August 22, 2012

"How To Deal With An 'Unruly Passenger' On A Cross Country Flight."

"An independent film producer on a flight from New York to L.A. shares his conversation with a man who was so unstable that the plane had to land early in Denver."
I want to write this all down before I forget it even though its 3.45am. I just got home.

Some one please tell me -- WTF did he write all of this down 'after the fact' and use multiple Twitter posts to do so?
The Twitter approach gave it a feeling of immediacy, even if it was fictional. Like the old "epistolary" novels.



Or like a novel written in the present tense:
Like any other literary effect, the present tense is an expressive device; but expression works by contrast.... [T]his example from Jane Eyre...  works beautifully because it emerges from the context of a narrative told in the past tense. Jane's sudden use of the present conveys as nothing else could the pressure of her feelings as she recalls the high intensity of that summer evening, of her return to the house of the man she hasn't yet admitted to herself that she loves: "I see the narrow stile with stone steps; and I see – Mr Rochester sitting there, a book and a pencil in his hand; he is writing."...

But if every sound you emit is a scream, a scream has no expressive value. What I dislike about the present-tense narrative is its limited range of expressiveness. I feel claustrophobic, always pressed up against the immediate....

"If I just relate now what's happening now," the writer seems to say, "I can't be held to account for it. It's the way things are. I'm just standing close to the action as it happens. I'm not editing or anything. It's really real."
I emit a sudden scream. I am blogging.

23 comments:

Pastafarian said...

I emit a muffled groan: The first link doesn't work.

Nonapod said...

I ask "Just curious, has anyone tried to write an entire novel in future tense"?

Ann Althouse said...

"I emit a muffled groan: The first link doesn't work."

I quickly locate the link and edit the post.

I apologize.

I publish this comment.

Pastafarian said...

Oh, my.

The author blames "these two wars" for the fact that this "unruly passenger" is an asshole.

Assholes are assholes in peacetime or war, buddy. And little green pills don't help -- they're still assholes.

First commenter to break the present-tense rule gets a virtual swirlie.

Geoff Matthews said...

Pastafarian is correct. This man joined the Marines to help him quit heroine. That's your first hint that he has problems not caused by war.

Oso Negro said...

Mistake one by the author was not insisting on his assigned seat. The whacked out guy could have been dealt with right then and there before the plane ever took off. I fly way too much and you do see weird hostility out of people in the air. My estimate is one out of five flights. Best thing to do is confront it positively, but firmly at the first sign of trouble. You can't let the problem people think they can get away with it.

Ann Althouse said...

And how about his pleasure at ceding his seat to the lady?

KLDAVIS said...

Yes, of course, the war messed this guy up...not all the drugs he grew up doing, and tried to kick by joining the military.

We all see what we want to see.

jeff said...

If he had reported the very drunk guy in his seat swearing at him while they were seating the aircraft, all could have been avoided.

Oso Negro said...

Right Ann, his pleasure at ceding his seat was not for the positive act of letting the couple sit together, but for getting away from the whack job who bullied him into the middle seat. If the film guy wasn't such a pussy, the problem guy would never have made it off the ground in the first place.

Oso Negro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Oso Negro said...

Of course, I have the advantage of being old, bald, and visibly scarred. If you look like you don't mind being hit a couple of times, the bullies usually aren't so fresh.

Paul said...

""How To Deal With An 'Unruly Passenger' On A Cross Country Flight.""

Just give 'em a knuckle sandwich in the mouth.

That would take care of it and tell the captain to just continue to the destination as all is well.

Franklin said...

I can't believe he didn't just tell the stewardess that the guy was in his seat and get it taken care of while they were on the ground.

KLDAVIS said...

Oh, there's a lesson about war here...appeasement leads to escalation, and ultimately a worse result.

wyo sis said...

I don't believe it. The incident was a gift to an expert self-promoter. It doesn't ring true.

Franklin said...

Phaha. If somebody had written a movie with all those cliches, people would say it's "too on-the-nose".

Dramatis Personae
[unruly passenger] a racist, drunk, former junkie, irreparably damaged by Darth Cheneyburton and BOOOSH's illegal wars.
[Hero] a Liberal filmmaker whose only problem is that he cares too much.
[pregnant woman] a typical, lawsuit-happy American.

And the closing soliloquy -

"I realize the point is these wars are fucking with our children's minds. A whole generation is being sent home screwed up."'We all love the ones we hate. Blood. Lust. I was born in queens. We all lose hope'. Marco I won't forget you I promise"

Palladian said...

The whole thing sounds made-up.

CWJ said...

Franklin,

Thread winner!!!!!

Actually a better movie than film guy tweeted.

Richard Dolan said...

Palladian may well be right that it's all made up, but it also sounds a bit like the stories about Vietnam vets in Achilles in Vietnam by a Boston psychiatrist (Jonathan Shay). Everything is going along normally and then, bang, the vet just loses control.

Mary Beth said...

The marines take drug users?

Freeman Hunt said...

The marines take drug users?

Yeah, that seems like a major slip up in the story writing.

grackle said...

I seriously doubt the guy was ever in the Marine Corps. Bipolar delusion more likely, since the pills the guy was popping were allegedly clonazepam which is used to treat bipolar disorder and not recommended for treatment of PTSD.

There's a huge difference between bi-polar disorder and PTSD. One of the author's assumptions is that bipolar disorder is caused by military service but occurrence of bipolar disorder has nothing to do with military service.