China: Flight delays result in rampage at airport

3 China Southern Airline flights were delayed because of bad weather conditions and the closure of one of the local destinations due to runway repairs. Result: 170 passengers were left at the airport in Kunming (southwest China) and landed up breaking desks and smashing computers in a state of outrage and frustration.

Beyond these facts, the story is a little blurry.

The airline denies they mistreated their passengers, they state that there were enough staff at the airport looking after them, and that 100 of their customers stayed in the hotel they were offered. Also, they have agreed to compensate each passenger with 100 Yuan (approx. $14). However, other media reports say that most passengers went to look for hotels with vacancies for the night without much luck, and they landed up sleeping on the aircraft or in the departure hall; no food was offered and not enough airline staff were around to fix the situation.

The situation was delicate and naturally volatile, but at the same time not an unfamiliar one. As for what happened at the airport, it’s the airline’s word against the passenger’s — two completely different perspectives — so what actually happened will only be clear to those who were there. It’s amazing how personal perceptions of a situation can be so relative, depending which side you are on.

Anyway, I think what’s important is that after 17 hours of waiting, all passengers were put on other flights to their respective destinations, as well as compensated (although miserably). However, many passengers still want a public apology printed in the newspaper. Sigh. What does it take for people to just let things go once they are fixed!

No Wrong Turns: Emos Attacked in Mexico and Chile

According to NME, “emo” kids in Mexico and Chile have recently been attacked by other music subcultures — punks, metalheads and even the rockabilly set.

“Emo” refers to a youth subculture which involves a punk-meets-geek approach to fashion, angst-driven “emotional” music, and a general depressive nature. It is often regarded as a watered down version of the punk movement, much to the emo kid’s dismay.

Daniel Hernandez, of LA Weekly, who has been covering the recent attacks, blames the hostility towards the emos on two things: the fact that Mexicans generally regard the emo movement as a joke, and that a certain Televisa personality, Kristoff, recently spewed out his emo hatred on national television. This clip includes a few choice swear words in English. (It is in Spanish but you will get the gist of it.)

Obviously there is a lot of controversy about the attacks and both sides are responding by looking for someone to blame. Some have chosen to blame the lack of opportunities for the youth stating, “in Latin America, there are nearly 30 million young people who have no opportunity to study or work,” and so they are turning to drugs, crime or even taking it out on those not directly involved.

Hostility towards the emo subculture in Mexico has hit chat rooms, message boards and social networking sites. On March 7th in Queretaro, a state in central Mexico, around 800 youths gathered in the city’s Centro Historico district looking to pick a fight with the emo kids who regularly hangout there. Judging by the videos circulating on YouTube, they certainly found the fight they were looking for. The following week the same thing happened in Mexico City, check out the video below to take a look.

When asked why the recent violence has occurred, a young emo guy said he believed it was because the punks and metal-heads felt that emos were ‘posers’. But, basically from the news I can find (in Spanish mostly) there doesn’t seem to be any clear indication of why this specific group has been targeted.

Kristoff has apparently called off the attack but whether this will quell the violence remains to be seen. The Mexican government wants to point the finger at someone and should Televisa be held accountable, Kristoff might be feeling a little emotional himself.

“No Wrong Turns” chronicles Kelsey and her husband’s road trip — in real time — from Canada to the southern tip of South America in their trusty red VW Golf named Marlin.