We have been following the increasing crackdown on passengers wearing T-Shirts on airlines deemed offensive or threatening. These cases often raise free speech questions, but also raise serious questions of the increasing irrationality of airline staff and some passengers. The t-shirt of Wynand Mullins is a good example. Mullins wore a t-shirt on a Qantas flight from Sydney with the well-known quote from Princess Bride by character Montoya (played in the film by Mandy Patinkin): “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father, prepare to die.” Some passengers became alarmed by the t-shirt, presumably convinced that a terrorist would not only advertise his intent but choose a fictional character from a children’s book to represent his deep homicidal beliefs. Flight staff insisted that he change his shirt. Presumably, there was a passenger with five fingers that felt personally threatened by the quotation.
After he boarded his flight home to Auckland, New Zealand, a flight attendant took on the role of Count Rugen who insisted he did not like the line and told Montoya “Stop saying that!”
In this case, however, the flight attendant told him that the t-shirt was unacceptable for travel. He was only allowed to continue after he established that he did not have a change in shirts. You can see Mullins and his t-shirt at this site. I simply do not get how some passengers are so fearful that a joke t-shirt triggers such alarm. These are the same people presumably favoring greater and greater limitations on passengers and citizens under anti-terror laws. Fear has been wiped up to such a frenzy that passengers believe Al Qaeda is going into suicide missions wearing quotes from Rob Reiner films.
I only wish that when he was asked to change his shirt, Mullins pulled out a shirt quoting the character Vizzini: “you are friendless, brainless, helpless, hopeless!”
The alternative lines may not be much an improvement for general acceptance of the passengers:
Westley to Buttercup: “Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while.”
Westley: “DEATH FIRST!”
Westley: “We are men of action, lies do not become us.”
Vizzini: “Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line”! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha… “
Of course, Montoya was warned that his “over-developed sense of vengeance is going to get you into trouble some day.”
Source: Daily Mail