Make text smaller Make text larger

We should all heed the call of a brave letter-writer and protest social disruptions

This great believer in "Letters to Editor" found one whose message needs to get out there - and stay out there. And while it's about second-hand chat on airplanes, it applies to countless inconvenient truths ignored or opposed by, yup, the rule-makers, who don't (or can't) see (or hear) the big picture.

Avrom Jacobs' November 26th New York Times letter advances the cause of peace and good will on earth, and specifically in the air. He warns about not being so open-ended about new technology "that we let our brains fall out," And, I urge you to make copies to send around in Chanukah, St. Nicholas Day (hey, that's my birthday), Christmas, Kwanza and New Year's day mailings.

And if you have Internet (many do not) ? it has phenomenal "getting it out there" power, and this technology (which mostly I wish had not been invented) can be an instrument for good, like really talking up Jacobs' last line in his letter to the editor, which follows:

"Re: 'The FCC to Weigh Allowing Cell Phone Use on Flights' (Business Day, Nov. 22), is it right to force folks to listen to one-sided conversations for hours in tiny enclosed spaces from which there is no escape? That's a reckless recipe for endless flights, 30.000 feet up, a setting never intended to tolerate such disruption.

Who, exactly, will impose the peace when inevitably upset, often alcohol-infused passengers have enough of their seat-mates yelling into their cell phone over the Grand Canyon? Will pilots leave the controls to settle things? Will other passengers have to intervene?

We must be open-minded indeed about new technology, but not so open-minded that our brains fall out."

We must remember this: "?and not so open-minded that our brains fall out." Of course peace is disturbed by any prolonged second-hand chat in any public place, trains, buses, restaurants, you name it. It should not be tolerated because it's stressful and stress is a very significant health hazard.

And of course, contact elected officials and media as well as the F.C.C. about forbidding cell phone use on air planes. Incidentally, I wonder how many letters the Times received; only one was published. The trouble is most concerned don't protest except maybe privately. Men don't want to be considered wimps by even doing that sometimes. Old people are considered cranks when they do. And young people, well, they've been conditioned to believe that noisy is better and cool.

Needed, of course, are regular anti-noise columns like the Times' Clyde Haberman's recent interview with Dr. Arline Bronzaft, noted noise pollution scientist and chair of the Mayor's Environmental Committee on Noise.

But for now, we need a little peace and good will-advancing music playing non-stop on 106.7 lite FM through Christmas Day. Yes, some Chanukah songs should be in the mix, but regardless of background, it's music to help keep our souls as well as our brains from falling out in a time when Black Friday frenzied shopping starts on Thanksgiving Thursday. And the Times airs a section two days before Thanksgiving called "Families" with no recipes on how to overcome problems and priorities that may divide families, but rather implying that the biological and multigenerational kind are really not that important anymore ? "if ever they were." That big-time brain fall-out needs a mighty barrage of protest letters and calls!

Make text smaller Make text larger




Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Neighborhood Newsletters