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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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266 Responses

  1. Lled Potpal
    Lled Potpal December 21, 2011 at 10:39 am |

    What if somebody were watching a movie or TV show you abhor?

    And couldn’t you apply the “it violates social norms therefore I feel unsafe” idea to any number of marginalized activities that you are supportive of – BDSM, homosex, et al?

  2. Andie
    Andie December 21, 2011 at 10:41 am |

    Totally agree that I would be raising a stink.. sorry, a plane is a public place, and not a place to be indulging in porn.

    I think they referenced grandmother, mother and young child thing because that’s who the people in the scenario were. A grandmother, mother and young child.

  3. EG
    EG December 21, 2011 at 10:44 am |

    Lled Potpal: And couldn’t you apply the “it violates social norms therefore I feel unsafe” idea to any number of marginalized activities that you are supportive of – BDSM, homosex, et al?

    If somebody were engaging in BDSM or any form of sex while sitting next to me on a plane, then I would indeed feel unsafe, because part of being respectful to people involves not forcing them to be unwilling voyeurs.

  4. Andie
    Andie December 21, 2011 at 10:44 am |

    Lled Potpal: And couldn’t you apply the “it violates social norms therefore I feel unsafe” idea to any number of marginalized activities that you are supportive of – BDSM, homosex, et al?

    Are they engaging in these things in the seat right next to you? Then yeah I think you have a right to say “hey knock it off or I’m gonna talk to the flight attendant.”

  5. mim
    mim December 21, 2011 at 10:51 am |

    Jill: Jill 12.21.2011 at 10:45 am
    I think they referenced grandmother, mother and young child thing because that’s who the people in the scenario were. A grandmother, mother and young child.

    Ha. Duh. Reading fail on my part.

    I don’t think it was a reading fail. I’m sure the commenter MEANT well but I’m tired of people thinking women are just tender little flowers and god forbid we get exposed to something sexual! I agree with your analysis. A grandma, a mom, anyone over 18- that’s not the major concern for viewership in this scenario. (Although, I also agree any of those people should be able to ask the guy or a stewardess to remedy the situation.) It’s the fact that there was a child within viewing range of the screen that is very problematic.

    Also, can’t we assume that if it was a dude sitting next to the guy, he would ALSO be skeeved out? And should be able to call him out on the porn?

  6. Andie
    Andie December 21, 2011 at 10:54 am |

    mim: Also, can’t we assume that if it was a dude sitting next to the guy, he would ALSO be skeeved out? And should be able to call him out on the porn?

    Excellent point. Watching porn on a plane in front of ANYONE is pretty skeevy. At least have the courtesy to ask ‘Would it bother you if I watched this adult-oriented film during the flight?’

  7. kungfulola
    kungfulola December 21, 2011 at 10:58 am |

    I was just reading this out loud to my wife, and she piped up asking for clarification on whether this was actual X-rated material, or a graphic show, like QAF. Some uptight people would call shows like “The L Word” or QAF “porn” because that word evokes the titillation and taboo way they perceive gay sex.

  8. Thomas MacAulay Millar
    Thomas MacAulay Millar December 21, 2011 at 11:00 am |

    Hey, I don’t force other people to be a captive audience for my sexuality, and I really wish that people wouldn’t assume that their mainstream sexuality can be pushed on a captive audience either. I’ll do my BDSM behind closed doors with people who are okay with watching it and talk about it in public where political speech belongs; I’ll thank the mainstream folks to take the same approach. If I’m flying to a deposition and some dudebro is watching Bangbus or Extreme Facials 12 next to me, he’ll fucking shut it off or he’ll fucking explain himself to the flight crew. I’m no delicate flower, but playing porn next to me on an airplane interferes with my use of the seat I paid for.

  9. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil December 21, 2011 at 11:01 am |

    I was on a flight where the guy across the aisle was looking at a hardcore porn magazine. I was more befuddled that he thought this was appropriate public behavior than anything else.

  10. Ryan
    Ryan December 21, 2011 at 11:05 am |

    Taking the writer at her word, that’s horrible and so inappropriate. I’d think you’d have to get a flight attendant involved.

    But part of me also wonders at what point this wanders over into pearl clutching. For example, would that guy have been out of line to watch Brokeback Mtn? any R-rated film? an arthouse indie with an explicit scene? Many airlines offer similar things on their in-seat media players, though those typically have a screen protector that narrows the field of view. It wouldn’t seem right to put the guy in the position of having to censor his otherwise appropriate choice of entertainment for the flight because he happened to get seated next to a kid. But maybe I’m just still riled up from the Kids on Planes thread.

  11. Comrade Kevin
    Comrade Kevin December 21, 2011 at 11:05 am |

    Whether I was watching gay or straight porn, I’d be too mortified to watch it in public. There was a sex shop where I grew up that was very old school. Men came in during their lunch breaks, paid a certain amount of money, and were given their own screening room.

    Even in the relative privacy of a place like that, I don’t think I’d get much pleasure of of it. I think I’d always be inhibited because others nearby knew what I was doing. I mean, you never made eye contact with anyone, but everyone knew why they were there.

  12. Victoria
    Victoria December 21, 2011 at 11:07 am |

    I had the same question as kungfulola. On a recent flight I was watching “Big Love” and there was a sex act and some violence, it suddenly occurred to me this my not be appropriate to be watching. But then I debated by what standard, I had my ear phones in and it was on my screen and I had tilted the screen down so it would be hard to view for anyone else. Also I had paid for a copy and wanted to watch it on my six hour flight.

    Is something like “Dexter” or “The Tudors” with the VERY graphic violence and sex, but it’s not considered (by most definitions) explicit pornography. Where is the line? What and how do we define appropriate material in this situation? I’m not baiting! Please! I’m just curious if I was out of line for watching those kinds of shows on an airplane.

  13. damigiana
    damigiana December 21, 2011 at 11:10 am |

    How about if a person is reading written porn? Because I’ve done that, and I’ve had people obviously read over my shoulder (be my guest, I didn’t pay for it).

  14. Andie
    Andie December 21, 2011 at 11:14 am |

    Ryan: Taking the writer at her word, that’s horrible and so inappropriate. I’d think you’d have to get a flight attendant involved.

    But part of me also wonders at what point this wanders over into pearl clutching. For example, would that guy have been out of line to watch Brokeback Mtn? any R-rated film? an arthouse indie with an explicit scene? Many airlines offer similar things on their in-seat media players, though those typically have a screen protector that narrows the field of view. It wouldn’t seem right to put the guy in the position of having to censor his otherwise appropriate choice of entertainment for the flight because he happened to get seated next to a kid. But maybe I’m just still riled up from the Kids on Planes thread.

    Sometimes it’s not pearl-clutching.. it’s mourning common courtesy. No a person on a plane shouldn’t HAVE to censor their viewing material, but if you are seated next to a kid on a plane, maybe it wouldn’t kill someone to be courteous and choose something else. That’s only in the case of something ‘vaguely’ questionable.. I would hope that if we was watching something questionable and an explicit scene came on the dvd watcher would at least have the presence of mind to make sure the screen was turned away or flipped down for a few minutes.

    I used to work in a video store. It was empty most of the time, and I spent a lot of time watching movies. I wasn’t told that I had to censor what I watched, but because I knew there was a chance someone was going to come in with kids, I stuck to PG and G movies to be courteous.

    On the other hand, if you’re watching porn, there’s no pretense of taking any thought to those around you.

  15. Jenny
    Jenny December 21, 2011 at 11:14 am |

    To answer those who are asking about where to draw the line, I personally wouldn’t watch anything on a plane that would be inappropriate viewing for children. I just think it’s rude, not only toward the children who might potentially see it, but toward adults who may not want to view violent or sexually explicit material. I was once on a bus from DC to NYC that showed the move “Taken” on the communal TV screens and played the sound over the speakers. I was horribly triggered by the violence, put in my earphone, and stared out the window trying not to have a panic attack. You never know how certain images might affect someone, so I think it’s better to err on the side of sensitivity.

  16. NC73
    NC73 December 21, 2011 at 11:22 am |

    Victoria: Issomethinglike“Dexter”or“TheTudors”withtheVERYgraphicviolenceandsex,butit’snotconsidered(bymostdefinitions)explicitpornography.Whereistheline?Whatandhowdowedefineappropriatematerialinthissituation?I’mnotbaiting!Please!I’mjustcuriousifIwasoutoflineforwatchingthosekindsofshowsonanairplane.

    I had the same thought about Dexter too. Dexter is an intensely violent show. And I wonder what the line would be. I frequently fly Air Canada, and when you’re on longer flights with that airline, you often get personalized TV’s embedded in the seat in front of you with access to doxens of free shows and movies and stuff. So you have a wide variety of options. I don’t know if they have shows as violent as Dexter in their selection, but I know they have tons of options that might have scenes that would be “inappropriate” to some people. I watched Into the Wild on a plane, for instance, and the Hangover; both have some element of disturbing scenes and maybe nudity?

    Now, to me, the line probably falls somewhere after both of those movies, and wayyyyyy before actual X-rated porno, especially if a kid is in view of your screen. But seriously, where is it?

  17. Andie
    Andie December 21, 2011 at 11:29 am |

    Sometimes it can’t hurt to ask your seat-mate.. “Hey, I was thinking of watching a movie, but I’m worried it might be inappropriate for your little one. Do you mind?”

    Courtesy.

  18. Li
    Li December 21, 2011 at 11:29 am |

    Do you know how I draw the line when I’m on a plane and want to watch something with violence or sexual content? I ask the people around me.

    “Hey, I was just going to watch some True Blood on my laptop. I’ll be using headphones, but it has some graphic sex scenes and violence and stuff. Are you ok with me doing that?”

    Consent isn’t about figuring out some universal line (though I’d be willing to bet the vast majority of people aren’t going to be comfortable with you watching porn next to them), but about negotiating with the people around you. If the people near you are like “Actually, I’d prefer you not watch something with graphic sexual content where I/my kid can see it”, then inappropriate. If they’re fine with it, appropriate. Problem solved.

  19. suspect class
    suspect class December 21, 2011 at 11:31 am |

    Lled Potpal: And couldn’t you apply the “it violates social norms therefore I feel unsafe” idea to any number of marginalized activities that you are supportive of – BDSM, homosex, et al?

    Perish the thought. If we can’t have “homosex” in our airplane seats, the terrorists win.

  20. Andie
    Andie December 21, 2011 at 11:32 am |

    Li: If the people near you are like “Actually, I’d prefer you not watch something with graphic sexual content where I/my kid can see it”, then inappropriate. If they’re fine with it, appropriate. Problem solved.

    Li, I like the way you think lol

  21. Andie
    Andie December 21, 2011 at 11:33 am |

    And I should have not just indicated the little one.. Li’s suggestion is better because it acknowledges adult’s comfort levels too, not just little kids.

  22. Esti
    Esti December 21, 2011 at 11:34 am |

    I think anything that can be shown on normal television is fine for public viewing. Even network programming has a lot of violence and implied sexuality, and most cable channels have some amount of nudity. But there’s a big difference, to my mind, between the kind of sex scene you’d get in The L Word or The Tudors and watching actual porn. For one thing, the sex is usually one fairly brief scene, so someone who might not want to view it only needs to avert their eyes for a minute or two. And it’s usually significantly less graphic. People can reasonably be expected to be exposed to normal television or movie sex and violence in their everyday lives — flipping through channels, walking past a television in a store or bar, etc. — but I can’t think of any situation in which people are commonly exposed to porn in public places.

  23. Caperton
    Caperton December 21, 2011 at 11:37 am | *

    My personal standard is, for the most part, to not watch anything racier than you could stumble across on expanded-basic cable during primetime. But as mentioned above, it never hurts to ask your seatmates. “Hey, I’m about to watch that episode of Game of Thrones where the guy gets molten gold poured on his head, and then that one chick is naked with dragons on her. Is that going to bother you?” The answer may well be, “No, go for it.”

  24. Esti
    Esti December 21, 2011 at 11:38 am |

    I should have added — I fully agree about the common courtesy thing. If you’re sitting next to a child, it’s probably a good idea to ask their parents before turning on Dexter or Game of Thrones. And if the adult next to me objected to what I was watching, I would change programs. But I don’t think it’s necessary to ask every adult you sit next to whether they’re okay with your show/movie, unless it’s something more sexual or violent than normal.

  25. Ryan
    Ryan December 21, 2011 at 11:40 am |

    Jill: Hmmm. I dunno. If I’m on a seven-hour plane ride, I don’t really want to be relegated to watching only G and PG movies.

    I was on a very long flight awhile ago where a 5-6 year old and I were across the isle from one another. Assuming his view was similar to mine he could see my screen and the screens of three or four other people in the next rows. Adopting Jenny’s eggshell seatmate standard would have knocked out almost all of the airline’s offerings that I was actually interested in watching. And the people in the next rows aren’t necessarily aware that a kid can see their screen. So I just watched what I felt like watching and I wasn’t aware of the kid ever paying me any attention.

    Basically, I’m coming down in favor of drawing the line somewhere around an R rating, but also taking into account all the other facts and circumstances (for example I’d probably nix Dexter but OK the Tudors). That seems to be approximately where the airlines have come down on the issues.

  26. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub December 21, 2011 at 11:41 am |

    Andie: Totally agree that I would be raising a stink.. sorry, a plane is a public place, and not a place to be indulging in porn.

    Agreed. It’s why you wouldn’t catch me watching something uber-violent, either. (Unless it’s a Bugs Bunny or Road Runner/Wile E. Coyote cartoon. In which case, I’m all over it.)

  27. Andie
    Andie December 21, 2011 at 11:41 am |

    Esti: but I can’t think of any situation in which people are commonly exposed to porn in public places.

      

    I remember going to a bar one night that usually played the hockey game on the big screen, but this night someone had changed it to Showcase After Dark so playing on the big screen above the dancefloor was what could be generously describe as a small step down from softcore porn. It was pretty surreal.

  28. Shelly
    Shelly December 21, 2011 at 11:43 am |

    Asking is problematic, too. If your boundaries are so bad that you think it might be okay to watch porn on a plane, then I’m not going to be comfortable sitting next to you after having told you “No.” Plus, you’re still forcing the flight attendants and anyone sitting behind you or walking down the aisle to share in your little pornfest, whether they want to or not.

    And I’m with Esti and Caperton. If it’s appropriate for network prime time, then it’s appropriate for public viewing. For things that fall outside those bounds, is it really a hardship to wait until you’re off the plane to watch?

  29. Andie
    Andie December 21, 2011 at 11:50 am |

    Shelly: Asking is problematic, too. If your boundaries are so bad that you think it might be okay to watch porn on a plane, then I’m not going to be comfortable sitting next to you after having told you “No.”

    For porn, always err on the side of ‘Watching Porn on a plane? What the hell is wrong with you??”

    But for the shows that some people were referencing that walk the line of being possibly inappropriate, I think asking is totally reasonable.

  30. Soullite
    Soullite December 21, 2011 at 11:53 am |

    Your kid doesn’t give you the right to decide what other people can and cannot do any more than my dick gives me the right to tell you what you can and cannot do. Common decency may rule out hard and soft porn, but anything else if fair game. Your brat shouldn’t be looking at my screen, and if you can’t stop him or her, then that’s YOUR fault. Not mine.

    If your precious little bundle is too good for this world, you never should have had them.

  31. Li
    Li December 21, 2011 at 11:54 am |

    Andie: I remember going to a bar one night that usually played the hockey game on the big screen, but this night someone had changed it to Showcase After Dark so playing on the big screen above the dancefloor was what could be generously describe as a small step down from softcore porn. It was pretty surreal.

    I see you, and raise you Pink Flamingos.

  32. Li
    Li December 21, 2011 at 11:57 am |

    Soullite: Your kid doesn’t give you the right to decide what other people can and cannot do any more than my dick gives me the right to tell you what you can and cannot do. Common decency may rule out hard and soft porn, but anything else if fair game. Your brat shouldn’t be looking at my screen, and if you can’t stop him or her, then that’s YOUR fault. Not mine.

    If your precious little bundle is too good for this world, you never should have had them.

    Your dick is not an individual person with a right to boundaries and respect. Thanks for playing though.

  33. Jenny
    Jenny December 21, 2011 at 11:59 am |

    Again, I’m just speaking for my own personal standards for my own behavior, but I’m not saying I wouldn’t watch any PG-13 or R rated movie. I wouldn’t watch a PG-13 or R rated movie that had graphic violence or sex in it that might be disturbing to people who saw it over my shoulder. A lot of movies are rated R that don’t have much more than adult themes or implied sex. Pretty Woman or, as a more recent example, The Descendants, come to mind as movies that have adult themes or content, but wouldn’t be inappropriate for over-the-shoulder, soundless viewing.

  34. Andie
    Andie December 21, 2011 at 11:59 am |

    Li: I see you, and raise you Pink Flamingos.

    Whoa. *bows out*

  35. Tim
    Tim December 21, 2011 at 12:07 pm |

    mim: I also agree any of those people should be able to ask the guy or a stewardess to remedy the situation.)

    If we are going to hole people strictly accountable for their language and framing, could we maybe say “flight attendant”? I’m sure you MEANT well, but there are male flight attendants also, for which some people might not find the title “stewardess” appropriate.

  36. Tim
    Tim December 21, 2011 at 12:09 pm |

    Obviously, or maybe not, “hole” in that post should have been “hold.” Should have proofread more carefully; wish there was an edit feature.

  37. Jennifer
    Jennifer December 21, 2011 at 12:17 pm |

    I’m with Esti on the reasonable expectation of what you’d see in public standard.

    Emily’s quips in this exchange show why she has the Prudie job, I think.

    I bet Soullite would complain if my kid cried due to something on his screen. Now it’s not good enough to gag and hogtie your kids to travel, you have to blindfold them too.

    More seriously, I think the ultimate solution is viewing goggles that are only visible to the viewer. They exist but are kind of expensive.

  38. zuzu
    zuzu December 21, 2011 at 12:25 pm |

    FashionablyEvil: I was on a flight where the guy across the aisle was looking at a hardcore porn magazine. I was more befuddled that he thought this was appropriate public behavior than anything else.

    I saw John Waters on the Graham Norton show a few years ago where he talked about someone seated next to him on a plane doing this; actually, the guy spread out a few mags.

    Look, if John Waters doesn’t think it’s appropriate to view porn on an airplane, that probably means it’s not appropriate to view porn on an airplane.

    Also not a great place for it? At the public library. People do it, all the time — a lot of my library-school classmates who worked at NYPL had stories of the men who’d come in daily to use the computers and watch porn. But that’s different for a few reasons: a) the screens can be shielded more easily so that only someone directly viewing the screen can see; b) there are free-speech issues at play; c) anyone who is offended can walk away, which they cannot do on a plane.

  39. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub December 21, 2011 at 12:30 pm |

    The right to swing your fist stops an inch in front of my nose, and all that. It’s hardly oppressive to point out that people will see what you’re watching in a small space, and that you should be able to refrain from watching porn or a video nasty or a gruesome horror movie for a few hours.

    And seriously, if we’re going to have some douchebag try to turn this into a CF vs. parent thing, I’m going to get fucking Medieval in these here comments. Because as a CF woman, no. Just, no. Stop being an entitled shit-stain.

  40. Thomas MacAulay Millar
    Thomas MacAulay Millar December 21, 2011 at 12:30 pm |

    Soullite, my children are people. They’re your neighbors in this world, entitled to no less respect and decency than everyone else. That’s not an argument for childproofing the world, but it is an argument why your sarcasm about our “precious little bundle[s]” makes you an asshole.

  41. Athenia
    Athenia December 21, 2011 at 12:36 pm |

    You know, considering the children crying and people’s porn habits, instead of first class and economy, we should have family and non-family sitting!

  42. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub December 21, 2011 at 12:39 pm |

    Yeah, but I don’t necessarily want to see, say, “I Spit on Your Grave” being played right next to me, and I’m not a kid. Boundaries. They are good things to have.

  43. William
    William December 21, 2011 at 12:42 pm |

    I see you, and raise you Pink Flamingos.

    Hah! Was it at a bar in Chicago called “Delilah’s?” Because not too long ago I was having a beer with friends there, looked up, and there was the chicken fucking scene on.every.screen.in.the.bar.

    On the actual topic though…I have to say I’m conflicted. Porn is pretty over the line, sure, but I’m not sure how I’d respond to someone asking me to stop watching or reading something they thought was offensive. Thats especially true when “offensive” is entirely in the eye of the beholder. I mean, I’ve had people complain to me on the train because they decided to read over my shoulder and flipped their shit at the language in the “Illuminatus! Trilogy,” and I’ve had someone motion for me to take my headphones off to tell me I needed a book cover for a fucking clinical text on psychoanalysis with transfolk because they didn’t want their snowflake to see an image of someone who’d read as female standing in front of a urinal. In both cases what came out of my mouth would have probably ended up with an uncomfortable conversation with the TSA had I been on a plane instead of the L.

    A dudebro watching porn on a plane is gross and skeevy and definitely worthy of a complaint, but I’d be really worried about what happens once theres a precedent because we all know that this story ends with people of privilege having people without privilege arrested for being abnormal in public.

  44. jennygadget
    jennygadget December 21, 2011 at 12:47 pm |

    I was just reading this out loud to my wife, and she piped up asking for clarification on whether this was actual X-rated material, or a graphic show, like QAF. Some uptight people would call shows like “The L Word” or QAF “porn” because that word evokes the titillation and taboo way they perceive gay sex.

    I’m not saying some people wouldn’t, but…I do rather suspect that anyone who thinks this is the most likely scenario hasn’t worked in a public library. Recently, anyway.

    “Watching porn in public so clearly violates basic social boundaries (and violates them in a sexual way) that I would be immediately suspicious of that dude’s general desire (or lack thereof) to adhere to social and sexual boundaries in public places”

    THIS X1000

    Also, this is generally how I approach the issue when I have to deal with it.*

    Adult men try to argue with me that what they are watching is art, not porn and I explain that the issue is not that it is porn but that it is inappropriate for viewing in public places. If they sat and started reading a Laurell K. Hamilton book aloud, I would tell them the same thing. And yeah, depending on how they take the news, I will make sure other staff are aware of what happened and are keeping an eye out. Sometimes they are just annoyingly arrogant (as far as I can tell); often times we have to also talk to them about choosing to use computers in the adult area, not the teen area. Occasionally they go on to do other things that get them kicked out for other patron’s safety.

    Teen boys are often just embarrassed and I do my best to make it clear that I am not judging what they choose to watch, I am making sure they are being respectful of the people around them and getting people’s consent before placing them in that kind of position. (And yes, I always have a witness and when possible that person is a male co-worker.)

    *For the record, I wish we had the special screens, and then everyone could watch what they wanted. But at the moment we are struggling for funding for basics like books and staff. You pick your battles.

  45. Psyche
    Psyche December 21, 2011 at 12:54 pm |

    I once sat down on the subway next to a man who pulled out a portable DVD player and started watching porn. With sound. So it wasn’t even like I could just not look. It was MAJOR creepy and uncomfortable, especially as he was clearly watching my reaction to his viewing material. I was suddenly very aware that he was a lot larger than me, very much in my personal space, and clearly had issues with sex and consent.

    By contrast, when I sat next to two gay men who were discreetly passing back and forth what looked to be some sort of skin mag, that was cute and made me smile. Because, you know, it was adults discreetly doing adult things…and leaving me out of it.

  46. Anon21
    Anon21 December 21, 2011 at 12:58 pm |

    Obviously, children have a perfect right to be on airplanes and other forms of mass transportation. In my opinion, that doesn’t mean that everyone else’s viewing needs to descend to a child-appropriate level–not even if that means non-explicit with adult themes, as with The Descendents. Porn on an airplane is bizarre and suggests you just don’t give a shit about social norms, but there’s nothing wrong with watching Homeland (50/50 chance of a short topless scene or nothing at all objectionable) or GoT. Just be courteous about dimming/tilting your screen if explicit things come up (which is probably second nature to many people). Nothing wrong with asking permission, but it’s not rude not to ask, because everyone’s entitled to their own entertainment choices.

  47. Val
    Val December 21, 2011 at 1:00 pm |

    @NC73…Air Canada’s on-board entertainment is a social minefield! Quite a bit of violent content, pretty much any recently popular American sexed up cable TV show and, of course, Canadian films. If they are not explicitly for children they can be explicit! I won’t watch new-to-me Canadian films while flying. Too unpredictable for enclosed public spaces.

    I did a quick check of what is available for AC long-haul right now. They have, among other things, Big Love, Entourage and In Bruges…a movie I adore, but one that features violent and sexual content I would not want to inadvertently share with anyone’s child.

    I don’t remember Dexture or Tudors, but I doubt AC would reject them. Obviously, people should try to be respectful of those around them, but this is entertainment people have paid for with their ticket. If someone wants to watch it, are the AC staff going to support someone’s else’s request that they not?

  48. Shelly
    Shelly December 21, 2011 at 1:16 pm |

    Andie
    For porn, always err on the side of ‘Watching Porn on a plane? What the hell is wrong with you??”

    Yes. I was referring strictly to porn when I said that asking is also problematic. For borderline stuff, sure, ask away! Watching porn in public though strikes me as such a huge boundary breach that I don’t trust the watcher not to be an asshole about it, and I don’t want to be stuck sitting next to an asshole that I’ve just given cause for annoyance.

    Also, I tend to feel like someone who would watch porn in a crowded public space, like an airplane, I engaging in an act of sexual aggression. I personally find that to be threatening behavior.

  49. Emily WK
    Emily WK December 21, 2011 at 1:34 pm |

    Does it occur to anyone that someone who watches porn on a plane is deliberately sending signals that he is more important than everyone else and that his sexual needs come before everyone else’s comfort? We’re all sort of assuming that he is pretty creepy, but isn’t it possible that he is intentionally being creepy to include us all in his creepiness?

  50. Michelle
    Michelle December 21, 2011 at 1:37 pm |

    I flew as a child in the dark ages, before we all had our own personal screens. Does anyone else remember when the movies on planes were all “edited for content”? Several R-rated movies were edited for content down to PG to be appropriate for all members on the plane. I sort of assumed that the very limited tv content we get on planes was equally edited.

    I like Dexter, etc. and a lot of the programs mentioned, but I don’t know that they need to be watched on a plane. There’s huge potential to make children or other adults very uncomfortable. There’s little harm to most of us to limiting the content of what we watch (out of courtesy) for a few hours.

    I do think most books are probably a different issue. I think it’s difficult to read over someone’s shoulder (at least more so than the way you can view movie images), and if I were sitting next to a kid I could tilt the book/kindle the other way, etc. You’re not left seeing much else, especially not graphic images that may stick with you forever. At that point it’s more about appropriate behavior for being pressed shoulder to shoulder with other people. Reading porn? Sure. But please keep your hands above the blanket.

  51. Bitter Scribe
    Bitter Scribe December 21, 2011 at 1:37 pm |

    Stick to written porn. Preferably in another language, if you read one.

  52. Bitter Scribe
    Bitter Scribe December 21, 2011 at 1:57 pm |

    BTW, this post has the best headline I’ve seen in a long time.

  53. EG
    EG December 21, 2011 at 2:20 pm |

    Last time I was on an airplane, if my eyes were open and I was facing forward, I could not avoid seeing the screen of the guy in front of me to the left, and he was watching Precious. Given that I have neck problems and can’t spend hours with my head turned to the right or staring down at my lap, there was no way that I could avoid watching at least one rape scene and several other scenes of violence, and I actually found it very upsetting–so much so that I couldn’t focus either on my book or on the person I was travelling with.

    The guy in front of me had the right to watch what he wanted; I have no argument there. At the same time, I had specifically chosen not to see that movie because rape scenes upset me and I never, ever watch movies that include them. What this all comes down to, really, is airlines’ refusal to do anything to make flying an experience that isn’t hellish. We don’t get enough room in the seats, or between the seats, and one of the consequences with that is that everybody’s screen is in everybody else’s sightlines.

  54. Esti
    Esti December 21, 2011 at 2:37 pm |

    EG: What this all comes down to, really, is airlines’ refusal to do anything to make flying an experience that isn’t hellish. We don’t get enough room in the seats, or between the seats, and one of the consequences with that is that everybody’s screen is in everybody else’s sightlines.

    There are a lot of legitimate frustrations with airlines, but I’ve never understood this complaint. The only way to give people more space is to put fewer seats on a plane. The only way to do that is to charge more for the seats that are left. Airlines aren’t exactly raking in the cash. Over the past ten years, they’ve been filing for bankruptcy (or relying on government subsidies to stay afloat) left, right, and center. I’d rather flying be a little more uncomfortable (with accommodations where necessary — I think it would make a lot of sense to have priority seats, like in exit rows, reserved for those who have disabilities, for example) than it become even more expensive and unaccessible.

    And even if giving people more space was financially viable, I don’t think it would do anything to address this problem. Sometimes when I travel for work, my company pays for me to fly business class, where there are approximately half as many people in a row as in economy class. You can still see the screens of the person(s) next to you, in front of you, and if you’re on an aisle, several rows ahead of you. That’s why the only real solution to this problem is for everyone on the plane to display some courtesy and respect for those around them.

  55. EG
    EG December 21, 2011 at 2:43 pm |

    Esti: I’d rather flying be a little more uncomfortable (with accommodations where necessary — I think it would make a lot of sense to have priority seats, like in exit rows, reserved for those who have disabilities, for example) than it become even more expensive and unaccessible.

    Ah, OK, that’s where we differ. I would much rather air travel go up in price–even though it means I’d be priced out–than be as miserable as flying makes me. And if air travel went up in price, perhaps rail travel prices would come down in order to compete, which would make me happiest of all, because trains are the only vehicles that don’t make me motion sick.

    As for courtesy–I don’t think it would have helped in my situation. It’s one thing to ask the person sitting next to you, but I don’t think the guy could have been expected to ask the woman sitting behind him to the right how I felt about watching Precious.

  56. Nobby Stiles
    Nobby Stiles December 21, 2011 at 2:49 pm |

    I was watching a detective series from France on a plane recently. I was watching a completely non-sexual and non-titillating scene which took place in a morgue, and it just occurred to me that everyone behind me could see a rather graphic faux autopsy of a naked body. Fast forwarded through that.

  57. mk
    mk December 21, 2011 at 2:58 pm |

    This topic has been buzzing around Boston lately because a professor was recently arrested on a flight from Salt Lake City after another passenger believed he was looking at child porn on his laptop.

    I’ve never decided not to bring a book on a plane with me due to adult themes (probably including Laurell K. Hamilton books, jennygadget!) because it’s hard to accidentally read someone else’s book, unless it’s a big children’s book or something. Picture-heavy magazines and videos, on the other hand, are hard to ignore when you’re in the adjacent seat, because planes simply aren’t designed to accommodate anyone’s privacy.

    Then again, I’ve never wanted to bring porn onto a plane, because a) I do think it’s incredibly rude, b) I find it sufficiently annoying when I can hear regular ol’ music blasting from the seat next to me, let alone heavy breathing and bow chicka bow wow, and c) I don’t get off on making the people around me uncomfortable.

  58. Esti
    Esti December 21, 2011 at 3:12 pm |

    EG: Ah, OK, that’s where we differ. I would much rather air travel go up in price–even though it means I’d be priced out–than be as miserable as flying makes me. And if air travel went up in price, perhaps rail travel prices would come down in order to compete, which would make me happiest of all, because trains are the only vehicles that don’t make me motion sick.

    That’s a fair stance, but I definitely disagree. Flying isn’t always comfortable, but sometimes it’s necessary or at least vastly easier than other modes of getting somewhere, and I’d like it to remain accessible to as many people as possible. As for trains — I love them when they work (comfortable, no restrictions on what’s in your luggage, usually leave from right downtown instead of hiking to an airport), but I’ve literally never taken a train in America that did not arrive behind schedule, and often they have been several hours late. It works great in compact countries, but even on the east coast in the U.S. it just doesn’t seem like the passenger volume is high enough for the system to work.

  59. DonnaL
    DonnaL December 21, 2011 at 3:30 pm |

    William: a fucking clinical text on psychoanalysis with transfolk because they didn’t want their snowflake to see an image of someone who’d read as female standing in front of a urinal.

    Off-topic comment: any “clinical text on psychoanalysis with trans folk” probably belongs in the garbage can anyway, let alone if it has an image of someone reading as female standing in front of a urinal!

  60. DonnaL
    DonnaL December 21, 2011 at 3:35 pm |

    Soullite: Your brat shouldn’t be looking at my screen, and if you can’t stop him or her, then that’s YOUR fault. Not mine.

    If your precious little bundle is too good for this world, you never should have had them.

    Assholes like you, who used to ostentatiously roll their eyes when I presumed to sit down at a table in a restaurant with my son when he was little, always made me want to point out to them that I had no doubt that my son at age 3 already had far more interesting things to say than they did. And to fuck off. I wish I had. So fuck off.

  61. DonnaL
    DonnaL December 21, 2011 at 3:41 pm |

    Li: I see you, and raise you Pink Flamingos.

    I’m surprised that people are surprised by this kind of thing. Some years ago, I used to go occasionally with my then-partner to a (now defunct) lesbian bar in downtown Manhattan, which had a TV on the wall that played hard-core porn on an endless loop — specifically, if I remember correctly, the Paris Hilton sex tape and similar gems. Not having had much (any) other experience in going to lesbian bars, I assumed that this was standard practice. Maybe not.

  62. karak
    karak December 21, 2011 at 3:56 pm |

    I wouldn’t watch anything on a plane with graphic sex or violence scenes, especially with little kids around. Honestly, that would include QAF too, because of the nature of some of the sex scenes in it.

    That said, I prefer to read on planes, and I have, in the past, read manga that was sexually explicit, incredibly violent, and deeply fucked up because the cover was innocuous and no-one could see what I was reading without trying really, really hard.

    I think it’s kind of bizarre the forced-porn-watching gallery didn’t say anything. If a started watching porn next to me my first reaction would be OH REALLY? *call flight attendant*

  63. Andie
    Andie December 21, 2011 at 4:05 pm |

    DonnaL: Not having had much (any) other experience in going to lesbian bars, I assumed that this was standard practice. Maybe not.

    In my own case, this was a small-town establishment that catered to a pretty mainstream, over-30 crowd and usually as a rule just showed the hockey game, or maybe would get as risque as playing UFC.

    If I was in the city at a bar I wasn’t familiar with, I’d probably not be as surprised.

  64. Katya
    Katya December 21, 2011 at 4:13 pm |

    You can pretty easily NOT read the book of the person next to you. In fact, reading it takes a fair amount of effort. On the other hand, it can be hard NOT to see the video being watched by the person next to you. I read whatever I want on planes, but I don’t watch anything that is pervasively sexually explicit or violent, because people should get to choose whether they want to watch that. I’d probably watch up to PG-13, generally, but with some exceptions made based on the content of that specific film. A love scene in a mainstream movie–likely not a problem. The rape scene in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo? Likely a problem. Porn aside (as in, no porn regardless of the consensuality of the sex portrayed) I probably wouldn’t watch anything that depicted non-consensual sex, either rape or sex with children. I probably wouldn’t watch anything with graphic violence, either, meaning nothing with on-screen depictions of mutilation, torture, decapitation, evisceration, etc. A fistfight is one thing, a disemboweling is quite another.

  65. Katya
    Katya December 21, 2011 at 4:16 pm |

    To clarify–sex with children is rape, by definition, of course, but it might be otherwise consensual (that is, purely statutory rape, rather than rape by force, threats, intoxication, or other coercion), and I would not watch a film in which children are depicted having sex, regardless of the circumstances of that sex.

  66. William
    William December 21, 2011 at 4:20 pm |

    Off-topic comment: any “clinical text on psychoanalysis with trans folk” probably belongs in the garbage can anyway, let alone if it has an image of someone reading as female standing in front of a urinal!

    It was Patricia Gherovici’s Please Select Your Gender: From the Invention of Hysteria to the Democratizing of Transgenderism. Gherovici is a Lacanian who has worked with a number of trans folk, the book is largely a critique of how trans experiences (and sexuality in general) have been pathologized and how analysis can be used to understand and encourage identity rather than “cure” abnormality. Its actually pretty awesome.

  67. DonnaL
    DonnaL December 21, 2011 at 4:22 pm |

    William: It was Patricia Gherovici’s Please Select Your Gender: From the Invention of Hysteria to the Democratizing of Transgenderism. Gherovici is a Lacanian who has worked with a number of trans folk, the book is largely a critique of how trans experiences (and sexuality in general) have been pathologized and how analysis can be used to understand and encourage identity rather than “cure” abnormality. Its actually pretty awesome.

    Glad to hear it! Because most psychoanalytic studies of trans people that I’ve seen make me shudder.

  68. EG
    EG December 21, 2011 at 4:26 pm |

    Esti: I’ve literally never taken a train in America that did not arrive behind schedule, and often they have been several hours late. It works great in compact countries, but even on the east coast in the U.S. it just doesn’t seem like the passenger volume is high enough for the system to work.

    I’ve only had one be several hours late, though I do usually ride them on the East coast. But Amtrak’s problems aren’t inherent in train travel or across long distances; they’re due to a rail system that was deliberately starved of funds and destroyed, rather than being buoyed up by the kind of subsidies the airlines are getting. If we really invested in train travel so that it became a plausible means of getting places–this would mean extending tracks, etc.–not only would lots of jobs be created, but I could visit friends and family in other parts of the US without throwing up.

    Which would be nice for me, but I guess that I can understand that it isn’t really a national priority, that last one.

    DonnaL: Not having had much (any) other experience in going to lesbian bars, I assumed that this was standard practice. Maybe not.

    For four unpleasant weeks, I waited tables at a nightclub that kept running bondage porn intercut with what I swear were animal vivisection videos on the TVs. I quit pretty quickly.

  69. jennygadget
    jennygadget December 21, 2011 at 4:42 pm |

    mk – this is why I specifically said: read aloud. :p

    My point (more to the guys that would get caught watching porn in the libraries and then try to claim it was art not porn – it can’t be both? – than to anyone here) is that we were not objecting to the content – we have few opinions on content – we object to their method of obtaining the content on the grounds that their chosen method is disruptive to others and bordering on (and at times completely crossing into) non-consensual.

    I brought it up mainly because, in my experience, you could tell you was just being arrogant and inconsiderate and who was likely to continue to do even more creepy things by how they reacted to this argument. Generally, the not-overly-creepy guys would finally be ok with the request as soon as they were sure you were not judging their choice of viewing material. The ones we learned you needed to watch out for were the ones who never quite got it and either kept arguing or kept asking (sometimes sincerely) for more clarification on what was acceptable and what was not. The ones that tended to need to get thrown out later were the ones who then started in on “well, if that’s the case then someone should go talk to those teen girls about what they are wearing/doing/saying/viewing” and the like.

  70. Alara Rogers
    Alara Rogers December 21, 2011 at 7:11 pm |

    I get sick on airplanes if I have *any* video anywhere near me that I can see.

    I find the new fashion to have a screen in every single seat appalling, for that reason. I can read on planes, if they are large planes and there’s no turbulence, but the moving images of a video screen make me as ill as trying to read in a car would. I can’t believe I’m the only one, either.

    I’m pretty good at tuning out the world, but intrusive, colorful, bright video images dancing in front of my face have made it impossible for me to read on airplanes, because I don’t dare keep my eyes open (and I read so much faster than humans can talk that audiobooks are not an option for me… they feel like trying to drink from a water fountain that’s dribbling tiny droplets rather than actually fountaining).

    So me personally, I’m all in favor of “always ask your seatmate” no matter what you want to watch. Although, planes being incredibly boring, I’d have a hard time saying no to a seatmate who wanted to watch videos, because they didn’t ask to be seated next to Motion Sickness Woman… but then at least I would feel they did me the consideration of letting me be gracious about it rather than forcing it on me.

  71. nub
    nub December 21, 2011 at 7:16 pm |

    enforcement question, what if it’s a movie you haven’t seen before and a “potentially offending scene” catches you by surprise?

    appropriate response = stop playing the flick immediately? or chalk it up to “I didn’t know” and keep watching?

  72. Shelly
    Shelly December 21, 2011 at 7:29 pm |

    For those of you who insist it is not only your legal right to watch anything you want no matter how much it skeeves out the captive audience next to you, but also somehow a point of principal, I have two words: Privacy Shields. Please buy them so that those of us who do not want to be forced to watch don’t have to.

    I don’t understand how such an educated audience as the one that posts here does not know that the owner of the laptop can actually control what others hear through use of earphones and what others see by using a privacy shield. It’s easy and simple to do.

    Husband travels a lot for business. He needs to work on the plane. He needs for the people around him not to see what he’s doing as he’s a C-level officer and has a LOT of confidential data he works on, including personnel files. For between $15 and $30 he can by the privacy shield and no one but he can see what’s on his screen. I’ve seen the shield in action and it truly does block the view of anyone except the person sitting directly behind it at no more than 4 feet away.

    Problem solved.

  73. Shelly
    Shelly December 21, 2011 at 7:34 pm |

    PS If it is an ipad, it’s easy to put it discretely in your lap so that the people sitting next to you don’t have to see. I often do this when I have a nosy Nelly sitting next to me.

    And, yes, I fly a lot.

  74. vanessa
    vanessa December 21, 2011 at 7:45 pm |

    Use some fucking common sense, here. Don’t watch taht episode of Shark Week where the guy’s calf literally gets ripped out and they have it on camera, don’t want that Shame movie, etc, when there’s a kid who can see it. And be careful about watching that kind of thing in public at all, frankly. Not because there might be delicate little lady flowers around, but because as awesome as watching someone’s calf get ripped out by a bull shark is, not everyone is cool with that shit.

  75. vanessa
    vanessa December 21, 2011 at 7:48 pm |

    and what Katya saiad about only going up to PG 13 is a great guideline. DOn’t be an asshole, is another one.

  76. LotusBen
    LotusBen December 21, 2011 at 8:06 pm |

    I don’t know if it relates to privilege I have, or that I don’t fly on planes that much or what. . .but I can say I’ve never been bothered by anyone watching something in public. I could see if someone was watching something too loud (porn or otherwise) on a plane I might tell them to turn it down, but I don’t see how the images themselves could ever bother me. I mean, it’s pretty easy for me to turn my head or close my eyes, so unless I’m locked inside an IMAX theater showing re-runs of Two and a Half Men I have trouble imagining a scenario where I’d be offended. The visual stimulae that bothers me in public are the constant bombardment of advertisements and the overall grotesque urban landscape of asphalt, cars, hideous architechture, etc. That offends me a lot more than some situation (that I have trouble imagining) where I’d be forced to stare at someone else’s laptop screen as it shows pornographic images.

  77. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil December 21, 2011 at 8:15 pm |

    So me personally, I’m all in favor of “always ask your seatmate” no matter what you want to watch.

    Does that include playing Angry Birds? I once had a guy yell at me because apparently tapping the screen if my ipod was “causing the whole row of seats to shake!”

  78. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable December 21, 2011 at 8:18 pm |

    LotusBen: I mean, it’s pretty easy for me to turn my head or close my eyes, so unless I’m locked inside an IMAX theater showing re-runs of Two and a Half Men I have trouble imagining a scenario where I’d be offended.

    This might be my hell, btw.

  79. LotusBen
    LotusBen December 21, 2011 at 8:44 pm |

    PrettyAmiable: This might be my hell, btw.

    I wish you hadn’t brought Hell into the mix. When one dies, one gets massive dump of the endogenous psychedelic neurotransmitter DMT. I have half a mind that death is subjectively experienced as an infinite drug-induced reiteration of whatever you believe at the deepest level of your subconscious that death entails. For some, that might be hanging out with Jesus in Heaven, for others, being bathed in formless white light, for others, ashamed of the lives they lived, it could involve being condemned to entombment in an eternal IMAX with 360 degrees of Charlie Sheen telling chiropractor jokes. The thought is almost too hideous to comprehend, but I hatched the idea, and you have taken one step further. I really hope this is not what the future has in store for me. . .

  80. Nobby Stiles
    Nobby Stiles December 21, 2011 at 8:57 pm |

    suspect class: Perishthethought.Ifwecan’thave“homosex”inourairplaneseats,theterroristswin.

    Well, you can be snarky about it, but if I was watching a movie with two men kissing and someone asked me to turn it off because it offended them, I would tell them what to kiss.

  81. suspect class
    suspect class December 21, 2011 at 10:59 pm |

    Nobby Stiles: Well, you can be snarky about it, but if I was watching a movie with two men kissing and someone asked me to turn it off because it offended them, I would tell them what to kiss.

    Me too! Check out the post to which I was replying. That’s not what zie was talking about.

    This conversation reminds me of the time I was waiting for a flight out of Oakland and working on my laptop at a food court in my terminal. A family came and sat across from me, and the mother asked me (not terribly nicely) to move myself or my laptop because it was offending them. The only thing she could possibly have seen was the ACLU sticker on the back of the case. I of course did not, and invited her to reorient herself if she did not like her view.

    What’s more is that this was just following pride week, so I can’t imagine they had a very good trip to the Bay Area overall.

  82. Anecdotal
    Anecdotal December 22, 2011 at 12:44 am |

    Sort of relevant but not: I’ve had two experiences with ‘public porn’. One time I was going in for a physical therapy appointment and noticed that one of the receptionists was totally watching porn right there in the middle of work. The second incident was a dishwasher at my job – he was watching porn in the kitchen while doing work.

    As far as the subject of this piece is concerned, it’s hard to know where to draw the line in terms of appropriate content – so much grey area – but hardcore explicit sex acts are definitely way past any line that should be drawn. Not appropriate in public. Period.

  83. Caisara
    Caisara December 22, 2011 at 1:27 am |

    I fly to Asia for work quite a bit. The US airlines that I’ve flown on, most notably Continental/US Airlines, that offer Califorication/SATC et al. take out the nudity to avoid this problem. However, they usually leave in the cursing because they give you personalized headphones.

    I’ve never watched Dexter or uber-violent shows, so I don’t know about violence triggers. The R-rated popcorn action movies seem to be the same.

  84. Caisara
    Caisara December 22, 2011 at 1:29 am |

    I fly to Asia for work quite a bit. The US airlines that I’ve flown on, most notably Continental/US Airlines, that offer Califorication/SATC et al. take out the nudity to avoid this problem. However, they usually leave in the cursing because they give you personalized headphones.

    I’ve never watched Dexter or uber-violent shows, so I don’t know about violence triggers. The R-rated popcorn action movies seem to be the same.

    The problem with privacy shields is that most airlines don’t have convenient plugs, so your battery won’t last the whole trip.

  85. Caisara
    Caisara December 22, 2011 at 1:30 am |

    Ack, sorry for the double post. First time I got an error message, so I didn’t realize it got through.

  86. Fenriswolf
    Fenriswolf December 22, 2011 at 3:50 am |

    Er, Shelly, while the porn dude probably had his own laptop, I’m pretty sure the general discussion is based around TV screens build into the back of the seat in front of you. So privacy screens aren’t really your choice.

    That said, they should totally have fold down privacy screens! And make sure people use them. The idea of being motion sick for a long flight is awful so if that could prevent torturing someone like Alara that would be awesome.

    That and holy shit rape scenes. I was actually pretty fucked up by this movie they played on two of the flights I caught going to Europe (from New Zealand) when I was 9 that had a rape scene. That was when there was one big screen, and I don’t really sleep on planes. The song “Don’t Fence Me In” still makes me feel a bit sick, since it was playing during the scene. :/

  87. Shelly
    Shelly December 22, 2011 at 7:53 am |

    There are two Shellys posting in this thread, just so you know. For the other Shelly who’s advocating the use of privacy screens, that’s all well and good, but probably anyone who has good enough social boundaries to know that they should use a privacy shield also has good enough boundaries that they already understand that watching porn in public is not okay.

    Only a couple of people have brought it up, but I think it’s an important point so I’m going to repeat it: If you’re watching porn in a public space, you’re likely doing so because you enjoy making the people around you uncomfortable. It’s a feature, not a bug. You aren’t going to use a privacy shield because that would defeat the purpose. (This is not entirely unlike guys who spread their legs as wide as possible, because they think they have a right to take up all your space in addition to their own. Making their seat neighbors uncomfortable is pure bonus. And, when you ask them to knock it off, they do not take kindly to it.)

  88. Marksman2010
    Marksman2010 December 22, 2011 at 9:09 am |

    There’s something wrong with me.

    I must be the only person who can sit for hours and do nothing other than think.

  89. Angie unduplicated
    Angie unduplicated December 22, 2011 at 9:29 am |

    Children process information differently from adults. All kinds of things can produce nightmares, often repetitive. The pornflake is a living, breathing example of white male privilege gone sociopathic. Chances are that he was a voyeur who planned to get his ticket comped for a dubious First Amendment read, if someone complained and required him to shut off the skinflicks. He could, in theory, tell the adults to mind their own business, but possible harm to a child is everyone’s business, and the law usually recognizes that.

  90. DP
    DP December 22, 2011 at 10:40 am |

    Public porn aficionados versus snowflakes! My god, this has everything.

    The evil, lizard part of my brain can’t help but think that having your child see hardcore porn is fair compensation for inflicting your child on the rest of the airplane.

    The moral part of me knows that’s totally wrong, but man…every once in a while you get one of the little mouthbreathing seatkickers and you can just dream they get Clockwork Orange’d into watching Debbie Does Dallas.

  91. Andie
    Andie December 22, 2011 at 10:49 am |

    DP: Public porn aficionados versus snowflakes! My god, this has everything.

    Break out the shitty pilots wearing hats.

  92. DP
    DP December 22, 2011 at 11:00 am |

    Andie: Break out the shitty pilots wearing hats.

    Fascinators and overweight passengers caused the crash fo Air France 447.

  93. Non-Believer
    Non-Believer December 22, 2011 at 11:35 am |

    What someone is watching on their DVD player next to you is SO none of your business. Repeat: None. Of. Your. Business. If you report them to to crew, YOU should be thrown off the plane. Pronto. No refund. Buh-bye.

    If you’re that kind of a busybody, stay home or drive. What creeps me out is people who peer over at what I’m reading or watching. Read something yourself, look straight ahead, or close your eyes.

    This “social norm” argument is nonsense. Sex is a social norm. War shouldn’t be, but it is. If you’re going to complain about someone’s viewing habits, complain about them watching a war movie. They all glorify it, even those pretending to depict its tragedy and horror.

    The arguments in this comment thread are identical to the ones raised against gay pride events. “Children are watching! They’re too flamboyant! Men are kissing! How can they put this on television!”

    Get a clue. Change the channel. Turn off the TV. And take your eyes off that DVD player. Seriously — it’s none of your business!

  94. Donna L
    Donna L December 22, 2011 at 11:45 am |

    DP: The evil, lizard part of my brain can’t help but think that having your child see hardcore porn is fair compensation for inflicting your child on the rest of the airplane.

    The moral part of me knows that’s totally wrong, but man…every once in a while you get one of the little mouthbreathing seatkickers and you can just dream they get Clockwork Orange’d into watching Debbie Does Dallas.

    Another asshole I can tell to fuck off!

  95. DP
    DP December 22, 2011 at 12:42 pm |

    Donna L: Donna L

    Another asshole I can tell to fuck off!

    Point——>

    [You]

  96. mk
    mk December 22, 2011 at 12:51 pm |

    Non-Believer, have you ever had the misfortune of sitting in the middle seat on a crowded plane? Some of us have a lot of trouble falling asleep in the middle (not to mention that we can’t all be expected to fall asleep at the drop of a hat when we’re on a flight in the middle of the day, in a cramped sitting position).

    There are certainly ways to keep what you’re viewing on a plane more private, but it’s still going to be more or less out in plane sight. I agree that leering at someone’s reading is rude (though I don’t think anyone can blame a seatmate for momentarily looking to see if they recognize the book/magazine, just as other riders often do on the train, bus or subway), but having a screen right next to you–particularly if it’s one of the larger laptops, not some dinky little portable DVD player–makes it nearly impossible to not see what is playing. It’s in everyone’s line of sight, and the rapid flickering makes it difficult to ignore (or sleep through).

    Glad to hear that you think that if I report the dude next to me for looking at kiddie porn, I’m the one who should be booted off the flight without a refund.

  97. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub December 22, 2011 at 1:14 pm |

    I just can’t imagine how I survived 14-hour plus flights (or two 7 hour flights) back in the dark ages when we didn’t have portable DVD players or individual screens. We had the inflight movie we could watch if we wanted to, and if not, we’d either read or try to sleep and not annoy each other too badly. My life was not adversely impacted just because I was unable to watch Audition on the fucking flight.

    Yes, I’m having a get offa my law moment. But FFS, would it kill some special snowflakes to not be self-absorbed douchecanoes for several hours? Some people can’t actually turn their neck and avoid seeing something a row ahead of them (see the point made upthread) and when it’s right next to you, no, you can’t help but see it.

    Take your goddamn crown off and get the fuck over yourself already.

  98. Donna L
    Donna L December 22, 2011 at 1:15 pm |

    DP: Point——>

    [You]

    I freely admit it in this case. People who go out of their way to bash children (as well as parents who have the temerity to bring them out in public) definitely bring out the worst in me.

  99. EG
    EG December 22, 2011 at 1:21 pm |

    Donna L: People who go out of their way to bash children (as well as parents who have the temerity to bring them out in public) definitely bring out the worst in me.

    Seriously. It happens in a way I never see applied to any other group of people. “I hate old people/people with developmental disabilities! They often smell bad and they often talk too loudly and they are often boring and they often don’t respect boundaries. I’ve gone out of my way not to have old people/people with developmental disabilities in my personal life, so I shouldn’t have to be subjected them when I go out in public either.” Um, no. That’s not how it works. I mean, any number of people annoy me. Self-important businessmen in suits. Loud teenagers. Kissy-face couples. But since other people have a right to leave their homes too, I kind of just suck it up.

  100. DP
    DP December 22, 2011 at 1:26 pm |

    Donna L:
    I freely admit it in this case. People who go out of their way to bash children (as well as parents who have the temerity to bring them out in public) definitely bring out the worst in me.

    I’m going to assume you have kids, because you have the special self-righteousness reserved for parents about you. That said, it’s fine to hate me. You hate my stupid, judgmental self and I hate your squalling, bratty little kids for kicking my seatback for 9. straight. hours.

    It’s good to have a little bit of hate in your life. Like pepper, it’s flavorful in small doses and toxic when weaponized.

  101. EG
    EG December 22, 2011 at 1:31 pm |

    LotusBen: I don’t know if it relates to privilege I have

    It does. Being a man, you do not have to constantly be concerned about sexual harassment, either in itself or as a prelude to actual sexual assault. One of the things sexual predators do is test potential victims to see whether they will defend their boundaries against encroachment. You are also less likely to be a member of the sex being objectified/degraded in a typical porn movie (not necessarily an aspect of porn, but very common in a misogynist culture), so those images are less likely to be upsetting to you or branded in your mind in quite the same way.

    LotusBen: I don’t see how the images themselves could ever bother me.

    Ben, if we could just think of people other than you for a moment…you don’t see how watching, say, a rape scene could bother anybody? Or why hardcore porn watching might be upsetting to a woman?

  102. EG
    EG December 22, 2011 at 1:36 pm |

    DP: I’m going to assume you have kids, because you have the special self-righteousness reserved for parents about you. That said, it’s fine to hate me. You hate my stupid, judgmental self and I hate your squalling, bratty little kids for kicking my seatback for 9. straight. hours.

    Wait, you assume, by virtue of children existing in public, that they’re loud brats who are going to kick your seatback for nine straight hours, but Donna’s the one who’s self-righteous? You strike me as exactly the sort of person who would be just as resentful toward parents who don’t fly with their children and thus force far-flung family members who wish to see them to come to them.

  103. Shelly
    Shelly December 22, 2011 at 1:45 pm |

    Yeah. LotusBen, that’s nice for you, but kind of not the point. It’s like random dudes who say that misogyny doesn’t really affect them, so whatever.

    Non-Believer, that’s a terrible analogy. An offended parent can take their kids and leave a Pride parade if they’re bothered. It’s kind of difficult, half-way through a flight, to change your mind and go home if your seat neighbor starts watching porn. That person is likely already sitting way too close to you for comfort as it is. Why be an asshole about it? I mean, is there some compelling reason why your need to watch porn 24×7 trumps other passengers’ need not to be forced to watch porn? And no, “Just don’t look at it” is not a solution. Don’t you think the people who are bothered by you watching porn have already tried that?

  104. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. December 22, 2011 at 1:51 pm |

    Ummm…so somehow bad behavior by an adult turns into a derail on kids are aweful.

    **slow clap**

    Also, eight months ago or so M and I were on a flight to CA and there was a 7 or 8 year old seated with us across the aisle from his parents. M put on Spongebob figuring that would be something okay to watch with a child in the aisle with us and his mom asked us to turn it off since her son is not allowed to watch TV.

    O.o

    But my favorite request was to “stop typing” since my aislemate found the sound of my laptop annoying. When I commented that I unfortunately had to work, he snorted and made a comment about the self importance of stuck up professional women. The flight attendant moved the asshole dude to another aisle.

  105. Natalia
    Natalia December 22, 2011 at 1:57 pm |

    You know, this post brought back a memory.

    Pre-teen me, seated on a plane far from other family members, next to a middle-aged man who broke out a bunch of hardcore porn magazines all of a sudden. Not, like, Playboy or anything – but the really, really explicit stuff.

    I was in the window seat, he was right next to me, some guy who was asleep the whole time was right next to Porn Dude. Porn Dude made a point of pawing through those things. I was a well-behaved little girl who got really embarrassed by what was happening, so I just hid behind a book the whole time and pretend as though I didn’t notice. I had an inkling he might be doing it on purpose, but was certainly too embarrassed to call over a flight attendant.

    Nothing against porn, but that was creepy as hell. So yeah. While I have no idea if Porn Dude in the OP was also doing it on purpose, or if he just couldn’t give a fuck – that kind of behaviour is Not OK by me.

  106. Sandy
    Sandy December 22, 2011 at 1:58 pm |

    DP, I don’t care enough to hate you, and I doubt Donna L does either. But the stuff you’re saying is douchey, And I would have said the same before I became a parent. Enjoy your pepper spray hatred of an oppressed group though.

    DP: I’m going to assume you have kids, because you have the special self-righteousness reserved for parents about you. That said, it’s fine to hate me. You hate my stupid, judgmental self

    suspect class: Perish the thought. If we can’t have “homosex” in our airplane seats, the terrorists win.

    Well played, suspect class. Well played.

  107. Natalia
    Natalia December 22, 2011 at 2:00 pm |

    Ummm…so somehow bad behavior by an adult turns into a derail on kids are aweful.

    **slow clap**

    You know, you could make a post about polar bears going extinct or something – and someone will show up in the comments to tell you that the polar bears would TOTALLY BE ALRIGHT if we could just FEED ALL OF THE GODDAMN ENTITLED SEAT-KICKING CHILDREN to them.

  108. EG
    EG December 22, 2011 at 2:00 pm |

    Kristen J.: his mom asked us to turn it off since her son is not allowed to watch TV.

    Oh, for fuck’s sake. If she feels that strongly about it, she can switch seats with the kid. I wonder what she does when the coffee shop she’s ducked into has the TV on.

    Kristen J.: But my favorite request was to “stop typing” since my aislemate found the sound of my laptop annoying.

    I got this request once from an elderly dude sitting next to me in a research library. He said my “clicking” (I don’t even know–clicking the touchpad button, I guess) was annoying him, and swore at me. When I told him I would not stop using my computer despite his annoyance, as I was doing research in, let me once again emphasize, a research library, he swore at me again and “asked” me if I would switch my seat. When I pointed out that I had been there long before he sat down, and that this was the section of the library in which one was allowed to use computers, as opposed to the section some aisles away, in which computer use was forbidden, he moved to the computer-free section in an extreme huff, very put out that the young female scholar had not obeyed his instructions.

  109. EG
    EG December 22, 2011 at 2:01 pm |

    EG: I wonder what she does when the coffee shop she’s ducked into has the TV on.

    Actually, let me modify that. I wonder what she thinks her kid does the minute he visits one of his friends.

  110. Thomas MacAulay Millar
    Thomas MacAulay Millar December 22, 2011 at 2:10 pm |

    DP, neither my kids not Donna’s kicked the back of your chair. You are projecting hatred onto all parents and all children for something that some particular person did to you at some point in your life, which is pretty much unacceptable in social justice communities. It’s really messed up, and you should look into getting past that.

    Also, if you say “egotistical self-righteous insufferable asshole” you’re pretty much describing me perfectly, but I was that way long before I had kids. I run my car on moral vanity and heat my house with self-satisfaction. It saves bundles.

  111. Poetree
    Poetree December 22, 2011 at 2:18 pm |

    Most awesome quote on this thread goes to:

    Thomas MacAulay Millar: Also, if you say “egotistical self-righteous insufferable asshole” you’re pretty much describing me perfectly, but I was that way long before I had kids. I run my car on moral vanity and heat my house with self-satisfaction.

  112. zuzu
    zuzu December 22, 2011 at 2:19 pm |

    Non-Believer: What someone is watching on their DVD player next to you is SO none of your business. Repeat: None. Of. Your. Business. If you report them to to crew, YOU should be thrown off the plane. Pronto. No refund. Buh-bye.

    If you’re that kind of a busybody, stay home or drive. What creeps me out is people who peer over at what I’m reading or watching. Read something yourself, look straight ahead, or close your eyes.

    It’s my fucking business if it’s visible to me, asshole.

    It’s none of my business what the dude watches in the privacy of his own home or other private space, but once he brings that shit out in public, it is my business. And I don’t even have to use “but the children” as an excuse.

  113. Donna L
    Donna L December 22, 2011 at 2:25 pm |

    Kristen J.: But my favorite request was to “stop typing” since my aislemate found the sound of my laptop annoying. When I commented that I unfortunately had to work, he snorted and made a comment about the self importance of stuck up professional women. The flight attendant moved the asshole dude to another aisle.

    That reminds of the time I was on a bus going from New York to New Jersey and was reading a newspaper (back when people used to do that kind of thing). The man next to me told me that the sound of my folding the newspaper as I turned pages was annoying him; he held his extremely large fist up to my face and told me that if I didn’t stop he would beat me to a pulp. I stopped, and sat there fuming, thinking about all the things I’d like to say to him, until he got off. (The bus was too crowded for me to change seats.)

  114. Li
    Li December 22, 2011 at 2:26 pm |

    Thomas MacAulay Millar: Also, if you say “egotistical self-righteous insufferable asshole” you’re pretty much describing me perfectly, but I was that way long before I had kids. I run my car on moral vanity and heat my house with self-satisfaction. It saves bundles.

    Oh Thomas. Never change.

  115. zuzu
    zuzu December 22, 2011 at 2:27 pm |

    BTW, you know it’s entirely possible to ask the kid behind you not to kick your seat, right, DP? Like, you don’t actually have to put up with it for 9 fucking hours.

    And if the kid won’t stop, you can ask the parent to intervene. If the kicking still doesn’t stop, you can ask the flight attendant to move you or the offending child.

    Really, you don’t have to put up with it for nine whole hours and then bitch about it in unrelated threads on the internet because you’re in an impotent rage about something you didn’t do anything about when you had the chance.

  116. Non-Believer
    Non-Believer December 22, 2011 at 3:06 pm |

    Zuzu — have a nice time driving, then, so you won’t get the vapors playing peeping Tom and seeing naked (SHOCK!!) pictures on someone else’s DVD. I’m so sorry your eyelids are transparent; otherwise you’d be able to close them and block out the offending images like most people. I suppose you could also turn your head, but of course it is so NATURAL to have it cocked sideways and tilted down into the crotch of the person next to you.

    Idea: Ask the person to watch Schindler’s List instead. There’s still nudity in it, but it’s just people being led to gas chambers rather that engaging in faux-recreational sex.

    Uh oh: What if you’re reading THIS BLOG on your iPhone during a flight, and the people next to you is afflicted with the same transparent eyelid/crooked neck syndrome you have?
    They might see the word “asshole” or even all the F-bombs! How offensive!!! CALL AIRLINE SECURITY!!!

  117. Poetree
    Poetree December 22, 2011 at 3:13 pm |

    Non-Believer

    I think the implication of “natural” was inferring the natural ability of most people to see things within their line of peripheal vision. You can look at one thing yet see another thing that is within your line of vision.

    Non-Believer:
    Zuzu — have a nice time driving, then, so you won’t get the vapors playing peeping Tom and seeing naked (SHOCK!!) pictures on someone else’s DVD. I’m so sorry your eyelids are transparent; otherwise you’d be able to close them and block out the offending images like most people. I suppose you could also turn your head, but of course it is so NATURAL to have it cocked sideways and tilted down into the crotch of the person next to you.

    Idea: Ask the person to watch Schindler’s List instead. There’s still nudity in it, but it’s just people being led to gas chambers rather that engaging in faux-recreational sex.

    Uh oh: What if you’re reading THIS BLOG on your iPhone during a flight, and the people next to you is afflicted with the same transparent eyelid/crooked neck syndrome you have?
    They might see the word “asshole” or even all the F-bombs! How offensive!!! CALL AIRLINE SECURITY!!!

  118. EG
    EG December 22, 2011 at 3:24 pm |

    Non-Believer: I’m so sorry your eyelids are transparent; otherwise you’d be able to close them and block out the offending images like most people. I suppose you could also turn your head, but of course it is so NATURAL to have it cocked sideways and tilted down into the crotch of the person next to you.

    So, it’s more reasonable to expect me to keep my eyes closed for two hours than it is to expect some dude not to watch porn while sitting uncomfortably close to me? It’s more reasonable to expect someone to be able to ignore flickering light happening well within the range of normal eyesight than it is to expect men not to watch porn while sitting next to strange women? I mean, God forbid some dude be inconvenienced by having to wait a few hours until landing in order to get hard. Far more reasonable to expect women to keep their eyes closed for some hours.

    Forcing someone else to be a voyeur into your sex life is obnoxious, disrespectful, and fundamentally aggressive. There are no circumstances under which it is acceptable.

  119. Shelly
    Shelly December 22, 2011 at 3:27 pm |

    Dear Non-Believer: If you can’t fuck in public (and you can’t, in the US), then you shouldn’t be watching videos of people fucking in public. Is that really so difficult for you to understand?

  120. DP
    DP December 22, 2011 at 3:29 pm |

    Thomas MacAulay Millar:
    DP, neither my kids not Donna’s kicked the back of your chair. You are projecting hatred onto all parents and all children for something that some particular person did to you at some point in your life, which is pretty much unacceptable in social justice communities. It’s really messed up, and you should look into getting past that.

    Haha, wow. I made a joke about how, when kids are driving you insane on an airplane/bus/public transport, you find yourself wishing that horrible things would happen to them. Like being stuck watching hardcore porn and having nightmares. Because you’ve been driven to distraction by how annoying they are.

    I’m not saying, pepper spray kids or show them disturbing porn for being in public. I’m saying, when they are driving you crazy (and they will) you find yourself wishing something would happen to them.

    At least, I do. Was the point of my post. Which Donna L was wound too tight to get, and you just completely missed.

  121. Non-Believer
    Non-Believer December 22, 2011 at 3:29 pm |

    Poetree,

    Yes, we must all take precautions to avoid offending the sensibilites of our fellow travellers’ peripheral vision. I’ll write that down and make it a major concern of mine, since now what people might see out of the corners of the eyes gets to censor what I am looking directly at with both eyes.

    How about transparent eyelids? Are they natural, too, or is it just Zuzu?

    You know what ELSE offends commonly-held social norms to the extent that people don’t want to look at it, peripherally or otherwise? There’s a big list: obese people, ugly people, transgender people, disabled people, men kissing. But you know what? You don’t *get* to force them out of your line of view. Because it’s None. Of. Your. Business. Just like someone else’s porn. So get over yourself and enjoy the flight.

  122. Non-Believer
    Non-Believer December 22, 2011 at 3:31 pm |

    “Dear Non-Believer: If you can’t fuck in public (and you can’t, in the US), then you shouldn’t be watching videos of people fucking in public. Is that really so difficult for you to understand?”

    You can’t kill people in public, either, or strip them and march them into gas chambers. But you can watch these activities on video. Is THAT so hard to understand?

  123. DP
    DP December 22, 2011 at 3:34 pm |

    zuzu:
    BTW, you know it’s entirely possible to ask the kid behind you not to kick your seat, right, DP? Like, you don’t actually have to put up with it for 9 fucking hours.

    And if the kid won’t stop, you can ask the parent to intervene. If the kicking still doesn’t stop, you can ask the flight attendant to move you or the offending child.

    Really, you don’t have to put up with it for nine whole hours and then bitch about it in unrelated threads on the internet because you’re in an impotent rage about something you didn’t do anything about when you had the chance.

    You’ve never been stuck in a situation like that, where you’re just like “I hope this plane just crashes now?”

  124. Shelly
    Shelly December 22, 2011 at 3:34 pm |

    Dear Non-Believer: Guess what? Transpeople, fat people, homopeople, disabled people, and ugly people can’t stop being those things when they get on a plane. Do you have some sort of disability wherein you will literally die if you cannot watch porn 24×7? Because if you don’t, then you are engaging in a BEHAVIOR that you can control, which is totally NOT like a trait that you cannot control. Logic: ur doin it rong.

  125. Shoshie
    Shoshie December 22, 2011 at 3:39 pm |

    Non-Believer: You know what ELSE offends commonly-held social norms to the extent that people don’t want to look at it, peripherally or otherwise? There’s a big list: obese people, ugly people, transgender people, disabled people, men kissing. But you know what? You don’t *get* to force them out of your line of view. Because it’s None. Of. Your. Business. Just like someone else’s porn. So get over yourself and enjoy the flight.

    You seriously just compared me existing in my body to your consumption of explicit pornography in public? Really?

  126. Shelly
    Shelly December 22, 2011 at 3:40 pm |

    Unless you’re watching snuff films, you are not, in fact, watching movies with people killing each other. You’re watching movies with people pretending to kill each other. Porn is actual people actually fucking. Which you cannot actually do in public. And I bet most communities in the US have laws saying you cannot fuck or watch porn in public (even porn magazines have to be covered or hidden in most of the US).

  127. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub December 22, 2011 at 3:42 pm |

    Didn’t you all know? D00ds have the right to do whatever they want, and if it makes anyone uncomfortable, well that’s too bad! STALIN!!!11! You should just close your eyes for several hours, which is much easier than asking an overly entitled special snowflake to not watch a porno right next to you or your kid. Saying that he should show some consideration for people around him means you hate gays, trans people, and the disabled, and that goes for the gay, trans, and disabled people who posted on this thread.

    FREEEEEEEEDOOOOOOMMMMMMM!

  128. EG
    EG December 22, 2011 at 3:57 pm |

    Right. The discomfort felt by homophobes and transphobes and body fascists when they see gay and trans and fat people walking around living their lives is just like the discomfort experienced by women when they note that a man next to them is behaving in a sexually inappropriate manner. You can tell because of the risks homophobes, transphobes, and body fascists so often face of bodily, professional, and sexual harm from gay, trans, and fat people. It’s just like the way women regularly face bodily, professional, sexual harm from men behaving in sexually inappropriate ways.

    You see, there’s a difference between being and doing. If somebody is made uncomfortable by a gay man existing next to them in an airplane, they are being a homophobic twit. If they’re uncomfortable because a man is giving another man a blow job in the seat next to them on an airplane, then they’re making a reasonable point, which is that having sex in public involves unwilling participants in a coercive way.

  129. EG
    EG December 22, 2011 at 4:00 pm |

    DP: You’ve never been stuck in a situation like that, where you’re just like “I hope this plane just crashes now?”

    No. I asked the kid to stop, and when that didn’t work, I asked the mother to make him stop. When that didn’t work, I thought about calling the flight attendant, and then decided it wasn’t a big enough deal, since we only had 45 more minutes. But that was my decision, not the kid’s.

  130. DP
    DP December 22, 2011 at 4:20 pm |

    EG: No. I asked the kid to stop, and when that didn’t work, I asked the mother to make him stop. When that didn’t work, I thought about calling the flight attendant, and then decided it wasn’t a big enough deal, since we only had 45 more minutes. But that was my decision, not the kid’s.

    Actually LOL’ing. Your solution is – ask the kid, which won’t work, then ask the parent, which won’t work, then grin and bear it until it’s over.

    I’ll stick with sitting there praying for the sweet release of death.

    Anyways, I sort of imagine such a confrontation would probably wind up with me being featured as a ‘check your childless privilege’ rant on a mommyblog somewhere.

  131. Sandy
    Sandy December 22, 2011 at 4:24 pm |

    EG: No. I asked the kid to stop, and when that didn’t work, I asked the mother to make him stop. When that didn’t work, I thought about calling the flight attendant, and then decided it wasn’t a big enough deal, since we only had 45 more minutes.

    I dunno, that sounds kind of overly reasonable. Me, I pray for NUCLEAR ANNIHILATION OF ALL LIFE.

  132. Sandy
    Sandy December 22, 2011 at 4:33 pm |

    DP, did you see the part where you can take the matter to the flight attendants?

    Oh, wait, that would involve taking the slightest bit of action. Better to hate on all children forever, got it.

    DP: Anyways, I sort of imagine such a confrontation would probably wind up with me being featured as a ‘check your childless privilege’ rant on a mommyblog somewhere.

    Really, you would care about that?

  133. TheCollaboratrix
    TheCollaboratrix December 22, 2011 at 4:38 pm |

    1) I like fucking, both gay and straight varieties. I like porn. As much as I like fucking and depictions of fucking, I don’t want to watch porn with *you,* especially if I’m stuck in a seat near you. Also, two men kissing is not porn, so can we stop with the stupid strawmen?

    2) I dislike children. I try to avoid them. And yet, the anti-child venom coming from some of the commenters here is fucking disturbing.

  134. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub December 22, 2011 at 4:39 pm |

    IDK. I’d rather a kid sitting behind me or next to me than the asshole adult who sat in front of me and kept throwing himself into his seat in a mini-tantrum when the flight attendant didn’t rush to his side the very second he hit the call button. It was especially awesome as I had hot coffee on my fold-down table. He got very pissy when I warned him that the next time he pulled that shit, I’d dump the coffee on his fucking lap.

  135. EG
    EG December 22, 2011 at 4:41 pm |

    Seriously. Sometimes, when you ask someone to do something, they get annoyed with you and blog about it. OH MY GOD, HOW COULD I LIVE WITH THAT? Um…easily? Hell, I’ve been told off by strangers in public, to my face, and done some telling off myself. And yet, life goes on quite smoothly.

  136. zuzu
    zuzu December 22, 2011 at 5:13 pm |

    Non-Believer: Zuzu — have a nice time driving, then, so you won’t get the vapors playing peeping Tom and seeing naked (SHOCK!!) pictures on someone else’s DVD. I’m so sorry your eyelids are transparent; otherwise you’d be able to close them and block out the offending images like most people. I suppose you could also turn your head, but of course it is so NATURAL to have it cocked sideways and tilted down into the crotch of the person next to you.

    Or, you know, he could save the stroke films for his hotel room.

    There’s a lot you don’t do when people can’t get away from you that are perfectly fine elsewhere. I’m so sorry for you that you can’t forgo your porn for a few hours. How do you manage at work?

  137. Shoshie
    Shoshie December 22, 2011 at 5:14 pm |

    DP: I’ll stick with sitting there praying for the sweet release of death.

    My heart! Life…it is so hard! To have to tolerate the perils of public transportation! It is too much! Goodbye cruel world!

  138. zuzu
    zuzu December 22, 2011 at 5:17 pm |

    DP: You’ve never been stuck in a situation like that, where you’re just like “I hope this plane just crashes now?”

    Of course I have. I had a kid seated next to me who screamed in an ear-splitting pitch at the top of her lungs the entire flight because she could no longer sit in her daddy’s lap and then she threw up on me when we landed. I save that story for when it’s time to talk about annoying kids on airplanes. Kids, though, tend not to watch much porn on airplanes, so I’m not really sure why your seatkicker was brought up here.

  139. zuzu
    zuzu December 22, 2011 at 5:19 pm |

    Non-Believer: You know what ELSE offends commonly-held social norms to the extent that people don’t want to look at it, peripherally or otherwise? There’s a big list: obese people, ugly people, transgender people, disabled people, men kissing. But you know what? You don’t *get* to force them out of your line of view. Because it’s None. Of. Your. Business. Just like someone else’s porn. So get over yourself and enjoy the flight.

    That says so much more about you than you realize, m’dear.

  140. zuzu
    zuzu December 22, 2011 at 5:22 pm |

    DP: Actually LOL’ing. Your solution is – ask the kid, which won’t work, then ask the parent, which won’t work, then grin and bear it until it’s over.

    I’ll stick with sitting there praying for the sweet release of death.

    For nine hours. Instead of asking the flight attendant to re-seat you.

    The fuck?

    Anyways, I sort of imagine such a confrontation would probably wind up with me being featured as a ‘check your childless privilege’ rant on a mommyblog somewhere.

    As opposed to now?

  141. DP
    DP December 22, 2011 at 5:24 pm |

    zuzu: Of course I have. I had a kid seated next to me who screamed in an ear-splitting pitch at the top of her lungs the entire flight because she could no longer sit in her daddy’s lap and then she threw up on me when we landed. I save that story for when it’s time to talk about annoying kids on airplanes. Kids, though, tend not to watch much porn on airplanes, so I’m not really sure why your seatkicker was brought up here.

    It was a joke about how this thread was the perfect storm for a flamewar, because it contained elements – porn, public places, kids on airplanes – that inevitably flare up.

    Inadvertently, I appear to have started the flamewar I was joking about.

  142. Shelly
    Shelly December 22, 2011 at 5:24 pm |

    zuzu: There’s a lot you don’t do when people can’t get away from you that are perfectly fine elsewhere. I’m so sorry for you that you can’t forgo your porn for a few hours. How do you manage at work?

    Perhaps he watches porn at work? And then gets threatening with coworkers when they complain about it? Because I’ve worked with That Guy, and it’s not very fun. How he wasn’t fired on the spot is a mystery. Or maybe not.

  143. zuzu
    zuzu December 22, 2011 at 5:28 pm |

    You can’t give someone a blowjob in your seat, so why should you think you should be able to watch a film of someone giving someone else a blowjob in your seat?

    Personally, I tend to rent old movies for plane trips. They’re usually very cheap on iTunes/Amazon, and you can be sure you won’t have any uncomfortable moments when a sex scene or a naked ass or graphic violence surprises you. Bonus: a lot of Depression-era movies had really good, really well-written female characters.

  144. Shelly
    Shelly December 22, 2011 at 5:28 pm |

    DP: I’ll stick with sitting there praying for the sweet release of death.

    So you’d rather die than suffer the presence of children?

  145. Lauren
    Lauren December 22, 2011 at 5:33 pm |

    DP: Haha, wow. I made a joke about how, when kids are driving you insane on an airplane/bus/public transport, you find yourself wishing that horrible things would happen to them.

    I can’t say I’ve ever met a decent adult who wished horrible things would happen to children.

  146. DP
    DP December 22, 2011 at 5:34 pm |

    Shelly: So you’d rather die than suffer the presence of children?


    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=hyperbole

  147. LotusBen
    LotusBen December 22, 2011 at 5:35 pm |

    EG: Ben, if we could just think of people other than you for a moment…you don’t see how watching, say, a rape scene could bother anybody? Or why hardcore porn watching might be upsetting to a woman?

    I definitely hear what you’re saying EG. I mean, and rape scenes in movies do bother me, Your experience you described earlier about being subjected to Precious on the plane sounds pretty awful. I just have never had that experience of seeing someone watching something in public that bothered me and being unable to look away. I’m more used to busses than planes, which are more spacious and there’s more various things to look at. Also, the privilege thing–if I saw someone watching porn in public, I would more just find it funny than anything, like if I saw someone taking a shit in public–the incongruity of someone doing something so inappropriate would seem absurd. But as you pointed out, I wouldn’t have to worry about whether he was a predator who was testing boundaries with me. And though I don’t particularly enjoy porn myself, I don’t have the strong negative associations with it a lot of women have.

  148. Non-Believer
    Non-Believer December 22, 2011 at 5:48 pm |

    “Unless you’re watching snuff films, you are not, in fact, watching movies with people killing each other. You’re watching movies with people pretending to kill each other. Porn is actual people actually fucking. Which you cannot actually do in public. And I bet most communities in the US have laws saying you cannot fuck or watch porn in public (even porn magazines have to be covered or hidden in most of the US).”

    Actually, I get my jollies watching JFK’s brains splattered all over Jackie’s pink blouse, or Ruby shooting Oswald, or old holocaust newsreels, or gory WWII, Vietnam or Iraq war footage. Guess what: it’s not simulated! And they kind of broadcast it around the clock on history channels. Not the least bit illegal. Sorry you find consensual sex more offensive, even when only flickering into your peripheral vision.

  149. Non-Believer
    Non-Believer December 22, 2011 at 5:53 pm |

    “You can’t give someone a blowjob in your seat, so why should you think you should be able to watch a film of someone giving someone else a blowjob in your seat?”

    Same reason I can watch actually footage of people killing each other, even though I can’t kill someone in a seat.

  150. Shelly
    Shelly December 22, 2011 at 5:59 pm |

    Non-Believer: Actually, I get my jollies watching JFK’s brains splattered all over Jackie’s pink blouse

    Awesome! You do realize that there’s a difference between documentary footage and snuff films? Or maybe you don’t. That might explain a lot.

  151. Non-Believer
    Non-Believer December 22, 2011 at 6:09 pm |

    “You seriously just compared me existing in my body to your consumption of explicit pornography in public? Really?”

    YES!!! Believe it or not, there are MILLIONS of people in this country who would rather look at porn actors having sex than looking at obese, gay, transgendered or disabled people! Looking at people they don’t find attractive makes them uncomfortable, just like peripheral porn-flickers makes you (but apparently not Jill and some grandmothers) uncomfortable. That’s why you’ll find that unless it’s fetish porn, most porn uses “traditional” body types to cater to the consumer’s prejudices.

    No, looking at the obese, gay, etc. SHOULDN’T make people uncomfortable, but it does! And looking at videos of people having sex SHOULDN’T make people uncomfortable, but it does! Sadly, no one has a right to avoid all discomfort, so the solution is to just avert one’s eyes. And mind your own business.

    Why do you all love depictions of violence more than depictions of sex?

    Zuzu, your profound ignorance says more about you than you’ll ever know. And it makes me uncomfortable. But I can live with it. ‘Cause I’m not a petty little thought-fascist like you.

  152. Sandy
    Sandy December 22, 2011 at 6:18 pm |

    Non-Believer: Why do you all love depictions of violence more than depictions of sex?

    Why are you unable to comprehend the difference between traits and behavior?

    I smell troll-stink on this one.

  153. Non-Believer
    Non-Believer December 22, 2011 at 6:19 pm |

    “Awesome! You do realize that there’s a difference between documentary footage and snuff films? Or maybe you don’t. That might explain a lot.”

    Yes, I do! But in this hypothetical, both are depictions of intentional, unlawful murders, the sight of which might actually make some people more uncomfortable than depictions of sex. So what you are drawing is what is known as “a distinctom without a difference.” And, in fact, it utterly destroys your argument, as you’re forced to defend the notion that people should be more offended by flickering images of consensual sex than actual footage of bloody wars or political assassinations.

    But let’s accept your distinction. Would it be alright to watch a DOCUMENTARY about the history of porn, which was filled with clips from various porn movies? I suspect the peripheral vision of my seatmate wouldn’t be able to distinguish the two.

  154. Shelly
    Shelly December 22, 2011 at 6:22 pm |

    Non-Believer: YES!!! Believe it or not, there are MILLIONS of people in this country who would rather look at porn actors having sex than looking at obese, gay, transgendered or disabled people!

    Just because that’s true does not mean that it’s okay or that they have a RIGHT to impose their bigotry on others. (And until you learn the difference between telling people that there is no place for them in this world and telling someone that they have to forgo watching porn for a few hours, there’s no reason to engage with you.)

  155. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub December 22, 2011 at 6:23 pm |

    BLAH BLAH BLAH FASCISM BLAH BLAH BLAH STALIN BLAH BLAH BLAH MY DICK IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING EVAR BLAH BLAH BLAH I AM A TROLL AND SHALL NOW ROLL IN GLITTER AND DANCE.

    DAAAAAAAAAAANCE.

  156. Nobby Stiles
    Nobby Stiles December 22, 2011 at 6:24 pm |

    EG: Ben, if we could just think of people other than you for a moment…you don’t see how watching, say, a rape scene could bother anybody? Or why hardcore porn watching might be upsetting to a woman?

    EG: You are also less likely to be a member of the sex being objectified/degraded in a typical porn movie (not necessarily an aspect of porn, but very common in a misogynist culture), so those images are less likely to be upsetting to you or branded in your mind in quite the same way.

    Wasn’t the movie referenced in the original piece homosexual porn? I assumed that’s what it meant by ‘male porn.’

  157. Non-Believer
    Non-Believer December 22, 2011 at 6:27 pm |

    “Why are you unable to comprehend the difference between traits and behavior?
    I smell troll-stink on this one.”

    The only issue here is one’s right to be free from visual stimuli which makes one uncomfortable. It makes no difference what the cause is. There is no such right.

    I smell teh stupid on you.

    And why DO you love depictions of violence more than depictions of sex, to the extent you’d have the airport police-censors drag off someone watching a porn flick but not war footage?

  158. LotusBen
    LotusBen December 22, 2011 at 6:27 pm |

    Hey Non-Believer. . .let me play devil’s advocate with you. Upthread someone described a situation where the person sitting in front of her was watching on a large screen a movie that contained a rape scene. It was directly what was in front of her face. She has neck problems so it would be hard for her to avert her eyes during the whole flight. And she could have kept her eyes closed the whole flight, but really, isn’t doing something like that out of fear quite an imposition to expect of someone?

    So, can you imagine a situation like that? I understand that if someone wants to watch porn on a flight and then can’t, that would be inconvenient for that person as well. But why does one person’s inconveience trump another’s in your mind? Because of some abstact conception of rights? What would be wrong with asking someone who is watching something that bothers you, and you’re having trouble averting your eyes from, if he’d be willing to stop watching it, or watch something else instead? Does dialogue equal “thought fascism”?

    Now I’d be against a law saying you can’t watch porn in public because I’m pretty much against all laws; I’m sorta an anarchist. But does your desire to watch whatever you want trump someone else’s desire to feel safe/not triggered on an airplane?

  159. Shelly
    Shelly December 22, 2011 at 6:30 pm |

    You know what? Maybe if you have reason to believe that people will find it upsetting, you just shouldn’t watch it on a plane. Period. Because to be honest, if I were sitting next to some dude who kept watching and rewatching and rewatching JFK’s assassination, I’d be incredibly uncomfortable. Do you get off on making people uncomfortable?

    (And way up above, when I mentioned that some guys, when you tell them their behavior is out of bounds, will make it their job to ensure that you are punished for speaking out? Non-Believer is the sort of creepy, abusive, boundary-pushing asshole I was referring to. If he’s doing it here, just imagine what he’d do if you interfered with his in-flight bonerfest.)

  160. Nobby Stiles
    Nobby Stiles December 22, 2011 at 6:35 pm |

    Non-Believer: The only issue here is one’s right to be free from visual stimuli which makes one uncomfortable. It makes no difference what the cause is. There is no such right.

    Exposing yourself to someone is illegal.

  161. Non-Believer
    Non-Believer December 22, 2011 at 6:38 pm |

    “Just because that’s true does not mean that it’s okay or that they have a RIGHT to impose their bigotry on others.”

    Hey stupid — I never said there was a right to impose bigotry. I said that the bigots who are made uncomfortable have to sit there and take it, just like the tiny, delicate little flowers who don’t like looking at porn.

    But of course, this discussion has nothing to do with the actual offensiveness of porn. Rather, it’s been quite clearly stated that the objection is that the KIND of person who would watch porn on a plane is someone who is just trying to offend. So it’s just a psychological hypothesis about a stranger, one who is quite obviously under the circumstances in no position to do you any harm.

    I’m sure there are people who read Nazi or racist literature on planes. Perhaps even copies of NewsMax or the National Review. Shall we confiscate their magazines, too?

  162. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub December 22, 2011 at 6:44 pm |

    airport police-censors drag off someone watching a porn flick

    No one here recommended kicking anyone off of the plane. Well there was one commenter who recommended people be kicked off the plane:

    If you report them to to crew, YOU should be thrown off the plane. Pronto. No refund. Buh-bye.

    Oh, wait. That was you.

  163. Sandy
    Sandy December 22, 2011 at 6:45 pm |

    Non-Believer: The only issue here is one’s right to be free from visual stimuli which makes one uncomfortable. It makes no difference what the cause is. There is no such right.

    I smell teh stupid on you.

    Yeah, whatever. Troll harder next time, okay?

  164. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub December 22, 2011 at 6:46 pm |

    What was I thinking? Obvious troll is obvious.

    Dance for me, boy. You’re cute when you’re angry.

  165. zuzu
    zuzu December 22, 2011 at 6:47 pm |

    Non-Believer: Zuzu, your profound ignorance says more about you than you’ll ever know. And it makes me uncomfortable. But I can live with it. ‘Cause I’m not a petty little thought-fascist like you.

    Oh, bless your heart.

  166. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable December 22, 2011 at 6:50 pm |

    Non-Believer: So it’s just a psychological hypothesis about a stranger, one who is quite obviously under the circumstances in no position to do you any harm.

    Are you seriously so stupid that you think people on planes can’t hurt other people? You know that this happens, right?

  167. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub December 22, 2011 at 6:52 pm |

    PrettyAmiable: Are you seriously so stupid

    Yes, he is. But he’s so adorable when he’s mad. . .he foams at the mouth like a rabid widdle puppy!

  168. Shelly
    Shelly December 22, 2011 at 6:53 pm |

    Non-Believer: one who is quite obviously under the circumstances in no position to do you any harm.

    I’m sure there are people who read Nazi or racist literature on planes. Perhaps even copies of NewsMax or the National Review. Shall we confiscate their magazines, too?

    I’m not advocating confiscating anything. Also, you’re not in any position to decide for other people what causes them harm. Alsoplustoo, you are still a little confused on the difference between people and actions. Funny, because that’s a distinction my mamma taught me when I was wee ‘un.

  169. Shelly
    Shelly December 22, 2011 at 6:55 pm |

    Sheelzebub: Yes, he is. But he’s so adorable when he’s mad. . .he foams at the mouth like a rabid widdle puppy!

    He’s damned near frappé!

  170. Sandy
    Sandy December 22, 2011 at 6:56 pm |

    Shelly: He’s damned near frappé!

    I wouldn’t try slurping that froth though if I were you.

  171. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub December 22, 2011 at 7:00 pm |

    OK, blog pool:

    My bet is he pulls out one of the following arguments/rhetorical devices:

    STUPID
    FASCIST (also, Nazi or Stalin or equivalent will work)
    Prude (or sexphobic, shrinking violet, delicate flower, etc.)
    Feminazi
    CENSORSHIP111!11
    YOU WANT TO KILL MEN FOR BEING SEXUAL
    LIARS

    Eh. He’s a one-trick pony, really. He’s cute, but so far a boring troll ride. Mix it up, kiddo, or another more talented troll will replace you.

  172. LotusBen
    LotusBen December 22, 2011 at 7:00 pm |

    I can’t believe how mean you guys are being to Non-Believe-er

  173. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. December 22, 2011 at 7:01 pm |

    Huh…now that trollbait has me thinking about it. I wonder if the parent could sue for damages based on nuisance? If a loud stereo in a public park counts I don’t see why porn on a flight wouldn’t be at least colorable as an argument.

  174. Non-Believer
    Non-Believer December 22, 2011 at 7:01 pm |

    “You know what? Maybe if you have reason to believe that people will find it upsetting, you just shouldn’t watch it on a plane. Period. Because to be honest, if I were sitting next to some dude who kept watching and rewatching and rewatching JFK’s assassination, I’d be incredibly uncomfortable. Do you get off on making people uncomfortable?”

    You ever see Oliver Stone’s “JFK”? It’s basically just watching and rewatching JFK’s assassination. Ban it on planes?

    Sheelzebub, Jill’s advice, and that of other commenters, is that the crew be called into “handle” the situation. Which obviously means throwing the porn guy off the plane if he doesn’t do what he’s told. So yes, it’s been fairly clearly suggested. My counter-suggestion was obviously hyperbolic (you REALLY think they’d throw a passenger off for complaining about porn?) and my argument all along has been that people should just mind their own business.

    BLAH BLAH BLAH arguments and trolling accusations are ALWAYS so impressive and persuasive. In fact, I find them exciting — moreso than plane porn. Keep it up (and I’ll keep IT up)!

  175. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub December 22, 2011 at 7:01 pm |

    Well played, sir! Well played!

  176. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub December 22, 2011 at 7:03 pm |

    (and I’ll keep IT up

    I’ll send you some Popsicle sticks and twine to help you out with that, sparky.

  177. Shelly
    Shelly December 22, 2011 at 7:03 pm |

    Sandy: I wouldn’t try slurping that froth though if I were you.

    Pretty sure it’s not fit for human consumption.

  178. LotusBen
    LotusBen December 22, 2011 at 7:03 pm |

    Yeah this guy has nothing on Ceres. Ceres was phenomenal.

  179. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub December 22, 2011 at 7:05 pm |

    Ceres was obtuse. This guy is just angry and stomps up and down. As I said, one trick pony, but he’s got a lot of energy. Roll that boy in glitter and watch him go!!

  180. Shelly
    Shelly December 22, 2011 at 7:05 pm |

    Non-Believer: You ever see Oliver Stone’s “JFK”?

    Friends don’t let friends watch Oliver Stone movies.

  181. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub December 22, 2011 at 7:06 pm |

    Shelly: Friends don’t let friends watch Oliver Stone movies.

    THOUGHT FASCIST.

  182. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable December 22, 2011 at 7:07 pm |

    Is there any reason we don’t all understand that exposing people to sexual images without their consent is sexual harassment? You do not have a right to sexually harass people.

  183. Non-Believer
    Non-Believer December 22, 2011 at 7:08 pm |

    “I’m not advocating confiscating anything. Also, you’re not in any position to decide for other people what causes them harm.”

    Well, if you’re not confiscating anything (including the DVD player) then there’s no problem.

    Okay, then — looking at obese, gay, transgender and disabled people causes others harm, and you’re not in any position to decide otherwise because you’re not them. Somehow I don’t really think you want to be arguing that.

  184. zuzu
    zuzu December 22, 2011 at 7:09 pm |

    Sheelzebub: (and I’ll keep IT up

    I’ll send you some Popsicle sticks and twine to help you out with that, sparky.

    Toothpicks oughtta do it. The ones with frills on them, for fun.

  185. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub December 22, 2011 at 7:10 pm |

    And glitter, Zuzu. Don’t forget the glitter.

  186. EG
    EG December 22, 2011 at 7:10 pm |

    Non-Believer: Which obviously means throwing the porn guy off the plane if he doesn’t do what he’s told.

    Like, in midair? Is this actually how you envision this situation going down? Because it seems…unlikely to me.

    As for not being in a position to cause me harm…I’ll be the judge of that, thanks.

    This troll is just being silly: “You advocate calling the crew, so you totes want to throw the guy off the plane, but when I said that people should be thrown off the plane, I was obviously using hyperbole!”

  187. Shelly
    Shelly December 22, 2011 at 7:12 pm |

    zuzu: Toothpicks oughtta do it. The ones with frills on them, for fun.

    Cocktail umbrellas have forever lost their innocence.

  188. LotusBen
    LotusBen December 22, 2011 at 7:12 pm |

    EG: Like, in midair? Is this actually how you envision this situation going down? Because it seems…unlikely to me.

    YAY!!! Sky dying!!!

  189. EG
    EG December 22, 2011 at 7:13 pm |

    Non-Believer: looking at obese, gay, transgender and disabled people causes others harm, and you’re not in any position to decide otherwise because you’re not them. Somehow I don’t really think you want to be arguing that.

    I see we’re back to being vs. doing. And to making analogies that don’t stand up to the slightest scrutiny.

  190. Non-Believer
    Non-Believer December 22, 2011 at 7:13 pm |

    “Is there any reason we don’t all understand that exposing people to sexual images without their consent is sexual harassment? You do not have a right to sexually harass people.”

    Oh, SEXUAL images. I thought we were talking about sect-ual images, like pictures of the Amish or Hassidim (many of whom hold bigoted views). Sorry for the misunderstanding.

  191. zuzu
    zuzu December 22, 2011 at 7:13 pm |

    Sheelzebub: And glitter, Zuzu. Don’t forget the glitter.

    Of course! I’m sure Sparky likes the pedazzling.

  192. Shelly
    Shelly December 22, 2011 at 7:17 pm |

    Non-Believer: Okay, then — looking at obese, gay, transgender and disabled people causes others harm, and you’re not in any position to decide otherwise because you’re not them. Somehow I don’t really think you want to be arguing that.

    This is where your inability to distinguish between people and actions becomes especially problematic. You might want to get help with that.

  193. Non-Believer
    Non-Believer December 22, 2011 at 7:20 pm |

    “I see we’re back to being vs. doing. And to making analogies that don’t stand up to the slightest scrutiny.”

    I see we’re back to criticizing arguments without explaining why they don’t stand up to scrutiny. If you’re going to be this content-free, just call me a troll and be done with it.

    “As for not being in a position to cause me harm…I’ll be the judge of that, thanks.”

    Fine. And if you’re wearing a red hat, that harms me. You find that unreasonable? Too bad ! I’ll be the judge of that, thanks.

  194. LotusBen
    LotusBen December 22, 2011 at 7:20 pm |

    Shelly: Thisiswhereyourinabilitytodistinguishbetweenpeopleandactionsbecomesespeciallyproblematic.Youmightwanttogethelpwiththat.

    Maybe constantly watching porn is just part of Non-Believer’s core identity. Like some people are Christian, Non-Believer is Pornian. Do you have a right to call the crew when the person sitting next to you silently bows their head in prayer before eating his onflight dinner of saltines and peanuts? Just because you can see his piety in your peripheral vision?

    Don’t mess with who Non-Believer is.

  195. Sandy
    Sandy December 22, 2011 at 7:21 pm |

    Shelly: Pretty sure it’s not fit for human consumption.

    Yeah, it would have an adverse effect on the parts of the brain responsible for logic and deductive reasoning.

  196. EG
    EG December 22, 2011 at 7:22 pm |

    Oh, LotusBen. Thanks for the gracious reply.

  197. Non-Believer
    Non-Believer December 22, 2011 at 7:24 pm |

    “Maybe constantly watching porn is just part of Non-Believer’s core identity. Like some people are Christian, Non-Believer is Pornian. Do you have a right to call the crew when the person sitting next to you silently bows their head in prayer before eating his onflight dinner of saltines and peanuts? Just because you can see his piety in your peripheral vision?”

    Exactly my point!

  198. EG
    EG December 22, 2011 at 7:24 pm |

    Non-Believer: I see we’re back to criticizing arguments without explaining why they don’t stand up to scrutiny.

    I already did. It has to deal with real-life power dynamics and risks. Your inability to understand that is not my fault.

  199. LotusBen
    LotusBen December 22, 2011 at 7:26 pm |

    Non-Believer: Exactly my point!

    Constantly watching porn is part of your core identity?

  200. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable December 22, 2011 at 7:26 pm |

    Non-Believer: I see we’re back to criticizing arguments without explaining why they don’t stand up to scrutiny.

    You do not have a right to sexually harass people. In contrast, people have a right to be fat.

  201. LotusBen
    LotusBen December 22, 2011 at 7:30 pm |

    EG: Oh, LotusBen. Thanks for the gracious reply.

    You’re welcome! Thanks for always engaging with me in a thoughtful, detailed way.

  202. Non-Believer
    Non-Believer December 22, 2011 at 7:33 pm |

    “I already did. It has to deal with real-life power dynamics and risks. Your inability to understand that is not my fault.”

    What, the guy shooting the flickering porn-rays into your peripheral vision when you turn toward his crotch poses some sort of a real-life risk to you? Strapped into his seat on a plane full of people?

  203. LotusBen
    LotusBen December 22, 2011 at 7:37 pm |

    Non-Believer, you’re right, there’s absolutely zero risk. I mean, the guys strapped into his seat. These bitches should just close their eyes and take a nap or something, because nothing bad in a sexual way could ever happen on an airplane.

    http://articles.cnn.com/2011-09-13/justice/georgia.inflight.sex.assault_1_sexual-assault-flight-attendant-federal-prison?_s=PM:CRIME

  204. EG
    EG December 22, 2011 at 7:46 pm |

    Non-Believer: What, the guy shooting the flickering porn-rays into your peripheral vision when you turn toward his crotch poses some sort of a real-life risk to you? Strapped into his seat on a plane full of people?

    Do…you understand how peripheral vision works? Peripheral vision is what enables you to see what is happening on either side of you even when you are looking straight ahead. It is particularly sensitive to movement, for reasons that should be perfectly obvious when you think about evolution. Believe me, women are not running around staring at the crotches of strangers. We’d be much happier if strangers would stop shoving their crotches in our faces.

    And it’s true, a seat belt does render a man completely helpless. And women have never, ever been sexually assaulted when there have been witnesses. Certainly, they have never been followed from a place where there are witnesses to a place where there aren’t. We have no reason whatsoever to be suspicious of a dude who inflicts his sexuality on us in public.

  205. zuzu
    zuzu December 22, 2011 at 8:17 pm |

    Non-Believer: What, the guy shooting the flickering porn-rays into your peripheral vision when you turn toward his crotch poses some sort of a real-life risk to you? Strapped into his seat on a plane full of people?

    Maybe this is the reason our friend here is having so much trouble with the being vs. doing distinction: y’all, he’s a one-man, old-school dirty movie house. The screen is in his crotch, don’t you see? Those flickering rays and irresistible images? IN HIS CROTCH. WHICH YOU SHOULDN’T BE STARING AT.

    HE IS JUST LETTING HIS FREAK FLAG FLY, Y’ALL.

    The old men in overcoats? That’s his hair. You have to look closely to see them, but they’re there.

  206. zuzu
    zuzu December 22, 2011 at 8:29 pm |

    BUT YOU SHOULDN’T BE LOOKING AT HIS HAIR, EITHER.

  207. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub December 22, 2011 at 8:41 pm |

    IN HIS CROTCH. WHICH YOU SHOULDN’T BE STARING AT.

    It’s gonna be really hard not to, what with the cocktail umbrellas, glitter and twine.

    THANK YOU! I’LL BE HERE ALL WEEK!

    But not tonight–I’m off. Keep on posting, sparky. You’re funny! I like making you dance!

  208. Nobby Stiles
    Nobby Stiles December 22, 2011 at 8:53 pm |

    Is it really just the chance of seeing it that makes this wrong? I don’t think i’d want the guy next to me watching porn even if he had those screen glasses or some other way of preventing me from seeing.

  209. Lauren
    Lauren December 22, 2011 at 9:01 pm |

    Shelly: Friends don’t let friends watch Oliver Stone movies.

    “The House of Yes” had a far superior sexy assassination thing going on.

  210. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable December 22, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
  211. EG
    EG December 22, 2011 at 9:32 pm |

    Nobby Stiles: I don’t think i’d want the guy next to me watching porn even if he had those screen glasses or some other way of preventing me from seeing.

    Actually, as long has he’s preventing me from seeing, I don’t mind at all. By taking steps to prevent me from knowing what he’s watching, he’s demonstrating that he does understand social and sexual boundaries and respects them, so I no longer feel threatened, and distressing images are no longer being beamed at me, so I don’t have to worry about that. At that point, it becomes the equivalent of him entertaining himself with an imaginary sexual fantasy in his own mind while sitting next to me, and that is fine.

  212. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. December 22, 2011 at 9:35 pm |

    PrettyAmiable: How about one of these, Nobby? Any less creepy?

    I’m not sure I have the words to explain how weird that is.

  213. Shelly
    Shelly December 22, 2011 at 9:57 pm |

    Nobby Stiles:
    Is it really just the chance of seeing it that makes this wrong? I don’t think i’d want the guy next to me watching porn even if he had those screen glasses or some other way of preventing me from seeing.

    Exactly. The actual porn watching is just a part of the whole skeevy dude ensemble.

  214. Marksman2010
    Marksman2010 December 22, 2011 at 10:02 pm |

    Wasn’t there a state (or city perhaps) that passed an ordinance prohibiting someone from playing pornographic movies in their vehicles?

    It’s related to this discussion because many vehicles nowadays have screens mounted up high, so it’s hard for anyone to miss what you’re watching if they’re driving alongside you, or strolling down the sidewalk.

    This law might sound ridiculous, but the other night I was standing and waiting to cross the street when an SUV pulled to corner. Brother had dual screens in the backseat (one on each side) and his sound system was cranked. You couldn’t help but see (and hear) somebody was getting fucked by a big dick. I mean, it was RIGHT THERE. I might as well have gone to a pornographic drive-in for 20 seconds. Then the light changed green…

    I wasn’t offended, obviously. I’ve made better porn in my own bedroom. But if I had a four-year old and six-year old with me, they couldn’t have missed it. The sidewalk was elevated well above the street, so you could easily see what was going on–even if you were a kid.

    I dunno…

  215. igglanova
    igglanova December 22, 2011 at 10:05 pm |

    Kristen J.: I’m not sure I have the words to explain how weird that is.

    It is a fairly creative way to repurpose all those pairs of skants we all know everyone bought last year.

  216. Nobby Stiles
    Nobby Stiles December 22, 2011 at 10:23 pm |

    EG: Actually, as long has he’s preventing me from seeing, I don’t mind at all. By taking steps to prevent me from knowing what he’s watching, he’s demonstrating that he does understand social and sexual boundaries and respects them, so I no longer feel threatened, and distressing images are no longer being beamed at me, so I don’t have to worry about that. At that point, it becomes the equivalent of him entertaining himself with an imaginary sexual fantasy in his own mind while sitting next to me, and that is fine.

    I wouldn’t complain to the airline, but I would feel slightly uncomfortable. But I suppose, the point is, it only becomes obtrusive if I know about it, so if he could do it without me ever noticing, then I’m obviously fine with it. I suppose I have a DADT attitude towards private porn consumption.

  217. suspect class
    suspect class December 22, 2011 at 10:38 pm |

    Sheelzebub: Didn’t you all know? D00ds have the right to do whatever they want, and if it makes anyone uncomfortable, well that’s too bad! STALIN!!!11! You should just close your eyes for several hours, which is much easier than asking an overly entitled special snowflake to not watch a porno right next to you or your kid. Saying that he should show some consideration for people around him means you hate gays, trans people, and the disabled, and that goes for the gay, trans, and disabled people who posted on this thread.

    FREEEEEEEEDOOOOOOMMMMMMM!

    Shit like this is why I love your comments. STALIN!!!111!! indeed!

  218. suspect class
    suspect class December 22, 2011 at 10:43 pm |

    igglanova: It is a fairly creative way to repurpose all those pairs of skants we all know everyone bought last year.

    Oh man. You can’t unsee that shit.

  219. shfree
    shfree December 22, 2011 at 11:44 pm |

    igglanova: It is a fairly creative way to repurpose all those pairs of skants we all know everyone bought last year.

    Damn, and to think I’ve been wearing those as sweaters all this time.

  220. Brett K
    Brett K December 23, 2011 at 12:01 am |

    FFS, can we stop all the whining about people’s “rights” here? Sure, fine, you have a right to watch porn on a plane. The airport police-censors (WTF) are not going to grab you on your way off the flight and ship you to Siberia. You have every right to be rude and inconsiderate and to deliberately make everyone else uncomfortable, if that’s your thing. But guess what? If you’d rather watch porn on a plane than be even remotely considerate towards your fellow passengers (some of whom might be children, or might find what you’re watching triggering, and so on) you’re an asshole. And you are going to be called on it, because if porn is more important to you than basic human decency, people are probably going to hate you.

    (Yes, I know I shouldn’t be feeding the trolls.)

  221. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. December 23, 2011 at 12:21 am |

    I am clearly

    shfree: Damn, and to think I’ve been wearing those as sweaters all this time.

    We just aren’t sufficiently fashion forward.

  222. librarygoose
    librarygoose December 23, 2011 at 12:40 am |

    Sheelzebub: BLAH BLAH BLAH FASCISM BLAH BLAH BLAH STALIN BLAH BLAH BLAH MY DICK IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING EVAR BLAH BLAH BLAH I AM A TROLL AND SHALL NOW ROLL IN GLITTER AND DANCE.

    DAAAAAAAAAAANCE.

    Your words…truly you are a master of language. The delicate turn of phrase, the high brow metaphor that speaks to the suffering of human existence…*weeps in awe*

  223. Non-Believer
    Non-Believer December 23, 2011 at 8:23 am |

    “FFS, can we stop all the whining about people’s “rights” here? Sure, fine, you have a right to watch porn on a plane. The airport police-censors (WTF) are not going to grab you on your way off the flight and ship you to Siberia. You have every right to be rude and inconsiderate and to deliberately make everyone else uncomfortable, if that’s your thing. But guess what? If you’d rather watch porn on a plane than be even remotely considerate towards your fellow passengers (some of whom might be children, or might find what you’re watching triggering, and so on) you’re an asshole.”

    Exactly. People have the right to be assholes. As long as they don’t break the law or engage in sexual assault (like the Occuoy Wall Street crowd).

    Peace & Blessings

  224. Poetree
    Poetree December 23, 2011 at 9:01 am |

    This law might sound ridiculous, but the other night I was standing and waiting to cross the street when an SUV pulled to corner. Brother had dual screens in the backseat (one on each side) and his sound system was cranked.
    Marksman2010:

    The emphasis on the word = mine. But..what exactly did you mean by “Brother?”

  225. EG
    EG December 23, 2011 at 9:36 am |

    Non-Believer: People have the right to be assholes.

    Um, OK. And if we were talking about having the guy arrested, his rights would be relevant. But since we’re not–and since plenty of rights that are far more important than the right to watch porn and sexually harass the ladies are abridged when you decide to get on an airplane–they’re not. I have the “right” to do any number of obnoxious things, but part of living in a civilized society with other people–no, scratch that. Part of being jammed in in a wildly uncomfortable metal tube with a hundred other people involves occasionally thinking of other people’s comfort and refraining. Guy’s an asshole; I don’t wish to sit near assholes who don’t respect sexual boundaries; I’m first asking him to shut it down, and if he doesn’t, I’m making a fuss and asking to be reseated.

  226. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable December 23, 2011 at 10:02 am |

    Non-Believer: As long as they don’t break the law or engage in sexual assault

    By sexually harassing people. Seriously, you’re ignoring this point because you know you’re wrong. You’re actually breaking the law.

    Also, “or engage in sexual assault”? … you know that’s breaking the law, right sparky?

  227. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable December 23, 2011 at 10:04 am |

    Non-Believer: People have the right to be assholes.

    YOU DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO SEXUALLY HARASS PEOPLE. It amazes me how dumb you are. Also, no, you don’t really have a right to be an asshole, either. I do not remember that from any ConLaw.

  228. Nobby Stiles
    Nobby Stiles December 23, 2011 at 10:35 am |

    Non-Believer: Exactly. People have the right to be assholes. As long as they don’t break the law or engage in sexual assault (like the Occuoy Wall Street crowd).

    So sexual assault is okay in your mind as long as they do it differently than the ‘Occuoy Wall Street Crowd’?

    Interesting. I’ve never heard that point of view before.

  229. Brett K
    Brett K December 23, 2011 at 11:06 am |

    EG: Um, OK. And if we were talking about having the guy arrested, his rights would be relevant. But since we’re not–and since plenty of rights that are far more important than the right to watch porn and sexually harass the ladies are abridged when you decide to get on an airplane–they’re not. I have the “right” to do any number of obnoxious things, but part of living in a civilized society with other people–no, scratch that. Part of being jammed in in a wildly uncomfortable metal tube with a hundred other people involves occasionally thinking of other people’s comfort and refraining. Guy’s an asshole; I don’t wish to sit near assholes who don’t respect sexual boundaries; I’m first asking him to shut it down, and if he doesn’t, I’m making a fuss and asking to be reseated.

    Exactly. Having a theoretical right to do something doesn’t mean you should do it. Some things are just fucking rude.

    (BTW I’m kind of in agreement with the commenters who have suggested that watching porn on a plane could constitute sexual harassment, and therefore be against the law. My point was mainly that something doesn’t have to be illegal to be something that one Should Not Do. And a behaviour doesn’t have to be illegal to get you kicked out of a public space – such as a restaurant or a plane – either.)

  230. EG
    EG December 23, 2011 at 11:31 am |

    I also agree that it’s sexual harassment. Because what kind of asshole decides to watch a porno on an airplane while sitting far too close for comfort to a strange woman? Someone who wants to sexually harass her while still, in his mind, retaining plausible deniability. Non-Believer seems to think that it’s more likely that hey, this guy wants to pass the time by watching him some porn. My life experience as a woman tells me that this is not so.

    That said–I mean, I have the right to sit in my seat tunelessly humming “100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall,” if I like. And hey, if the person sitting next to me doesn’t like it, he could totally put in ear plugs. I have the right to free speech! That includes humming “100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall”! It would still make me an asshole, though, and that would just be wildly irritating, not something that could reasonably be thought to cause emotional distress or be threatening.

  231. Li
    Li December 23, 2011 at 12:24 pm |

    EG:

    That said–I mean, I have the right to sit in my seat tunelessly humming “100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall,” if I like. And hey, if the person sitting next to me doesn’t like it, he could totally put in ear plugs. I have the right to free speech! That includes humming “100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall”! It would still make me an asshole, though, and that would just be wildly irritating, not something that could reasonably be thought to cause emotional distress or be threatening.

    I think we just found another solution to porn guy.

  232. EG
    EG December 23, 2011 at 12:52 pm |

    Hmm. I think the solution I might go with is public shaming. Sexual harassers depend on the victim being too mortified to make a fuss. Perhaps the best thing to do is to tap him on the shoulder and say, in a carrying voice, “Excuse me, sir. Would you please not watch your pornography on an airplane while sitting so uncomfortably close to me?” And then he can mumble something, and you can boom “Sir, I cannot help seeing your pornography and it makes me very uncomfortable. I would very much appreciate it if you would not watch your pornography until you are farther away from me.” And then, if he isn’t properly shamed, call the flight attendant.

  233. Nobby Stiles
    Nobby Stiles December 23, 2011 at 1:32 pm |

    EG: Hmm. I think the solution I might go with is public shaming.

    How do you shame someone who enjoys watching porn in public?

  234. zuzu
    zuzu December 23, 2011 at 1:39 pm |

    EG: Hmm. I think the solution I might go with is public shaming.

    Or really loud narration of the proceedings. In a horse-race announcer voice, maybe.

  235. igglanova
    igglanova December 23, 2011 at 1:40 pm |

    Nobby Stiles: How do you shame someone who enjoys watching porn in public?

    Would pointing and laughing work? People who pull shit like watching porn in public are doing it to rattle people and extract some pathetic little power trip from it, but if you make it clear that you think he’s a laughable loser, maybe that would undermine his little game enough. A person who points and laughs is ceding no ground.

    Of course ‘pointing and laughing’ doesn’t have to be taken literally. If you’re traveling with a friend or family member, it could work to give them a nudge, say ‘Whoa, get a load of this loser,’ and make a joke of it that way. Of course, that means you’ll have to involve your friend in this conflict, but chances are, if you can see it, they can see it too, anyway…

  236. suspect class
    suspect class December 23, 2011 at 1:49 pm |

    No, you do not have the right to read or watch porn on an airplane. First, the first amendment does not apply equally to all speech. You have a right to consume obscene material not involving minors in *privacy* e.g. your own home or a hotel room. You have no right to consume it in a public place. It may be permitted by airline staff unaware of your activity, or unwilling to fight with you in an enclosed space, but that is not the same as a constitutionally protected practice. Second, I’m pretty sure that airplanes are considered private property, and thus the airline can make rules about what activity may be allowed or disallowed, including the consumption of porn. The fact that planes are common carriers and subject to increased regulation in other arenas (equal protection, safety) does not make them government entities.

  237. suspect class
    suspect class December 23, 2011 at 1:55 pm |

    Unless of course you’re referring to the surprisingly un-celebrated UN Resolution on the Rights of Skeevy Jackholes to Perv Out on Unsuspecting Airplane Passengers in Public. I could see how I might have misinterpreted your comment.

  238. LotusBen
    LotusBen December 23, 2011 at 2:18 pm |

    I have some other ideas but they might be difficult to convincingly pull off. Assuming this guy is in your row, and he is in a seat closer to the aisle than you, you could get up to go to the bathroom and “accidently” trip, and in the process of falling down knock over and destroy the electronic device he is viewing the porn on. Or, alternatively, you could stay in your seat and pretend to have a seizure that involves a lot of flailing about, and destroy his porn machine that way.

  239. Li
    Li December 23, 2011 at 2:38 pm |

    zuzu: Or really loud narration of the proceedings. In a horse-race announcer voice, maybe.

    Even just constant questions about the plot and proceedings a la That Guy at the cinemas.

  240. Donna L
    Donna L December 23, 2011 at 2:39 pm |

    LotusBen: Assuming this guy is in your row, and he is in a seat closer to the aisle than you, you could get up to go to the bathroom and “accidently” trip, and in the process of falling down knock over and destroy the electronic device he is viewing the porn on.

    That definitely occurred to me as something to do if I asked someone to stop and he didn’t. Or perhaps something equally obnoxious but a little less obvious, like accidentally spilling a large cup of water or juice or soda all over his laptop, and his lap too if that’s where he’s holding it. Whether he were watching porn or getting off on watching “old Holocaust newsreels,” as non-believer put it — which I would find even more sickening.

  241. LotusBen
    LotusBen December 23, 2011 at 2:53 pm |

    Li: Even just constant questions about the plot and proceedings a la That Guy at the cinemas.

    “I really like the lighting in this frame.”
    “What’s the name of the blonde?”
    “Oh you don’t know?”
    “What’s the name of this film?”
    “I was a pizza delivery guy for three years, but this never happened to me–seems a little implausible don’t you think?”
    “This shot really reminds me of Goddard. Do you like Goddard?”
    ‘What’s the name of this film again?”
    “Gosh, why does she keep saying ‘fuck me harder.’ I mean, in my opinion, it seems like he’s thrusting as hard as he can. She should just be quiet and let him enjoy herself. Don’t you think?”
    “Do you know if they have this on Netflix or not?”

  242. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. December 23, 2011 at 2:54 pm |

    Li: Even just constant questions about the plot and proceedings a la That Guy at the cinemas.

    No, no, no…the furniture! Srsly, ages ago I went over to a dude friend’s house and he and his friends were all watching porn “ironically” (uhuh, sure…). I was appalled because dear god an orange leather sofa with *teal* throw. On black floors with “gold” trim fixtures. According to one dude friend I ruined porn *for all time* because now he notices the poor interior design.

  243. shfree
    shfree December 23, 2011 at 2:57 pm |

    Or, alternatively, you could stay in your seat and pretend to have a seizure that involves a lot of flailing about, and destroy his porn machine that way.

    LotusBen:

    No faking seizures, please. It’s insulting to those of use who have them.

    Your friendly local epileptic,

    shfree

  244. shfree
    shfree December 23, 2011 at 2:58 pm |

    US. Those of US. I swear to FSM I can’t make a single post without mucking it up, along with improperly closing tags.

  245. LotusBen
    LotusBen December 23, 2011 at 3:08 pm |

    shfree: No faking seizures, please. It’s insulting to those of use who have them.

    I can understand that. You may be pleased to know I have never faked a seizure and have no intention to do so in the near future. Sorry I made light of the topic, I can see it’s not actually very funny or helpful.

  246. Donna L
    Donna L December 23, 2011 at 4:13 pm |

    LotusBen: I can understand that. You may be pleased to know I have never faked a seizure and have no intention to do so in the near future. Sorry I made light of the topic, I can see it’s not actually very funny or helpful.

    Thanks. My older sister has had epilepsy since she was 18, and it’s definitely nothing to joke about.

  247. Jessica
    Jessica December 23, 2011 at 6:39 pm |

    I agree there are boundaries that shouldn’t be crossed on a plane… or other public places. Reminds me of a time I was using an internet cafe in Madrid, only to look over and see an older gentleman looking at porn on the computer next to me WHILE sucking on a heart-shaped lollipop. Not OK.

    That said, I was on a long flight a few weeks ago and was psyched to watch “True Blood,” a favorite of mine. I was in the middle seat and anyone who’s watched TB knows it basically amounts to vampire porn, with some serious violence thrown in. I turned if off a few times when it got hot and heavy. (Sookie-Eric love scene OMG). But I was also trying to reason with myself that it’s a popular HBO show, albeit for adults, and I wasn’t doing anything wrong. Thoughts?

  248. DouglasG
    DouglasG December 23, 2011 at 10:22 pm |

    [No, no, no…the furniture! Srsly, ages ago I went over to a dude friend’s house and he and his friends were all watching porn “ironically” (uhuh, sure…). I was appalled because dear god an orange leather sofa with *teal* throw. On black floors with “gold” trim fixtures. According to one dude friend I ruined porn *for all time* because now he notices the poor interior design.]

    Ah – a variant on asking a friend who’s beating you at golf whether she inhales or exhales on her backswing.

  249. Li
    Li December 23, 2011 at 10:59 pm |

    Kristen J.: No, no, no…the furniture! Srsly, ages ago I went over to a dude friend’s house and he and his friends were all watching porn “ironically” (uhuh, sure…). I was appalled because dear god an orange leather sofa with *teal* throw. On black floors with “gold” trim fixtures. According to one dude friend I ruined porn *for all time* because now he notices the poor interior design.

    I have a strong love of photoblogs that review the interior design or set dressing of porn films. There’s a wonderful one dedicated entirely to assessing what’s written on the blackboards in school themed porn.

  250. DouglasG
    DouglasG December 23, 2011 at 11:27 pm |

    [I have a strong love of photoblogs that review the interior design or set dressing of porn films. There’s a wonderful one dedicated entirely to assessing what’s written on the blackboards in school themed porn.]

    That does sound wonderful. I have not seen any school-themed porn, but there was often fun stuff on the blackboards in episodes of Daria.

  251. Nobby Stiles
    Nobby Stiles December 23, 2011 at 11:32 pm |

    When I lived in LA I used to work for a film production studio which had a prison cell set that was frequently rented out by porn companies. I think it’s pretty indicative of the callousness of that industry that they would find prison so amusing.

  252. EG
    EG December 24, 2011 at 2:37 am |

    LotusBen: “I really like the lighting in this frame.”
    “What’s the name of the blonde?”
    “Oh you don’t know?”
    “What’s the name of this film?”
    “I was a pizza delivery guy for three years, but this never happened to me–seems a little implausible don’t you think?”
    “This shot really reminds me of Goddard. Do you like Goddard?”
    ‘What’s the name of this film again?”
    “Gosh, why does she keep saying ‘fuck me harder.’ I mean, in my opinion, it seems like he’s thrusting as hard as he can. She should just be quiet and let him enjoy herself. Don’t you think?”
    “Do you know if they have this on Netflix or not?”

    Fucking priceless. My hat’s off to you, Ben.

    And for women who may not feel quite as comfortable commenting on the action, there’s always just being a really annoying seatmate:

    “Excuse me–sorry. Sorry to interrupt you. I can see you’re wearing earphones and all. But I was wondering–do you know if we get lunch on this flight? I can’t remember. Oh. That’s a shame. If I had realized, I would’ve packed some food. Thanks.”
    (five minutes)
    “Excuse me–sorry again! Do you know what time we land? Is that local time or starting time? OK. Thanks.”
    (five minutes)
    “Hey–me again! Sorry! I’ve always been such a ditz at math, I just had to check–2:15 is two hours from now, right? Right? Oh. Four? It’s four hours from now? Are you sure? Oh. You’re sure, huh? OK. Thanks.”
    (five minutes)
    “Sorry to bother you again! I just have to get out and stretch my legs for a minute–you know how it is with us ladies, just need to go powder my nose. Back in a minute!”
    (wait inside bathroom or on line until he puts his earplugs back in)
    “Hey! I’m back! Sorry that took so long! You wouldn’t believe the line. Isn’t air travel a pain? I hate it. I wish I could just zone out and pay attention to something else, like you, but I can’t. My sister thinks I have ADD or something, but I’ve never been tested. You have really good concentration. Is that natural or do you take meds?”
    (five minutes)
    “Hi! Look, do you think that they’ll have any pretzels or anything? Anything at all? It’s just that if I had realized that the flight was going to be so long, and that they wouldn’t have been serving food, I would have packed something to eat. I mean, I think I can make it until we land…I guess.”
    (five minutes)
    “I’m sorry, I know I keep bothering you, but the thing is, the thing is, I’ve kind of got a blood sugar problem. It’s not really a big deal or anything, and usually I keep a Luna Bar in my purse in case of emergencies, but I ate it for breakfast this morning, and now I don’t have anything else. You don’t have a Hershey’s bar on you or anything, do you? Anything at all? You don’t? Oh, well. Just thought I’d ask.”
    (five minutes)
    “It’s…it’s just that sometimes when my blood sugar drops too low, I get really nauseous. Sometimes I throw up. I just wanted to let you know.”
    (five minutes)
    “Sometimes I have to throw up more than once. Do you have a bag in your seat pocket? Could I have it? Just in case?”
    (five minutes)
    “OK, I’m sorry to bother you again, but it’s also…when I don’t get enough to eat, I get anxious. Everything’s gonna be OK, right? I mean, that was just a bit of turbulence back there, right? Because I read on the internet that sometimes when there’s engine trouble they tell you it’s turbulence so nobody panics. But that’s not true, is it? Is it?”
    (five minutes)
    “I really need something to eat, here.”
    (five minutes)
    “How about a stick of gum? I heard that even a stick of gum has, like, 10 calories. Unless it’s sugarless, I guess.”

  253. Alexandra
    Alexandra December 24, 2011 at 6:40 am |

    My mother is a librarian and used to work in public libraries, so the issue of public porn consumption is not a new one. She used to have to chase them out of the computer room every time a minor child would try to use a library computer for a book report or something. And for anyone worrying about people’s rights to watch porn in public, I think suspect class has it right – because obscene speech is not protected, merely permitted, it’s perfectly legal for a private entity, like an airline, to prohibit people from viewing porn in flight. And I really doubt there’s any airline out there that’s going to defend all the nonbelievers out their in their quest to offend or otherwise irritate as many passengers as possible, all in the name of – what was it? Free speech? Free love? Anti-fascism?

  254. Dominique
    Dominique December 24, 2011 at 2:41 pm |

    The grandmother is entirely within her rights to swap out her seat, and her family members’, with three big guys wearing leather harnesses.

    On another note: given the fact that porn is supposed to make you want to masturbate or have sex, and neither one of those things is permissible in public areas, then ipso facto, QED, porn is a stupid thing to watch on a plane. And since there’s only one washroom, Mr. Hot Pants shouldn’t monopolize it for wanking purposes.

  255. nub
    nub December 26, 2011 at 7:23 am |

    Marksman2010: Wasn’t there a state (or city perhaps) that passed an ordinance prohibiting someone from playing pornographic movies in their vehicles?

    yes, NYC, some dude was watching porn in a traffic jam and some mini van with a mom and 2 kids or something in it saw it behind the SUV and called the cops over to give him a ticket. As i remember it, the ticket didn’t hold up but in response, NYC passed a law saying no porn in car tv’s.

    actually this caused a bit of a stir in the broadcast industry cus if i remember correctly this happened right after spice and playboy bought bandwidth with XM radio so they could start offering satellite porn channels to people in cars along with HD radio service. Obviously this service offer became largely obsolete after the law was passed.

  256. William
    William December 26, 2011 at 2:54 pm |

    And for anyone worrying about people’s rights to watch porn in public, I think suspect class has it right – because obscene speech is not protected, merely permitted, it’s perfectly legal for a private entity, like an airline, to prohibit people from viewing porn in flight.

    Its legal, its even good policy, but I’m not really worried about porn or even True Blood. My bigger concern is what happens once you’ve opened this door and put airlines (and, worse, noisy/nosey customers) into the business of deciding what people can read/watch/listen to on a plane/train/car. Porn is clearly over the line, but what happens when someone complains that Loony Toons is too violent, Michelangelo is too explicit, Wagner is just too offensive, or that they’d really like their children to not be exposed to a book with title as confusing as whatever it is you’re happening to read at the moment. Its been my experience that once you allow people to start having a say in what other people are reading/watching/listening to you end up with people using that newfound power to oppress the shit out of people who offend them. I don’t find Mapplethorpe’s photos very interesting, but goddamn it they ought to be able to hang in a public museum for people who do.

  257. Denise
    Denise December 27, 2011 at 10:49 pm |

    I support the airline’s ability to intervene, but I do not stand behind not doing something because social convention says it should not be done, regardless of wether it is behavior or aspect of identity (the two are so very close and often tied together in discussions of what behavior should or should not be socially accepted). Honestly, fuck social convention. Fuck it to hell, it is often nothing more than a means of institutionalized oppression of existance and expression.
    For instance, who decides what is and is not porn? Who decides what kids should be exposed too as I know people who are okay with their young children using profanity, etc. Formal restrictions and social restrictions on what can/should and cannot/should not be viewed are open to the same double standards as what constitutes going to far in terms of PDA in hetero vs. same-sex couples.
    Some people on here seem to be using the argument that it violates social convention is grounds enough for banning, which is beyond disturbing to me.

  258. Denise
    Denise December 27, 2011 at 11:00 pm |

    And the idea that anything meant to be sexually titilating should be banned/disapproved of is especially an open field because that differs between people. As someone mentioned, nudity and/or any sex scenes may be innapropriate in the eyes of some. Even arguing that things that are not allowed in public should not be viewed in public opens up several problems (especially when some people have disagreances on what should and should not be allowed in public. I for one, have a tendency to lean slightly toward the side of legalizing public sex, but not entirely for several reasons).
    My main problem with the viewing of porn in public (and sex which would include masturbation), is that many men will use it as a tool of oppression and exertion of control. But then it seems counterintuitive to me to oppose something because some people may abuse it. Which is why I have a problem with porn bans when what porn constitutes can not be clearly defined. What often happens with lewdness laws is that the people in power use them as a tool to further marginalize certain segments of society through the application of double standards and shifts in what does and does not constitute lewdness (depictions of clothed hetero vs. same-sex sex for example, depictions of violent movies with POC vs. white casts, etc).
    I like the idea of some things being negotiated interpersonally best though it is difficult for some to be able to speak up and engage in converstaion for various reasons. The alternative seems to be letting social convention filtered through the existing kytriarchy be the determinator of what should and should not be socially acceptabel. And like I said, my view is fuck the idea of upholding social norms simply because they are social norms.

  259. Maria
    Maria December 28, 2011 at 6:47 pm |

    I’ve watched/read/written sexually explicit materials on airplanes, buses, and the rail, so I’ve found the comments and discussion interesting. My own feelings is that as long as you’re discrete about it, it should be fine. As someone who’s used public transportation for years, I’ve developed a strong set of personal binders and think most adults have the same.

    I had one occasion where I was sitting at the back of a bus and the man next to me unzipped his fly and began stimulating himself. I stuck the erotic art book I was reading into my backpack and ignored up for the rest of the ride. Other than that, I’ve had people glance over my shoulder and on a few occasions start conversations about whatever I was looking at.

    I think the problem is an extension of issues that occur when a group of people are confined to a small space for long periods of time, namely someone acts in a disruptive manner, and porn makes it extra disruptive or uncomfortable for others. But I don’t think viewing porn or erotica is necessarily disruptive.

    And yes, I’m talking about behavior around other adults. Obviously, doing so when children are around is irresponsible and undefensible.

  260. Maria
    Maria December 28, 2011 at 7:00 pm |

    And couldn’t you apply the “it violates social norms therefore I feel unsafe” idea to any number of marginalized activities that you are supportive of – BDSM, homosex, et al?

    Dear Non-Believer: Guess what? Transpeople, fat people, homopeople, disabled people, and ugly people can’t stop being those things when they get on a plane.

    This is me, giving the phrases ‘homosex’ and ‘homopeople’ the side-eye.

    On another note: given the fact that porn is supposed to make you want to masturbate or have sex, and neither one of those things is permissible in public areas, then ipso facto, QED, porn is a stupid thing to watch on a plane.

    It’s quite possible to read, watch, or listen to sexually explicit material and not masturbate or have sex while doing so. Your reasoning seems to be that if someone is aroused by anything then they will have to immediately seek physical relief.

  261. Louise
    Louise January 4, 2012 at 3:29 pm |

    I’ve sat in a bus, on my way to another country, for a whole night, behind a guy who was watching porn. I have to say that it didn’t offend me as much as it frightened me.

    The thing is, that I am locked up in a space with strangers, of whom many, including the driver, are male and I have no idea what they’d do if this guy would get so horny as to want to become nasty towards me. This is why:
    1. I have often experienced men coming up to me wanting something from me, when I am not accompanied by a (male) friend.
    2. The men in the bus are all stronger than I am and can easily overpower me and easily drive to a remote place to rape me if they would feel like it.
    3. It is known that strangers often don’t come to the rescue if something bad happens to another person. (I have experienced this myself when my boyfriend (now ex of course) hit me a nosebleed in a train and everybody looked away as if nothing happened, even the conductor who was standing close by. )
    4. The guy in front of me is getting horny by watching women in submissive positions.

    So, should I ignore this all and think that he has a right to watch what he likes? Should I just trust strange, horny men not to hurt me?
    I think men should be at least as considerate as to not make women feel unsafe. Preferably, they should make women feel that they have nothing to worry from them. If they’d stop and think they could imagine that if they sit in a bus and obviously are making themselves feel aroused, that women might start to feel uneasy, to say the least.

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