Thursday, August 17, 2006

Flakes on a Plane

Over here, she's just another nutcase:

BRAINTREE, Vt. -- An enigma on Flight 923, Catherine Mayo was a mystery in her small Vermont town, too.

Mayo, 59, caused a major scare when she passed notes to crew members, urinated on the floor and made cryptic remarks to crew members on the London-to-Washington, D.C., flight.

Her attorney, federal public defender Page Kelley, said Mayo was "just barely lucid" when they spoke. "She's got some very serious mental health problems," said Kelley.

Over there, though, she's a heroic "American journalist" speaking truth to power.

In a rambling 2003 column for the Daily Times of Pakistan entitled "An American in Pakistan: A new kind of arrogance," Mayo criticized the United States.

The column for the Daily Times, one of the most respected dailies in Pakistan, is behind a subscription wall, but someone has kindly copied it, with approving comments, here.

They also love Chomsky over there, needless to say. But he only pisses on the plane in a metaphoric sense. Back to the domestic news story:

Mayo's son, Josh, 31, described his mother as a peace activist and said she had been in Pakistan since March. She has traveled there often since making a pen pal _ prior to Sept. 11, 2001. The pen pal hasn't been allowed to visit the U.S., he said. She dated a police officer there, he said.

"I guess she just had a bit of a bad time on the plane and everybody's a little paranoid," he said.

I guess. It's up to us not to be so paranoid.