April 27, 2007

Phenomenally Well Put

This article at Salon grabbed my attention. If you find you're self going: that's me, oh and that's me too, you're in good company. I love this stuff.

"Airliner enthusiast" is a phrase that pops up frequently in this column, occasionally alternating with "airliner nut." The meaning is probably lost on most people. Airliner enthusiasts are connoisseurs of civil aviation. But the "hobby," for lack of a better term, has little to do with flying per se. What gets our pulse going is not the visceral thrill of flight, the slipping of surly bonds. Rather, it's the grand theater of air travel: the color and craziness of the world's airlines; their route structures and service cultures; the places they go. We're enamored of planes, of course, but we see them less as technical marvels than as romantic symbols. The A.E. beholds the 747 or Concorde much the way an architecture buff beholds the Chrysler Building or the cathedral at Chartres in France. And beyond any inherent beauty, the airplane is nothing without context -- the greater point of going somewhere.

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