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William and Kate, A Royal Headache

27 Apr

 This weekend the Royal Wedding between Prince William and Catherine Middleton will command enormous attention here in the United States.  The Hangover asks, “Why?”

 It’s easy to understand why the entirety of the United Kingdom will be enthralled by the proceedings.  After all, this is their heritage, from King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table to Queen Victoria to Roger the Shrubber.  But even the most dim-witted of Americans must realize that the revolution that formed our country was an attempt to rid us of fops like King George and the Royal Family.  Despite saying goodbye to all that back in 1783 and then again in 1812, modern Americans seem smitten with English Royalty—this despite two hundred-plus years of “All men are created equal.”

When Prince Charles married Diana Spencer in 1981, United States media coverage would have suggested it was the third biggest event of the last century, following only the moon landing and OJ and Al Cowlings in the white Bronco.  Americans continued to adore Diana, even after she became, in the words of Mojo Nixon, a “drunk-divorced floozie.”  (Before you take offense, consider what you would call your neighbor’s ex-wife if she ran off with your town’s handsome local hero and sped around night-clubbing, drinking, and snorting blow.  “Your Highness” isn’t it; well, not unless you’re fond of ironic puns.)

 In the coming days, America will be again drowned in Katrina-like coverage of the upcoming Royal wedding.  The Hangover wishes the happy couple well. 

But what does our fascination with the event tell us about ourselves?    

Is it that: 

 a)  We no longer need to value “all men being equal” now that just about every American can afford high definition television.

 b)  We’ve become so ingrained with fairy tales and Disney Princesses that we just want the chance to imagine ourselves in the role.  After all, it’s only a matter of time before one of these Royal Highnesses will sweep into our Burger King, pull us from the flame broiler, and whisk us away to a McMansion in the clouds.

 c)  Americans are sheep.  We (at least those with cable) would watch Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie read the Los Angeles phone book if Entertainment Tonight, TMZ, The New York Times, and the Today Show deemed that it was an “event.”

d)  The less relevant something is to the reality of our everyday lives, the more it interests Americans.  This would explain the nation palpatating over Bret Favre’s emailed junk, the Octo-mom, John and Kate, Michelle Bachmann, and those teenage girls having babies on MTV.

 e)  All of the above.

 Enjoy the festivities.  Maybe the Newlyweds will even be so kind as to hop into a white Bronco as they head to the reception.  Wouldn’t that be ecstasy?

Stick a fork in (the) US, Democracy is Cooked

22 Jan

With the Supreme Court ruling that the government cannot regulate or limit political spending by corporations, a bullet has been put through the head of a suffering democracy.   It was a mercy killing.  For years now, Americans have been pathetically clinging to the idea that their votes meant something.  Well, they don’t have to worry about that anymore.  Thanks to the Supreme Court, it’s now all special interests, all the time.  

It would be a mistake, however, to say that Americans’ votes will be worthless.  In a political version of American Idol, we will be given the honor of deciding which corporate-sponsored politician will be able to become a highly respected, suit-and-tie-wearing marionette.  And then we will live happily ever after, basking in the illusion of democracy. 

In the decision’s simplest terms, Exxon, Citibank, Pfizer, General Electric, etc..,. will now be able to gush money toward any candidate they feel deserving, meaning one who will support their interests.  Sure, you may be outraged that a Canadian can pay $5 for medication that costs you $40.  You might even be so incensed that you exercise your right as an American citizen and call your Senator, urging them to support lower cost prescription drugs.  But who do you think they are going to listen to:  you or the lobbyist from Johnson and Johnson who just dropped $500,000 into the making of a campaign advertisement supporting that Senator? Good luck with that.

If you want to see how this money-in-politics dynamic works on a small scale, read what The Hangover learned while talking to Susan Collins’ office.  Or if you would really like to be educated on the topic, check out Who Rules America?by G. William Domhoff.

It was Thomas Jefferson who said:  

“The end of democracy, and the defeat of the American revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of the lending institutions and moneyed incorporations.”

Consider the revolution over.

Goose Rocks Beachfront Owners Sue Kennebunkport (and try to screw the rest of us)

10 Nov

A cabal of Goose Rocks Beach homeowners is suing the town of Kennebunkport, claiming that they own the actual beach down to the low water mark.  The Hangover’s first inclination is to consider this class warfare, a case of the “have’s” versus the “have not’s.”   However, this cannot be the case, as the nature of the suit clearly indicates that these homeowners have no class at all.   Still, as a public service The Hangover has decided to explore the nature of the impending litigation. 

Newspaper reports state that the fat cat homeowners are primarily concerned with overcrowding at Goose Rocks.  This is odd.  There are a limited number of parking spaces at Goose Rocks, thereby limiting the number of visitors who can actually reach the beach.   In middle of the summer, the designated “public beach” is not ever close to being overrun.  Areas of the “private beach” are sparsely populated at their most hectic.   Even at high tide, there is always room for a family (perhaps the beachfront owners are expecting the Manson’s) to spread out and enjoy themselves.   Hampton Beach in New Hampshire is a crowded beach.  In July and  August a gnat cannot find enough room there to lay down a blanket.  This is far from the case at  Goose Rocks.

If the overcrowding issue is a smoke screen, there must be other reasons for the homeowners’ desires to keep people off a beach that has been used by the public for hundreds of years.  Here are some possible explanations:

Revenge:  As residents of Kennebunkport are well aware, there was a property tax revaluation undertaken this past year.  This resulted in property taxes rising substantially for those with beachfront and waterfront homes.  Perhaps these privileged landowners are angered by the fact that for the first time in 20 years they now have to pay their fair share of taxes.  They are extracting their revenge by taking it out on the town and those residents whose taxes were reduced.

Self-Loathing:  Twenty-five years ago, Goose Rocks was a mostly middle class enclave with the majority of its residents coming from the suburbs surrounding Boston and southern New England.  The small cottages that marked the beach then have (for the most part) been torn down, rebuilt, and expanded.  Many of these “new and improved” homeowners are from–as luck would have it–the suburbs surrounding Boston and southern New England.  Coincidentally, many people visiting the beach also come from these regions.  Perhaps the beachfront owners just don’t want to be reminded of the humble origins from which they slithered.

Health:  Everyone knows that tourists emanate from anomie-infested suburbs and angst-ridden cities.  They are mentally unclean and tainted.  Their presence on the beach could undo the serenity brought about by rolling waves and gliding sea gulls.  The horror, the horror.  Those soiled must be kept away. 

Wanna-be-ness:  The lawsuit could be a simple case of celebrity envy.  By aping various asinine celebrity behaviors, these homeowners could be hoping to view themselves as important and privileged.  In 1999, Jim Belushi sued when a house painter had the audacity to walk across the beach adjoining his property.   (Belushi lost in court.)  Entertainment industry icon David Geffen fought public access to beaches in Malibu.  He also lost.  But he did get some headlines.  Perhaps this could be a feeble attempt for 15 minutes of fame.    Maybe these landowners are hoping to be ridiculed in Doonesbury just like “The Dark Leader” Geffen.

General Snobbery:  Could it be that these homeowner’s are just your average run-of-the-mill snobs who don’t wish to associate with “neighbors” who can’t afford beachfront dwellings?  This would be an ugly reality.  That people so tremendously boring and base could actually exist in Kennebunkport would be embarrassing for the rest of us–and thus, we are doubly injured.

InAction As Action

One response to the suit would be to let the beachfront owners have the beach.   We have to consider the future.  The town would then have reason to ignore the homeowner’s  pleas for help as the beach continues to erode–and erode it has over the past ten years.   Picture a town manager smirking across his or her desk:  “Hey, it’s your beach.  You do something about it.”

Then there’s global warming and rising sea levels.  As reported by National Geographic and thousands of other reputable scientific authorities, global warming will eventually cause sea levels to rise:  “A one-meter sea level rise would wreak particular havoc on the Gulf Coast and eastern Seaboard of the United States.”   Presumably, this includes King’s Highway and Sand Point.  These homes could eventually land “below” the low tide mark.  The Hangover wonders if that wouldn’t place them in the public domain.  Certainly, the beachfront homeowners would see the justice in that. 

(It’s interesting to note that should the beach even slightly flood this winter, these same landowners will likely call the fire department to come pump out their soaked basements.  Neighbors in the form of volunteer fire fighters, although not allowed to cross their beach, would be actually allowed in the houses themselves.  The fire fighters will surely be grateful.)   


On the other hand, if one is inclined to act, The Hangover is all for non-violent, civil disobedient protest.  When Tony Soprano needed to extricate himself from the purchase of a waterfront property from a high faultin’ neighbor, he didn’t call for a hit.  He brought in the music.  He had associates anchor his yacht just off shore from the would-be seller’s house and play a steady stream of Dean Martin: Live at the Sands Hotel.   After several hours of Deano, the seller cracked and the deal was off.  

This could work here.   While many of us can’t afford a waterfront manse, we do have boats and boom boxes.   Picture a pristine Memorial Day Saturday.  The Hangover envisions a fleet of 100 Boston Whalers, dinghies, sunfish, and runabouts anchored just outside the low water mark of Goose Rocks Beach.  Only instead of the sultry crooning of Martin, selected beachfront homeowners are bombarded with the non-stop punk-guitar crunch of  The Clash.  An afternoon and evening of Should I Stay Or Should I Go just might work here:

Stonehill’s Stone Age Thinking Condom-ened

6 Mar

Catholic Stonehill College recently prohibited students from distributing free condoms in student dormitories,  as reported in the Boston Globe.  A group of students had collected the condoms from family planning agencies and placed boxes of them in residences on campus.   However, when the “higher-ups” at the Catholic college found out about the birth control and sexually-transmitted-disease preventatives, they were confiscated.   Hopefully, no students were burned at the stake for the transgression. 

So, is it Stonehill or Catholics in general who don’t believe in birth control or disease prevention?  But that is a negative positing of the issue.  Perhaps Catholics are simply in favor of spreading life-threatening disease and unwanted pregnancies. 

Stonehill Spokesman Martin McGovern said, “We’re a private Catholic college.  We make no secret of our religious affiliation, and our belief system is fairly straightforward. We don’t expect everyone on campus to agree with our beliefs, but we would ask people, and students in particular, to respect them.”   What is it about religion that makes supposedly educated people act like imbeciles?   Is the study of evolution also prohibited there?

Common sense and experience tells us:

  • College students have sex.
  • Unprotected sex can result in unwanted pregnancies.
  • Unprotected sex can spread STD’s, of which AIDS can be fatal.
  • Condoms can help prevent the transimission of said diseases and unwanted pregnancies.

Apparently, Stonehill finds it more important (and morally ethical) to operate under an antiquated, lets-produce-more-Catholics policy than to allow students to look out for the welfare of their peers.  The Hangover is no Biblical scholar, but caring for your fellow man was one of Jesus’s messages.  In unison, the Catholic church and the educators at Stonehill have goose-stepped away from that tenet.  It is the height of hypocrisy. 

Examine the following scenario:  There’s a fellow who studies hard, carefully examining his favorite subject, religion, on every level.  However, he’s a social type and a binge drinker of wine.  All his cavorting leads him into a relationship with a young woman of loose morals; some might call her a whore.  At this point, nothing can stop them from having sexual relations.  One would think that even the Pope would want young Jesus to wrap his rascal when getting down with Mary Magdalene–if only to preclude the work of Dan Brown.   It would seem that the Catholic church has enough problems without crusading against the students at its universities.

Kurt Warner Misses Jesus at Super Bowl

2 Feb

After the NFC Championship game, Kurt Warner thanked Jesus for his performance and the Arizona Cardinals’ win. In yesterday’s Super Bowl, Warner was nearly great, throwing for 377 yards and three touchdowns.  But he also gakked up a game-changing interception for a Steeler TD at the end of the first half and then fumbled in the closing seconds when heaving a Hail Mary to god-like wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald could have provided victory.  In post-game remarks, Kurt did not thank Jesus for this lesson in humility.

The question remains, why would Jesus abandon one of his biggest supporters in his time of need?  Perhaps Jesus was worn out from nefariously influencing NBC executives into banning PETA’s harmless “Vegetarians Have Better Sex” commercial.   While NBC’s shows are populated with hot actresses (the awesome Friday Night Lights anyone?), apparently they are not allowed on-screen with broccoli, asparagus, and pumpkins.  Irregardless, the Hangover hopes that the meat-eating, having-lousy-sex citizens of Pittsburgh are enjoying themselves.   

As for the rest of us, time to start ordering salads:

The Hangover’s 2008 Person of the Year: Tina Fey

28 Dec
2008 Woman of the Year

Tina Fey: 2008 Woman of the Year

Nobody had a better year than Tina Fey (including President-Elect Barack Obama, whose reward will be the opportunity to clean up the ever-deepening mess left by his predecessor).   Fey surpassed all known standards in just how successful an entertainer could be with brilliant comedic performances that crackled with social and poitical commentary.

Fey is the creative force behind NBC’s 30 Rock, a show both popular  and critically acclaimed.  Her character, Liz Lemon, is an achieving woman attempting to manage a nearly unmanageable “Saturday Night Live” conceit.  As played by Fey, Lemon is sharp and compassionate, as well as confused and insightful.  Lemon carries a realistic acceptance of her position on constantly shifting ground.  She is an icon for women juggling professional success and personal chaos.   Liz Lemon makes no apologies for who she is.  In a high school reunion episode, “The Revenge of the Wrath of the Nerd,” Lemon bids farewell to her former White Haven classmates with,  “You know what? Suck it, you whittling IHOP monkeys.”

That would seem to be enough for one woman.  But then came Sarah Palin.   Fey’s impersonation of Palin on various episodes of Saturday Night Live marked some of the greatest comedy in the show’s storied history.  At times, Fey was indistinguishable from Palin.   Through a fusion of comic genius and comic existentialism, Fey effectively parodied a woman who was a parody in and of herself.  No easy task, and one worthy of recognition in the form of The Hangover’s Person of the Year.

If you don’t believe it, see for yourself:

Budweiser: The Great Belgian-American Beer

18 Jul

The business world has been saturated like a rug at a keg party with the news of Belgian brewing giant InBev acquiring all-American Anheuser-Busch.  While this brings us that much closer to a “Rollerball world  where society is dominated and run by a few behemoth corporations, the real question lies in what this means to American Bud drinkers, of which The Hangover is one.

Will Bud taste the same as it does now?  Yes.  Will we still get to watch commercials of Clydesdales playing football in the fall?  Yes.  Will Bud and Bud Light still be brewed regionally? Likely.  Will Bud still be marketed as “The Great American Lager?”  Yes, even though it will be owned by Belgians.

But Americans have no reason to fear Belgian ownership.  Here’s why:  Belgians are great people.  Twenty years ago, The Hangover and one of his associates spent a few nights in a Biarritz casino that could have been a James Bond set.  Our first evening there we cleaned up playing blackjack, winning hand after hand, hooping and hollering and guzzling beer.  While most of the clientele was in suits, we were dressed in jeans and leather jackets; we felt like the Cartwrights cutting loose in Virginia city. 

However, on the following night, our luck wasn’t so great.  Despite the bartenders having our first round arrive at our table just as we did, we started losing.  It got to the point that we were playing hand-to-hand.  A few more bad cards and we were done. 

An older gentleman was seated next to us.  He’d also been at our table the previous evening.   

     “You guys aren’t doing so great tonight,” he said.

     “No, it’s a rough one,” I replied.  We lost a hand just as one of the bartenders came over to see if we needed another round.  We didn’t have the money.

     “Let me buy you guys a beer,” the gentleman said.  “You know, you really got everyone all upset last night.”

     “We were just having a good time,” my associate said.

     “I enjoyed it,” the gentleman said.  “Whenever you can piss off these French assholes, go ahead and do it.”

      “I take it you’re not French,” I said.

     “The hell with that,” he said, smiling.  “I’m from Belgium.”

As soon as the beer the Belgian bought us arrived at the table, our luck changed.  We went on a winning streak that recouped our losses and then surpassed our winnings of the night before.  We owed it all to the kindness of the Belgian spirit. 

The Hangover will continue to support and enjoy Budweiser.  And when the InBev-Anheuser Busch deal is finalized, The Hangover fully expects his first “Belgian” Budweiser will bring him more than just a buzz.

[Editors note:  Rollerball, as a movie, is a good one with compelling characters, action, and suspense.  It was filmed in 1975 based on a storyby William Harrison.  However, if viewed today, the movie reveals itself to be eerily prescient social commentary.  You’d have to be stone drunk on American-Belgian Budweiser to miss the connections between the sci-fi world of the film and the one you actually live in.]

Hidden Pond Gala A Success?

30 Jun

Hidden Pond Maine’s fabulous grand opening gala was a huge success this past Friday night.  The beautiful people of Kennebunkport and surrounding areas flocked to the resort.  Unfortunately, this being suburban Maine, it would have taken an army of Beverly Hills plastic surgeons to make them actually beautiful.  (Maybe that explains the Open Bar.)  And though these party-goers might be designated the coast’s “Cultural Elite,” very few could be confused with Henry James, William Dean Howells, Dorothy Parker, or Edmund Wilson.  A more apt comparison would land them accurately and fairly with Lawrence Fine and the Howard brothers. 

The residents of Goose Rocks Road must have swelled with pride seeing their once-quiet street turned into a facsimile of a luxury car dealership.  BMW’s, SUV’s, Mercedes, Lexus, and even the occasional Caddy lined the road shoulder, manned by a squad of hard-working valets.  That the slamming car doors and revving engines displayed more rhythm than the music bleeding from the midst of Hidden Pond is a sorry statement of fact.

Emails and phone calls flooded Hangover Headquarters during the shindig.  The band could be heard clearly throughout the neighborhood, keeping children awake and causing dogs to howl.  It’s not that we object to music.  But if children are going to be subjected to lack of sleep, it constitutes cruel and unusual punishment when the offending tunes are produced by the most pathetic of musical groups:  The Wedding Band.  Do not the cultural elite and beautiful people deserve music with heart, integrity, and substance?  Why torture them (and us) with an onslaught of hackneyed, over-played Top 40 trash?  The kids would be all right if they were forced to listen to the Who, Billy Joe Shaver, Stones, Clash, Hannah Montana, Nirvana, Lyle Lovett, Dwight Yoakam, Graham Parker, Graham Nash, Bob Dylan, John Hiatt, or Lucinda Williams, etc.., (Just check the music category of the blog and you’ll get the idea).  Instead it was Love Shack,  Fly Me to the Moon, Last Dance, Some Kind of Wonderful and countless other lowest-common-denominator musical cliches.  

Kennebunkport has a sound ordinance which states that:

It shall be unlawful for any commercial establishment, without special permission from the Board of Selectmen, to allow electronically amplified sound to be emitted from, or outside of their establishments. (Adopted at the Annual Town Meeting on March 15, 1980.)

The Hangover finds it hard to believe that the fine selectmen of our town would allow innocent residents to be subjected to such awful music.   Hopefully, this was as close to pirate radio as the resort will ever get.  But we can look at the bright side:  As advertised, Hidden Pond is somewhat secluded and we were spared the visual of the full-bellied, well-heeled attendees attempting to dance.   The horror, the horror.

Three days later, life here has returned to normal.  Money was raised for some charities (one of which got to compromise its good name as a bonus).  No permanent harm was done.   Expansion will come to Hidden Pond next year and there will likely be another grand-opening gala.  The Hangover has but one request:  Get a real band.  Please.    

Hidden Pond Trysts and Twists with Kennebunkport Conservation Trust

30 May

Hidden Pond is having a gala.  And a showcase.  And a luncheon.  Invitations have littered the mail from one end of Kennebunkport to the other.  But while the Maine Democratic Party finds The Hangover worthy of an invitation to their signature event, Hidden Pond does not.  Unlike many of our neighbors, we did not receive an invite to the aforementioned events.  We are not surprised by the slight.

It was a shock, however, to find that the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust is one of the sponsors of the upcoming festivities. What could a conservation group have in common with developers who are turning 60 acres of woodland into a super fabulous motel?  Apparently, money.  The KCT is one of three listed sponsors that will benefit from the $150 per person Preview Gala, the $40 per person Luncheon with the Designers, and the Decorator Showcase, in which you can walk the grounds of Hidden Pond for only $20.

(If you are budget conscious, feel free to stop by Hangover Headquarters where you can play wiffle ball in the backyard and throw a rock in our hidden swamp for the low, low price of 39 cents.  And while the Decorator Showcase is not handicapped accessible, our thin and well-trodden lawn is.)

It’s great that Hidden Pond is taking care of local non-profits.  For the Child Abuse Council of York County and The River Tree Center for the Arts, it’s a no-brainer to hook up with the “Tree and Brie” milieu of Hidden Pond.  Of course, there’s a benefit for Hidden Pond, too.   In an attempt to appear warm and fuzzy to consumers, corporations regularly align themselves with charities and non-profits.  “It’s become compulsory because it’s how corporate citizenship is now defined,” said Douglas Quintal, Professor of Marketing Communication at Emerson College.  Quintal added:  “The ones that make sure their contributions are known are usually the ones doing it as a fashion show.”  Yes, those charities are prominently displayed on invitations and the HP web site:  Hidden Pond would like potential customers to feel good about their impending conspicuous consumption.

Then there’s the matter of the conservation group partnering with the developer.  (A developer whose project is far different than their original proposal and one who has exploited every opportunity provided by state loopholes and a poorly written land use ordinance.)  The Trust-HP connection raises questions about an environmental entity that wants to maintain its integrity. 

The Kennebunkport Conservation Trust is “dedicated to preserving the natural beauty of our town” and “to protect the landscape and character of the town we all love.”  The Trust’s mission as advocated by Executive Director Tom Bradbury is to find places special to all and set them aside for all to enjoy.  They’ve done a great job of it over the past 30 years, preserving 1604 acres.  But by attaching its sponsorship to these Hidden Pond events (and providing them with the KCT mailing list), the Trust places itself in an awkward position.  The mutually marketed sponsorship gives the impression that the KCT supports the Hidden Pond development, a concept which would seem at odds with the Trust’s goals. 

Upon raising this issue to Bradbury, he noted that the Trust is not against development, but for protection.  The Hidden Pond land had already been purchased and the project was a done deal when the KCT became involved.  In the Trust’s view, they are trying to take a practical, positive approach and do what they can to benefit their cause.  They will receive funds with which they hope to keep their children’s educational program active for several years.  As the Hangover Children will benefit  from that program, one would think The Hangover would be happy about how this is playing out.  However, that the Trust even appears compromised by the deep pockets of Hidden Pond makes these machinations sting like a shot of cheap tequila. 

The pursuit of the Trust’s goals is a noble undertaking.  And perhaps the KCT-Hidden Pond tryst will be one of those rare cases where the ends will justify the means.  Nevertheless, another picture can be drawn, too.  When the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust’s name is printed beside that of Hidden Pond, no matter what the practical applications and windfalls, it functions as a stamp of approval on the development and this developer.  While The Hangover contends that “statement” is something the Trust should have avoided, Bradbury sees the partnering as “not an endorsement of this development but a working reality.”  And he may be correct.  

Reality bites again. 



Un-American Airlines

2 May

American Airlines has been battling.  No, not to maintain profits or to keep terrorists off of their planes.  They’ve been fighting their own employees, in particular their skycaps in Boston.  It is a tempest that has been stewing for three years now.  The corporate giant has taken on manual laborers and lost–first in court and now in dignity. 

In 2005, American Airlines imposed a $2.00 a bag fee on luggage handled curbside by skycaps.  Many of the airline’s customers assumed that this service charge went to the skycaps, who were tipped for their baggage-handling services.  The truth, however, was that the fee went into the airline’s pockets.  The result was plummeting incomes for skycaps, who earned the majority of their pay through tips.  The skycaps took American to federal Court to regain lost tips.  They won and nine Boston skycaps were awarded a total settlement of $325, 000.  Things went back to normal–briefly.

A month after losing in Court, American has attacked again.  They have now prohibited skycaps from taking tips.  To cover the difference in lost tips, AA raised their skycaps’ hourly rates from $5.15 to $12-$15 dollars an hour.  The skycaps’ incomes are going to shrink again, as that ten dollar raise would likely cover the tips on just five bags an hour.  Of course, American is still pocketing the $2 dollar service charge. 

Apparently, American would rather pay out an extra $10 an hour per skycap than see their employees make more money through tips.  And this tip-ban is only in effect at Boston’s Logan, the home of the skycaps who sued the Airline.  This exposes American’s new policy as a childish punishment or petty revenge, take your pick.  It is not the result of a seriously considered business model.  It looks like American will be heading to court again to take another beating.

One might argue that American Airlines is a business and can do whatever they want in the free market.  Unfortunately, as American recently found out in court, there are laws that regulate working conditions.  The market is not exactly free, either.   Let’s not forget that the Airline Industry is heavily subsidized by the American government, including an enormous post 9/11 bailout.  The Hangover would prefer that our tax dollars are not used to fund a loathsome enterprise like American.  But if the citizens of this country are going to fund such a corporation, shouldn’t we expect it to act within some ethical limits?  Or at least to not stomp and flail like a petulant eight year-old? 

One can take action, however.  Fly Jet Blue, Southwest, US Air, or any airline that treats its employees better than American.   The Hangover can only assume that would be every other airline.