America the Free...
October 6, 2005 3:16 PM   Subscribe

America the Free You poor people don't need a dictatorship for a government, you keep yourselves in line very well. How many other examples are there of this? Dixie Chicks CD burning...Others??
posted by SSinVan (71 comments total)
 
Doesn't the constitution protect you from this type of action? In Canada, you could take these bastards all the way to the Supreme Court.
posted by SSinVan at 3:19 PM on October 6, 2005


SSinVan writes "In Canada, you could take these bastards all the way to the Supreme Court."

Sure, but then we're still a free country up here.
posted by clevershark at 3:21 PM on October 6, 2005


"I have cousins in Iraq and other relatives going to war," Heasley told the Reno Gazette-Journal. "Here we are trying to free another country and I have to get off an airplane in midflight over a T-shirt. That's not freedom."

Clearly she didn't really need an airline, did she?

Great post. Not.
posted by dash_slot- at 3:23 PM on October 6, 2005


You people?
posted by gwint at 3:24 PM on October 6, 2005


I think the issue will come down to a definition of if her shirt was truly offensive. I can see a private company refusing service because of some "obscene" piece of clothing. But... if she did cover the shirt and it was unintentional that it was displayed I think the airline is on shaky grounds, as well removing them from the flight even for those grounds would seem to warrant a refund. Interesting that the article didn't say specifically what the shirt said... was it "Meet the Fuckers"?


the post is a bit weak, 1 linknewsfilter
posted by edgeways at 3:26 PM on October 6, 2005


Lack of understanding of our legal system isn't what makes this a crap post.

Two question marks in a row don't make this a crap post.

But the whole is crappier than the sum of its parts, somehow.
posted by plexiwatt at 3:26 PM on October 6, 2005


What is it with websites not having pictures with the stories. Where's the picture of either the shirt or better yet, the woman wearing the shirt? It's like the story about the glowing ocean which had no pictures of the phenomena. The internet is more than just text, damnit!
posted by drezdn at 3:28 PM on October 6, 2005


Interesting that the article didn't say specifically what the shirt said... was it "Meet the Fuckers"?

I thouht the article said the shirt read: "Meet the Fockers." That's the name of a film. If that's obscene, than so is all the advertising I've seen for the movie.

She was dumped because it was a political T-shirt. And then to boot, the Southwest spokesperson just lied to the media about "FAA regulations."

I'm normally repulsed by sue-happy America - but if this story is true, I hope she sues the airlines' ass off. And I hope it gets lots of publicity.
posted by NorthernLite at 3:35 PM on October 6, 2005


"a T-shirt with pictures of President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and a phrase similar to the popular film title "Meet the Fockers."

'Similar too' does not equal the thing
posted by edgeways at 3:38 PM on October 6, 2005


too many oooooos srry
posted by edgeways at 3:38 PM on October 6, 2005


for wearing a T-shirt with pictures of President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and a phrase similar to the popular film title "Meet the Fockers."

And there is a picture with the "Fockers" part blanked out. I'm guessing it says Fuckers. Come on you guys...
posted by Stauf at 3:40 PM on October 6, 2005


The phrase "was similar to Meet the Fockers."

She wasn't booted for the political statement so much as the f-bomb, I imagine.

Still, lame of the airline to deny service (while in the midst of a trip) over a dirty word. Very silly indeed.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:40 PM on October 6, 2005


When I was in school, if you came in with an offensive shirt, they just made you wear it inside-out for the day.
posted by sonofsamiam at 3:41 PM on October 6, 2005


drezdn-it looks like there's a whole video if you scroll down, and I'm pretty sure the preview shows a picture of the shirt. Part of it at least.
posted by hue at 3:46 PM on October 6, 2005


But they ARE Fuckers!
posted by Balisong at 3:48 PM on October 6, 2005


aye Balisong
posted by edgeways at 3:52 PM on October 6, 2005


You poor people don't need a dictatorship for a government, you keep yourselves in line very well.

Yeah, but at least we're not Canadian.
posted by underer at 3:53 PM on October 6, 2005


Well underer, Canadian newsmaking silliness usually comes from trying to protect peoples rights, not take them away.

Like the Toronto city councillor who proposed a bylaw preventing Hair Salons and Dry Cleaners from charging women more for services than men.
posted by SSinVan at 3:56 PM on October 6, 2005


Google tells me that spencer gifts sells a shirt that says "meet the fuckers" with bush and cheney
posted by delmoi at 4:00 PM on October 6, 2005


Like the Toronto city councillor who proposed a bylaw preventing Hair Salons and Dry Cleaners from charging women more for services than men.

Isn't that taking away a right? The right to charge diffrent people diffrent amounts of money?
posted by delmoi at 4:01 PM on October 6, 2005


When I was in school, if you came in with an offensive shirt, they just made you wear it inside-out for the day.

See, that's the thing about this administration and the right. The republican party is composed of people who were popular jocks in high school. Now they want a return to the days when they and their football-playin', cheerleader-ballin' ilk were untouchable by the nerdy and geeky riff-raff and the status of the popular kids was unquestioned.

In this post-Dot Com era, there is the very real threat that the uncool kids will end up with all of the money and power. By instituting a regieme of high-school-inspired social policies and aggressively anti-intellectual trends in public discourse, they can recreate the social hierarchy that rewarded the jocks, not the nerds.

They don't want to place us in prison camps, they want to stuff us in lockers.
posted by stet at 4:02 PM on October 6, 2005


She should get kicked off just for shopping at Spencer's gifts. I think you legally have to be under 16, male and have a subscription to Mad magazine to shop there...
posted by dig_duggler at 4:06 PM on October 6, 2005


Sounds like she wanted to make a scene, she made her scene and is now reaping her rewards.

I wonder if they would have had a problem if the shirt read "Meet the F*ckers" instead?

It was a stupid thing to do on everyone's part.
posted by fenriq at 4:07 PM on October 6, 2005


I would have guessed "Fakers", given that if it were "Fuckers" they'd have made a bigger deal of "obscenity"
posted by Karmakaze at 4:08 PM on October 6, 2005




I'm not clear on this... Is there a law that says that the airline has to allow anyone to fly? I thought it was like restaurants, where they can deny service for whatever reason they choose... (Of course, a purchased plane ticket does imply a contract...)
posted by klangklangston at 4:13 PM on October 6, 2005


Fuckers and really any version of Fuck has been officially removed from George Carlin's list. Ever since Dick Cheney uttered it in the Nation's Congressional halls ("Go Fuck Yourself."), didn't apologise, and defended it as saying it made him feel better.
That woman may have had that t-shirt perscribed by a doctor!

See this and other innovative health care solutions as part of the new Health Care Plan.
posted by Balisong at 4:14 PM on October 6, 2005


klangklangston, no, a business cannot provide service to one person, and not to another for whatever reason they want.

The issue is discrimination on the grounds of political views. Southwest knows they haven't a leg to stand on, so they are coming up with some lame FAA excuse.
posted by SSinVan at 4:17 PM on October 6, 2005


The issue is discrimination on the grounds of political views.

No, the issues are obscenity and dress codes.
posted by 23skidoo at 4:25 PM on October 6, 2005


In Canada, you could take these bastards all the way to the Supreme Court.

So you're seriously asserting that it's illegal in Canada for a restaurant or other business to have a dress code?

Uh-huh.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:30 PM on October 6, 2005


If, as our neighbor to the North suggest, we are falling in line, then that would possibly be true or more nearly valid if the lady sues and loses. As it is, theAmeric an (USA) system allows her to sue for what she perceives a right. That being so, then the system is not nearly as bad as our neighbors up there would suggest as they fall back on Bash The American routine.
posted by Postroad at 4:30 PM on October 6, 2005


23skidoo, although we don't know the whole story here, but a person could easily be asked to put on a jacket or otherwise cover up, or turn inside-out. I believe the shirt said "Meet the Fockers"anyway, and Southwest, of all airlines, certainly does not have a dress code.

I'm surprised this didn't happen on Bible-thumping Alaska Airlines.
posted by SSinVan at 4:32 PM on October 6, 2005


It's hard to imagine that this ordeal could have happend pre-9/11.

Businesses can refuse service to anyone, yes. If she was going to be refused based on her shirt, it should have happened long before she ever boarded the plane.
posted by snsranch at 4:33 PM on October 6, 2005


Postroad, there are so many examples like this, another postjust referred to the Walmart story.
posted by SSinVan at 4:36 PM on October 6, 2005


23skidoo, although we don't know the whole story here, but a person could easily be asked to put on a jacket or otherwise cover up, or turn inside-out. I believe the shirt said "Meet the Fockers"anyway, and Southwest, of all airlines, certainly does not have a dress code.


Have you ever seen someone wear a shirt on a Southwest Airlines flight with the word "fuck" on it? They may not have a dress code with regards to style, but with regards to words printed on shirts. I googled several other articles on the same incident, and they suggest "Fuckers".

Did you read your own article? She was asked to cover up, and didn't. She was told to turn the shirt inside-out, or she would be forced to leave.
posted by 23skidoo at 4:39 PM on October 6, 2005


Metafilter has taught me a lot about Canadian resentment.
posted by shoos at 4:45 PM on October 6, 2005


See, that's the thing about this administration and the right. The republican party is composed of people who were popular jocks in high school. Now they want a return to the days when they and their football-playin', cheerleader-ballin' ilk were untouchable by the nerdy and geeky riff-raff and the status of the popular kids was unquestioned.

I can't imagine any of the administration as popular in high school, except for Bush in a daddy's-money/beer-bong sort of way. Though there are probably plenty of high school quarterbacks voting for them, these Republicans seem like they were equally shunned by all when younger. I admit I'm just guessing, but so are you.
posted by underer at 4:51 PM on October 6, 2005




TEESHIRTS OF TERROR!
posted by wakko at 4:57 PM on October 6, 2005


klangklangston - From the Southwest Airlines Contract of Carriage (pdf) "By purchasing a ticket or accepting transportation, the passenger agrees to be bound thereby":
F. Comfort and Safety - Carrier may refuse to transport or remove from the aircraft at any point any passenger in the following categories as may be necessary for the comfort or safety of such passenger or other passengers:

(1)Persons whose conduct is or has been known to be disorderly, abusive, offensive, threatening, intimidating, or violent, or whose clothing is lewd, obscene, or patently offensive;
posted by Guy Smiley at 5:03 PM on October 6, 2005


NEW YORK (CMM/Money) - McDonalds Restaurants kicked a woman out of one of its restaurants over a political message involving footwear, the restaurant confirmed Thursday, and published reports say the would-be customer will sue.

Laurie Keastrie, of Woodford, Wash., was asked to leave a McDonalds restaurant location somewhere on the highway between Los Angeles and Portland, Ore., Tuesday for wearing a message tatooed on her otherwise bare feet with pictures of President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and a phrase similar, but not quite identical to the popular film title "Snakes on a Plane."

A spokesman for the McDonalds franchise (up $0.23 to $155.291) told CMM that the restaurant used the "common sense" approach when they decided to escort Keastrie from the plane in Reno, Nevada, during a "pit stop" between Los Angeles and Portland, Ore.

The airline felt that the lack of shoes was offensive and that other customers would be outraged by it, the spokeswoman said, adding that the incident is about "decency."

"I have cousins in Iraq and other relatives going to war," Keastrie told the Reno Gazette-Journal. "Here we are trying to spread freedom all over the entire fucking planet and I can't even buy a hamburger. That's not freedom."

According to the McDonalds spokeswoman, Keastrie was asked to leave after she refused to cover up her feet, an account that conflicts with Keastrie's version in the Gazette-Journal.

Keastrie told the newspaper that she agreed to cover her feet with a sweatshirt, but it slipped as she walked. After she was ordered to wear the pair of sandals she carried around her neck or leave, she and her husband chose to leave, the paper said.

The 32-year-old grease saleswoman said in the report that no one from McDonalds said anything about her feet while she walked up to the restaurant, and that the phrase "no shirt, no shoes, no service" makes no grammatical sense.

McDonalds Restaurants (up $0.268 to $329.99) spokeswoman Marilou McArnolds told the Gazette-Journal that the restaurant chain's contract with the Federal Fast Food Foundation contains rules that say the restaurants will deny service to any customer whose conduct is offensive, abusive, disorderly, violent, or shoeless.

FFFF spokesman Donna Walkely told the newspaper that no federal rules exist on the subject.

"It's up to them who they want to take and by what rules," he was quoted as saying. "The government just doesn't get into the business of what kind of shoes people wear when they eat fast food."

Keastrie wants McDonalds to reimburse her and her husband for the last leg of their trip and pay for her gasoline, a $1680 car repair for damage caused by stress related to the missed meal, a rental car from Avis and a $70 hotel bill, according to well-placed sources close to the story.
posted by sfenders at 5:03 PM on October 6, 2005


So is the point here to vilify the airline for not allowing the word 'Fuckers' on the plane, or to vilify the litigious drama queen wearing the shirt?
posted by pompomtom at 5:07 PM on October 6, 2005


oh, as for "other examples", Gilmore is probably the most famous person to be kicked off a plane for his bad fashion sense. Of course, he is a suspected terrorist...
posted by sfenders at 5:09 PM on October 6, 2005


Sorry, free speech doesn't come into it hereā€”her shirt was obscene, and she probably doesn't have a case. But IANAL.
posted by oaf at 5:16 PM on October 6, 2005


"they're reminders to all Americans that they need to watch what they say, watch what they do. This is not a time for remarks like that; there never is. "
posted by The Jesse Helms at 5:40 PM on October 6, 2005


there's a big difference between an airline like Southwest and a restaurant -- an airline is a common carrier (scroll down).

Commercial airlines fall under the legal classification of a "common carrier," because they hold themselves out to the public as willing to carry all passengers who buy a ticket. Common air carriers are held to different (usually more stringent) standards than are private carriers carriers. The FAA is the principle federal agency responsible for regulating air carriers -- imposing uniform standards and operating procedures, and monitoring a carrier's internal standards. An understanding of complex FAA rules and regulations is necessary in order to be successful in bringing an aviation accident claim against a common carrier such as a commercial airline.

this means that they cannot refuse service to someone in the same way a private business like a restaurant or bar can.
posted by Hat Maui at 5:43 PM on October 6, 2005


Southwest Airlines (up $0.20 to $15.21, Research) spokeswoman Marilee McInnis told the Gazette-Journal that the airline's contract with the Federal Aviation Administration contains rules that say the airline will deny boarding to any customer whose conduct is offensive, abusive, disorderly or violent or for clothing that is "lewd, obscene, or patently offensive."

FAA spokesman Donn Walker told the newspaper that no federal rules exist on the subject.


They also shouldn't lie about it. I think Hat Maui is right about the common carrier thing.
posted by mrgrimm at 5:47 PM on October 6, 2005


hmm. I thought airlines used to have a more formal dress code, long ago. Web search leads me to this:

"The dress code was so rigid that several airlines began men-only service between New York and Chicago. The idea was that business men, after a grueling day dealing with customers, wanted to get on an airplane, loosen the necktie, push back the seat, and have a drink. Such decorum was inappropriate for mixed company, so ladies, with the exception of stewardesses, were not allowed on these flights."
posted by sfenders at 5:57 PM on October 6, 2005


The joke originally appeared on the Daily Show, if I recall.

But this is just stupid. They're objecting to the use of the word "fuck" not her political views. They gave her the option to turn her shirt inside out, but nooo she had to be an idiot.

So fuck her.
posted by fungible at 6:01 PM on October 6, 2005


incidentally the article does say she said she covered the tee-shirt with a sweatshirt but it became exposed as she slept.

The airline spokesperson made no mention of that, and they already have a record of misinformation.

Can they kick you off if your underwear rides above your beltline while slipping. or, how about if your carry on is left open exposing that dildo you have inside...

If she was sleeping and the shirt was exposed, perhaps the stewardess could have asked the hubby to cover it up with a blanket or something?

This could have been handled better all the way round
posted by edgeways at 6:05 PM on October 6, 2005


The moral of the story: "Fuckers don't fly".
posted by Darkman at 6:17 PM on October 6, 2005


OK, perhaps I don't want to see the "F word" on someone's shirt. Yet this whole thing reeks of overreaction on the part of airline personnel.

You're sitting in a cramped little seat facing forward, and so is everyone else. How the H-E-Double Hockey Sticks [trying not to offend here] can a word on your shirt bother anyone *that* much?

I'd be curious if any other passengers complained.
I'd like to know how the same people would have reacted to a picture of Monica and Bill with the same caption.

Finally, if I were on that flight, I'd be more annoyed at the time it took to discuss/argue this with her and "escort" her off the plane.
posted by NorthernLite at 6:28 PM on October 6, 2005


NorthernLite: They were sitting in the front row of the plane, IIRC; everyone who got on or off the plane walked past them.
posted by S.C. at 6:41 PM on October 6, 2005


If any time was wasted, I'd be annoyed too. I'd be annoyed at her for not turning her shirt inside out.
posted by 23skidoo at 6:43 PM on October 6, 2005


So there are people so batshitinsane in the US that they will create a life-threatening havoc on a plane at the sight of the word "FUCK"? Good to know.
posted by mr.marx at 6:52 PM on October 6, 2005


This is sad. My "Jesus Is A Cunt" T-shirt never got me banned from anywhere in the UK. It got me into a few interesting "discussions", though.
posted by Decani at 6:57 PM on October 6, 2005


Yes, mr.marx, and the United States is clearly the only country in the world in which this could happen. Citizens of every other country on this fine planet love the word 'fuck' and wear it proudly on their lederhosen, burqas, saris, and kilts.
posted by jesourie at 7:04 PM on October 6, 2005


Some Americans:

People who feel like they have the right to be free of government interference with their free expression. But it's OK if a business shuts them up.


Baah! Baah! Meek and obediant they follow the leader down well-trodden corridors into the valley of steel...
posted by Reverend Mykeru at 7:10 PM on October 6, 2005


The moral of the story: "Fuckers don't fly".

Unless you're discreet about it -- and confine it to the "mile high clubroom."
posted by ericb at 7:15 PM on October 6, 2005


If any Canucks are boarding an airplane within the next week, please try to wear a t-shirt that says "Meet the Fuckers." I would be very interested in hearing whether you get hassled (you can, of course, change it if you get hassled!)
posted by five fresh fish at 7:16 PM on October 6, 2005


From Southwest's contract of carriage:

[Southwest Airlines] will refuse to transport, or will remove from an aircraft at any point, any passenger in the following circumstances:
...
F. Comfort and Safety
...
(1) Persons ... whose clothing is lewd, obscene, or patently offensive


United, at least, has no similar grounds for refusal.
Virgin, on the other hand, has a web site that gives the impression that they actually enfore their dress code regularly.
posted by sfenders at 7:17 PM on October 6, 2005


every other country on this fine planet love the word 'fuck'

Um, phuket.
posted by ericb at 7:17 PM on October 6, 2005


This "freedom of speech thing" and the Bill of Rights stuff. That , for the most part, applies to the GOVERNMENT not the private sector. The government cannot abridge your right to free speech. Southwest Airlines is not the GOVERNMENT.
posted by Carbolic at 7:41 PM on October 6, 2005


Citizens of every other country on this fine planet love the word 'fuck' and wear it proudly on their lederhosen, burqas, saris, and kilts.

well, if it's on a Bush T-shirt, yes. you should travel more
posted by matteo at 8:01 PM on October 6, 2005


and I seriously doubt that, had the lady been wearing a Jeter-Rodriguez-Giambi MEET THE FUCKERS T-shirt, they would have removed her from the plane anyway
posted by matteo at 8:04 PM on October 6, 2005


Carbolic : This "freedom of speech thing" and the Bill of Rights stuff. That , for the most part, applies to the GOVERNMENT not the private sector. The government cannot abridge your right to free speech. Southwest Airlines is not the GOVERNMENT.

I know that a lot of people tend to get outraged and start making free speech arguments that don't really apply here (so, I basically agree with you).

That said, however, given the fact that the average person is virtually guaranteed to have to deal with a corporation at some point, and in this day and age, many people interact with corporations more often than the government. Along with the increasing privitization of land and services (in general), for freedom of speech/assembly (and other freedoms of that nature) to continue to mean anything in the real world, people need to be willing to take a stand against corporations to try and force a change in policy.

Just because something isn't illegal doesn't necessarily mean it isn't bad.
posted by Godbert at 8:15 PM on October 6, 2005


So you're seriously asserting that it's illegal in Canada for a restaurant or other business to have a dress code?

Mmm, Canadian human rights lawyer, here. Dress codes are fine. Dress codes at the expense of constitutionally protected free speech is not.

However, goes to court? I don't see the SCC ascribing much valuable expression in mere obscenity. And that would be part of the evaluation. The message, mind you, they might protect. Without researching it, I suspect that they would apply some "community standards" approach here.

And no, in Canada, you absolutely cannot just refuse service to anyone you want because you are a private business. The CHRA is all over that halfway to Sunday.
posted by dreamsign at 9:15 PM on October 6, 2005


The inevitable Cafe Press T-shirt link...
posted by jonp72 at 3:30 AM on October 7, 2005


What if I'm part of a tour group from Austria? We have to wear our matching t-shirts.
posted by emelenjr at 5:24 AM on October 7, 2005


When I was in school, if you came in with an offensive shirt, they just made you wear it inside-out for the day.

The linked article says she was asked to wear it inside-out or leave.

So there are people so batshitinsane in the US that they will create a life-threatening havoc on a plane at the sight of the word "FUCK"? Good to know.

No, but I am sure there is a law or regulation somewhere that says when you're on the plane, you must comply with any reasonable request or order given to you by the captain or any crew member. (any lawyers care to comment?)

I'm willing to bet that she was asked to leave for failure to comply, not for politics or for decency of the f-bomb. And I also am willing to wager she was combative and hostile through the whole process, which Southwest would probably not mention because they don't need to embarrass her in the media, as they are already going to embarrass her in court.

No, the issues are obscenity and dress codes.

Not to be a pedant, but decency and obscenity are very different things. Obscenity is the first thing people think of when the f-bomb is dropped, but I think most people would find the f-bomb indecent rather than obscene.
posted by bugmuncher at 7:02 AM on October 7, 2005


"We train young men to drop fire on people. But their commanders won't allow them to write "fuck" on their airplanes because - it's obscene!"
- Col. Kurtz.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:37 AM on October 7, 2005


Just a typo surely. Should have been "Beat the fuckers"
posted by cassbrown1 at 3:14 AM on October 8, 2005


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