“Vertigo,” said the well-dressed man at the podium, “is a myth.” He faced the camera and paused, raising his finger for emphasis. “For too long, we have clung to outdated ideas about air transport, marginalizing pilot experiences that fall outside the norm.”
I somehow remembered the President had picked a new FAA administrator.
“As this administration has broadened protections and rejected narrow prejudices in other sectors, we intend to do the same for aviation. We have received numerous complaints from pilots alleging criticism and even sanctions against those who, for deeply held personal reasons, cannot fly straight and level.”
“But, sir!” a reporter interrupted. “Isn’t that a requirement to be a good pilot?”
“Good?” the man almost sneered. “What could be good about exclusionary standards? Transhorizontalism is real, and we will not discriminate against members of this valuable community.”
“Well, uh, sure,” the reporter agreed, not wanting to appear intolerant. “But what about the passengers? Is inclusiveness more important than passengers?”
“Passengers must adjust their expectations of pilots to support the greater good.”
“But!…” the reporter sputtered, amazed. “But what about safety? Gravity doesn’t care about our feelings.”
“We will be introducing legislation next week to address that.”
“You think legislation will change gravity?”
“Well, it changed biology, didn’t it? For centuries, people thought there were only two genders. But look how far we’ve come! No, there are many different ideas about gravity, and who’s to say what’s right for everyone? It’s just one more social construct with suspicious ties to Western civilization.”
The reporter, eyes wide, opened his mouth to speak but was suddenly yanked back into the crowd by two burly men at his elbows, and the blare of a warning bell filled the room. Dazed, I considered for a moment the speaker’s soothing words, but the bell was my alarm clock, and I woke.