Episode 215 – The One Where We Fly The Overly-Friendly Skies

In This Week’s Show, episode 215, we’re getting our game faces on early so that we record four shows, three bottles of wine, 4 special beers, and a Big Gay Jim in the studio!

In This Week’s Show, episode 215, we’re getting our game faces on early so that we record four shows, three bottles of wine, 4 special beers, and a Big Gay Jim in the studio!

Now, grab a beer and help us test the god hypothesis — because, while Ta Tanka (the Great Buffalo Spirit of Native American plains tribes) hasn’t struck us down yet, we are trying his patience!

Shea’s Life Lesson

This week I learned that Vic’s vapor rub is just spicy vasoline

Jenn’s Actual Lesson

Ladies, did you know that Ta Tanka is the patron of ceremonies, health, and provisions, and is the primary guardian of young women and women during menstruation? So when it’s that time of the month just let people know you’re having a visit from Aunt Buffaflo.

Jim’s Good Gay News

Watch Dumplin on Netflix

But before we get to all that, let’s have a beer!

This Week’s Beer

Best Brown Ale – Bell’s Brewery

Donated By: Steve E. especially for OUR Steve

  • BA Link:
  • BA Rating: 3.83
  • Style: American Brown Ale
  • ABV: 5.8
  • Aaron: 8
  • Shea: 4
  • Jim: 3
  • Steve: 8
  • Jenn: 7

This Week’s Show

Round Table Discussion

A quick announcement about the holidays…

This week’s show is being recorded on more or less our usual production schedule. And so is 4 More Beers episode 26 for Patrons. Actually, we’re recording that a little later today… and… then we’re going to record 216 and 217. This will be the first time we’ve ever recorded so much in advance of the airdate but the holidays can be a busy time for four people to get together on the weekly and then have homework as well. We’ve done our homework extra well and I think the next few shows will be just what you want to have stuck in your stockings… yeah. But we won’t have new patron, email, or voicemail announcements in the next few episodes because those things will happen in the future, as of now, but the past when you hear those shows. Confused? You won’t be after this episode of Waiting 4 Wrath…

New patrons Kevin, his brother David and his other brother David.

Still the best
By David the Oxford
Rating: ★★★★★

Happy holidays to the best podcast that anybody could ever hope for. Beer and brains and laughter. Thanks for being a part of my life this year. I hope others will give you a try. They will enjoy.

~ Jessie from Jersey!

Email from Reb*Ox, enjoy that music!


HL1 – Steve Lines Are Back!

There’s an entity in the US called The American Center for Law and Justice. At first glance, this sounds like it would be a good thing, working to ensure that our constitutional rights are being protected and fighting for the “little guy”. But this is Waiting 4 Wrath, and that’s not the kind of thing we talk about is it? No, this piece of shit organization was founded by Pat Robertson as a conservative watchdog group. Notice how their initials are eerily similar to the ACLU, which is not an accident. They’re known for losing such grandstanding bullshit cases as supporting prayer during sporting events, supporting a student who was denied a scholarship to study religion and trying to get rid of buffer zones around abortion clinics.

Well, now they’ve turned their efforts to prevent children from learning to handle stress, calm down, and concentrate on school work. Evil. Evil I tell you. The program in question is mostly based on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, a scientifically-validated program developed by clinicians, in which audio recordings are used to guide students through stress-reduction practices. The problem, you see, is that it looks like Buddhist meditation and not like bowing your head and talking to yourself.

Abbey Southerland, the ACLJ’s senior counsel, said the programs tell students to “’look inside yourself,’ ‘find the goodness within yourself’ — things that are clearly antithetical to the Christian religion.” God forbid that one practice such evil. Holy hell, the angel Moroni or Gideon, or whoever is likely to fly down and burn your hair off with his sword mouth torch, or AK47, or something. A blog post on the ACLJ website explains their dumb-ass thinking:

Imagine your elementary school child coming home one night and explaining the actions that their teacher asked them to do that day—to close their eyes and obey an audio recording that tells them to clear their minds, to watch their memories and emotions float away on clouds, and to feel the love and warmth from their connection to the universe. How would you react if this same audio recording is telling your child to look inside themselves to reach inner-goodness and peace?

We sure as hell can’t have that kind of thing going on. The children may grow up realizing that superstition isn’t good for them and there are actually really healthy ways to cope.

HL2 – Schools For Sale
Just like this headline, which is ready to play at http://patreon.com/w4w

Here’s an idea. How about allowing a tax credit to people who donate to private school scholarships? That sounds like a good idea, right? Not so fast.

In 2015, the State of Montana passed a law allowing a $150 income tax credit to residents who donated to just such scholarships. The rub? Most of these are for religious schools, and this law, therefore, rewarded supporting a religious cause.

Well, that is essentially the same as the state supporting a religious school, isn’t it? Bullshit arguments against this said that a tax credit isn’t really public funds and that the money was to help students, not the religious schools But since the money donated would go only to either the school or the state, the donations effectively came from tax money collected and therefore state money. This was effectively just a way to get the state to funnel tax money to religion.

Fortunately, Montana’s supreme court agrees that this exactly what the tax credit was doing and, in a 5-2 decision, struck that terrible law down.

“The (tax credit) permits the Legislature to subsidize tuition payments at religiously-affiliated private schools,” Justice Laurie McKinnon wrote for the majority. “That type of government subsidy in aid of sectarian schools is precisely what the (constitutional) delegates intended (the constitution) to prohibit.”

Naturally, the religious assholes are crying foul, saying that the tax credit was just an extension of the Trinity Lutheran case which allowed religious institutions to eligible for public grants provided they were for secular purposes. However, the religious schools require that their students take superstition to indoctrinate classes, so that’s a stupid argument on its face. Next stop is likely the goddamned US Supreme Court, where in today’s world bullshit happens.

HL3 – Dumb Dumb
Which you would totally not be for going to http://patreon.com/w4w right now for this segment!

I’ve made it pretty clear over the years my thoughts on dumb-dumbs who think that homeopathy, cleanses, fad diets, and so forth are actually smart and good for a person. They’re not. They’re stupid and quite often dangerous. Case in point is a story of a 39-year old woman who wanted to “cleanse” her colon. Rather than eating a diet rich in fiber and liquids, she heard about using soy sauce. Specifically, she drank a liter of soy sauce in under two hours. What. The. Fuck?

In case you, dear listeners, are not fans of aAsiancuisine and don’t know. Soy sauce is basically salt. A shitload of salt. It’s salty as hell. And consuming that much salt is not a good idea. Forget about it contributing to heart disease, this can be deadly, or in this case, extremely damaging. The woman in question thought that a soy sauce cleanse would help release “toxins” from the body (I’m learning to hate that word used in this way).

She was already in bad health, having recently lost 25 lbs, was treating herself with a silly diet of white bread and canned fish, and recently release from a mental hospital where she was being treated for paranoid schizophrenia. What the soy sauce actually did was not cleanse her body of the government poisons. It put her in to cardiac arrest and caused irreparable nerve damage.

She experienced, central pontine myelinolysis, which is a disorder that occurs when sodium levels rise too quickly and pull water from the brain cells and cause nerve damage. Symptoms can include decreased awareness and difficulty speaking and swallowing and can become so severe that muscles become paralyzed, even a coma or death. Some people recover, others become permanently paralyzed. The woman in question is unable to talk, swallow, move, or speak.

This kind of trendy diet shit hits the same parts of my brain as the other credulous shit along this line. People who swear that they’re homeopathic remedies are anything more than wishful thinking, that their smudging the house with sage removes the evil spirits, or those who just know that without their incredible chiropractor they would be completely crippled. It’s really no different than religion. People will believe whatever horseshit that reinforces their already existing biases, or need to be unique, or … the chemical imbalance in their brain pan.

This is just yet another in a long, sad line of stories about people who should know better, who were almost certainly educated enough to know better, and who still chose to believe in crystals and fairy dust over science and research and paid a horrible price as a result.

This Week’s Stories

We live in a time where the leader of the country can brag about grabbing pussies, shame a journalist by referring to ‘blood coming out of her wherever’ and make slimy mouth utterances about his daughter’s attractiveness apparently at whim. But Good News! We’re living in a more enlightened time!

Seriously. We are, at least, better-ish. And I’m bringing you a story to illustrate where we’ve come from, but obviously, we have some… airline miles to go.

Let’s begin this historical journey in 1971. It was a time teeming with anti-Vietnam War protests, pentagon papers, racial unrest, and rampant sexism. This was the year that National Airlines introduced a new slogan: ‘Fly Me’.

Eyup. As in, FLY ME. Here’s an example of a magazine ad featuring the slogan:

From Jezebel: “The innuendo-laden campaign cost National a small fortune—they spent over $9 million a year on the ads—but it paid off. The National Organization for Women objected to the ads, calling them sexist, saying that they presented flight attendants as a “flying meat market” and invited passengers to make sexual advances. Nevertheless, the “Fly Me” series raised the carrier’s profile and won a handful of advertising awards.” I did the math or at least entered the numbers into a ‘rate for today’ calculator. $9mil in 1971 has the purchasing power (in 2016) of $53,254,437.87

By the early 1970s, advertisements, books, and pornographic films had all given

passengers the idea that stewardesses on any carrier were a form of in-flight sexual entertainment. According to Paula Kane, an activist and former flight attendant with American Airlines, “pinching and patting” by men passengers increased significantly in the wake of the “Fly Me” campaign. Likewise, after Continental launched its “we move our tails for you” campaign stewardesses received requests from men to wiggle provocatively for them. When they complained to Continental about the impact of the campaign, management advised flight attendants to respond to customers’ requests that they “move their tail” with flirty one-liners like “Why is it in the way?” Flight attendants who responded more assertively to customers risked being written up or suspended. This particular campaign raised their business by 50%.

Let’s back up a little bit and talk about the earlier days of the commercial airline industry. Using the idea of sexy, swinging, stewardess was frequently utilized in early airlines’ marketing strategies. In the postwar period, government regulations ensured that fares, routes, and planes were nearly indistinguishable. It was in promoting the looks and charm of their female flight attendants that they used to distance themselves from the pack.

As soon as they began, airlines introduced formal and informal policies to ensure that their flight attendants were uniformly young, slender, unmarried white women, running job ads with explicit requirements for height, weight, and marital status. “Charm farms,” as stewardess schools were often called, taught women how to exercise, walk in high heels, and fashionable style their hair and makeup.

An excerpt from the book Femininity in Flight: A History of Flight Attendants by Kathleen Berry details the experience of Betty Turner Hines, an employee of Pennsylvania Central, who attended stewardess training in 1943: “When we got back from our all-day beauty overhaul, we all burst into tears. We couldn’t believe our eyes: we all looked alike—we were clones of each other!” They began to refer to themselves in the industry as “a regiment of Barbie Dolls”, as they had to maintain a certain hairstyle, make-up routines, and frequent ‘weigh-ins’. To get a perfect smile, some women had their teeth filed to be more even. Stewardesses recounted taking diuretics, sleeping pills, and laxatives, and living on starvation diets for days before their weigh-ins. Sometimes company doctors would supply diet pills or recommend crash diets. Even incorrectly styled hair, makeup, or clothing might also result in suspension or termination.

Jezebel: “The marketing of stewardesses’ bodies accelerated dramatically in the mid-1960s when airlines began replacing prim and proper uniforms with increasingly revealing clothing. Braniff International Airlines ushered in this transformation in 1965 when it announced “an end to the plain plane” and created a high-fashion “air strip” to be performed by its hostesses. Working together with the Italian designer Emilio Pucci, the company arranged for its stewardesses to take off or change their clothing in-flight. Stewardesses wore traditional skirt-suits to welcome passengers. For dinner service, they changed into a shift dress, and for after-dinner drinks, they changed into knee-length ‘‘harem’’ pants.”

The industry also strove to enforce the idea that this ‘beauty makeover’ for a career was also to ensure that this was, for the women, a training ground on how to snare and impress a husband.

Jezebel: “Former Pan Am flight attendant and NOW (National Organization of Women) President Patricia Ireland wrote in memoir that during her training in the 1960s, they were constantly told that “the job offered wonderful preparation for the fulfillment of marital duties… learning how to make your husband comfortable, how to serve him a scotch on the rocks, how to diplomatically handle dinner conversation with his new boss. It was understood that working on an airplane (especially in first class) was a dandy way to meet a man.

To ensure frumpy old hags who hadn’t scored a ring were kept out of sight, in the 1950s the airlines instituted a “mandatory retirement’ for stewardesses between 32 and 35. If these women continued to work for the airlines, they were forced into lower-paying ground jobs. Age requirements drove down wages and prevented career-oriented stewardesses from accruing seniority or benefits. These regulations also aimed to prevent stewardesses from organizing for better pay and work policies.

All this isn’t even touching on how deeply segregated the airlines’ idea of sexual attractiveness was. In 1971, less than 6% of the nearly 35,000 flight attendants in the US were minority women, and this was a marked uptick from the previous decades.

Finally, fed up flight attendants became part of the leadership of the burgeoning feminist movement. And by the mid-1960s, women had a new legal tool at their disposal. The passage of title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 allowed flight attendants, who were still overwhelmingly white women, to challenge workplace discrimination.

In 1972, two Eastern Air Lines stewardesses, Jan Fulsom, and Sandra Jarrell, started Stewardesses for Women’s Rights. Both women had suffered because of the airline industry’s sexualization. Fulsom told the LA Times her most traumatic incident occurred when a drunken man passenger shouted at her, grabbed her, and ripped her skirt off. When Fulsom complained to the flight captain, he responded with laughter.

Jarrell was suspended when she didn’t meet her airline’s target weight and was threatened with suspension. Since male attendants and pilots weren’t hed to a weight standard, she protested. She resigned from Eastern in 1971 and filed a complaint with the EEOC. When she later tried to get her job back, her interviewer told her she exceeded the maximum hiring weight. Her interviewer described Jarrell as “defensive and hostile whenever the subject of the weight program arose.” Jarrell was unable to convince the EEOC that the airline’s decision was an act of retaliation.

The two women got together and compared stories, finding they had enough fodder to start a revolution in the industry. They realized that the airline industry’s existing unions, dominated by men, didn’t pay much attention to the gendered discrimination women working as flight attendants experienced. Their group brought an explicitly feminist agenda to airline labor activism.

By the mid-70s they had gained enough ground to be an actual threat. By not being afraid to take legal action quickly and often they made steady progress through rulings with the EEOC.

Jezebel: “Black flight attendants also used the courts and the EEOC to challenge the airlines’ white beauty standards. Deborah Renwick, a stewardess with United Airlines, received a three-week suspension and then was terminated for having an Afro. With the support of the NAACP, she successfully sued United Airlines and won the right for flight attendants to wear Afros.

Side note for the description of Ms. Renwick in the Chicago Tribune:

It was these lady industry pioneers who shook up and remade the entire airline workers’ landscape. As the EEOC and the courts struck down marriage, pregnancy, and age requirements, the average job tenure of a flight attendant increased from 15 months in 1965 to over six years a decade later. Their uniforms became more professional and less revealing. Working alongside feminist groups such as NOW, and with their unions, they educated the public about the realities of their work and empowered each other to speak out against their demeaning treatment.

Jezebel: “Flight attendants’ demands for respect as women and workers—and their organizing efforts to put some muscle behind those demands—still resonate today.

Next Week’s Beer

Stay tuned. The X-Mas episode will be very beery!

Faith In Humanity Restored


After all the tales of female hardship in airlines of the past, now it’s time for a more recent story of women taking charge instead of remaining victims.

I realize it’s hard to imagine a Faith in Humanity that involves (tangentially) Brett Kavanaugh and (more directly) Larry Nassar, but here we are.

Sports Illustrated named its Inspirational Person of the Year this month, and the award went to former gymnast Rachel Denhollander. If her name doesn’t ring a bell, Denhollander was the first victim to file a federal lawsuit against Nassar, which led to a floodgate of more than 300 women coming forward with tales of assault from this fucking monster. Two-hundred and fifty-one other former gymnasts, along with 23 husbands of gymnasts, also brought up claims consolidated into her suit.

Adding to the power of the moment, Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford, whose life has also been overturned by powerful, disgusting white dudes, was the presenter. This is one of her first public statements since the travesty of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings. She appeared via video to present the award with the words:

“Rachael Denhollander, I am in awe of you, and I will always be inspired by you. In stepping forward, you took a huge risk and you galvanized future generations to come forward, even when the odds are seemingly stacked against them. The lasting lesson is that we all have the power to create real change, and we cannot allow ourselves to be defined by the acts of others.”

So while terrible, shitty human beings created the situations that brought these women to the public eye, this is restorative to MY faith to see them being celebrated and embracing their own strength. I am in awe of both ladies, and the others who came forward with their own stories in order to help bring an end to this sort of abuse. They had varying degrees of success, but are all heroes worth celebrating.