you will be punched square in the nose. As you should be.

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posted by Ace at 03:13 PM

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