I’m not sure I should start this blog on a controversial note, but anybody who bothers to read this should know where I stand. Or sit. I firmly believe that airliner seats should not recline.
If you’ve ever been stuck between a recliner and a non-recliner, you know where I’m coming from. The person in front of you reclines the seat, cutting back into your personal space and severely limiting your room to maneuver your iPod out of your carry-on. You now face the choice of reclining back into the person behind you or giving up some of the space you paid for.
Or you don’t face the choice. I once got stuck like that and I couldn’t recline my seat. Either it was broken or the guy behind me was using one of those nasty devices to prevent me from reclining. (Please don’t use these. They are a symptom and cause of the decay of civilization.) This is the sort of situation where selfish people get to steal space from nice guys, and maybe bust up their knees in the bargain. And don’t we have enough situations like that in life already?
Now I’ve heard the argument that it’s not about selfish and nice. It’s about big and small. Small and ordinary-sized folks should yield space to the tall, who need it more. I empathize, being sort of tall myself, but I’m not convinced. Where in the U.S. Constitution, the Geneva Conventions or the Southwest Airlines Contract of Carriage does it say that tall people have the right to recline onto short people? Isn’t it tough enough to be short? If one of the few advantages of being small is that you fit more comfortably into an airline seat, can’t you at least enjoy that?
In fact, I will go so far as to suggest that allowing tall people to steal space from short people is pure communism. (You know: from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.) No way! In this here capitalist democracy, and most others, the deal is that you get what you paid for. Smallie paid the same for her seat as Tallie, and so they get the same amount of space.
Hey. Big guy. You know I’m right.