AirTran and Kyoto – What’s the Link?


I was mindlessly watching a ridiculous AirTran commercial in which two marketing assistants or maybe interns were trying to come up with an idea for a promotion. They were randomly selecting dictionary entries. This got me thinking, weeks later, because I was certainly not at the time, that I should do something similar as a post or even a series of posts for my blog. Inspired by this insipid commercial, I grabbed my copy of Webster’s New Explorer Dictionary (yes, I have one and refer to it from time to time when too lazy to log on to my slow computer) opened it to a random page and with eyes closed pointed to an entry on the Heian period, page 546 in between Hegira and Martin Heidegger. I would prefer to write about Hejira or Heidegger but must respect the integrity of the challenge…and so the Heian period.

Did you know the Heian period named for the capital city Heian-kyo (Kyoto) spans the years 794-1185 of Japanese history? This epoch is best remembered for its aristocratic culture committed to “aesthetic refinement through poetry and calligraphy”. I would have been an outcast in this culture. My calligraphic skills do not exist – my handwriting is a frenetic mix of cursive and print. My poems, if you can even call them poetry, lack refinement.

The Kyoto Protocol, a treaty designed to combat global warming was ratified by most countries in 1997, but not the US of A, the world’s biggest producer of carbon dioxide emissions. Thanks to the Bush administration and pressure from the U.S. Senate, the USA officially does not take global warming seriously, that is until now. The Obama administration has made climate change a priority, along with health care, immigration, national security, the economy, cash for clunkers, Afghanistan….and has pledged to work with international negotiators to craft a new treaty that would be more effective than Kyoto.

Hey, maybe AirTran will be the first commercial airline to power its fleet of planes with plug-in electric batteries. And why not have poetry slams and calligraphy lessons aboard all domestic flights.  Can you picture the flight attendants handing out free AirTran quills and inkwells to deboarding passengers?

Thank you for choosing AirTran
You know we really care
Fly us again if you can
The most refined bird in the air