Monday, June 06, 2005


It's come to the point where I'm considering avoiding television altogether. It's not worth the aggravation.

I saw a new commercial for Southwest Airlines on the television tonight (I couldn't find it online). I've never been enamored with Southwest, their method of seating people should simply be called the "line" system, as it's one after another after another.

Then their little seating system allows people with children and the disabled can board before everyone else. Anyone with a kid under 23 forces their way into the plane first, followed closely behind by assholes faking limps. Fly healthy and childless on Southwest and you'll find yourself in a center seat. But I digress.

The commercial features customers checking in at the Southwest counter, one after another. In each case their hair is really messed up, as if a huge gale had been blowing outside.

The tagline: "Planning on flying to Chicago?"



Chicago isn't called the "Windy City" because of weather fronts. In 1893, Chicago hosted the world's Columbian Exposition, a huge fair that cost millions of dollars and attracted millions of visitors. Fairs were really big back then - people didn't have stupid commercials to distract them.

New York Sun editor Charles Dana, tired of hearing Chicagoans boast of the world's Columbian Exposition, dubbed Chicago the "Windy City." (This story is disputed - aren't they all? - and I've heard other stories explaining the "windy city" tag - none of them include gale force winds.)

I know the good people at Southwest know that "Windy City" isn't a weather thing, and some people watching it will too. But it's a matter of principle - Southwest is furthering a misconception - and for what, a really bad joke?

Southwest Airlines, it's time to straighten up and fly right. (See, anyone can make lame jokes.)


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