Granted, I trained as an economist and financial journalist. Granted, I have a weird sense of humour. I still did not expect to laugh out loud while reading the Economist.
This week’s issue has a wonderful sideways look at what airline in-flight announcements might sound like, if they were truthful. I wish I could share the whole article with you (it’s only half a page) but I guess that it would not constitute Fair Use. Here’s the strangled-at-birth link, for those who are interested. [People at the Economist: want to get more print subscriptions? want to get more oh-so-profitable digital subscriptions? Then let subscribers like me link freely to the content. And see what happens.]
The in-flight announcement proceeds to tear apart a plethora of “marketed” half-truths, quarter-truths and downright lies. It takes no prisoners, scathing over issues ranging from front-versus-rear-facing seats, likelihood of survival in the event of an emergency landing on water, the value of lifejackets and rafts, the reason for banning mobile phones, issues related to CAT and DVT and air quality. I shall restrict myself to one quote on a Fair Use basis: “We are aware that this video is tedious, but it is not meant to be fun. It is meant to limit our liability in the event of lawsuits”.
Don’t take the article itself too seriously. But do take the principle seriously. It’s not about airlines or even air safety.
It’s about being truthful and spin-free.
Something similar can be created for pretty much every market sector there is, be it pharmaceuticals or automobile or even banking and finance. Even government. Even the security services. Even charities.
There are emperors walking around clothes-free right now. Zillions of them. Everyone knows they have no clothes.
Yet the pretence continues.
Why? I’m confused. I don’t like the answers I come up with.