Behold the chair

Elan Gale says haha it was just a joke. Or a story or a test or an experiment or a lie. It was untrue. It was a fiction, an invention, an imaginary incident.


elan gale @theyearofelan

Here is Diana sitting in a chair

The photo is of an empty chair. Geddit?

He tweets again to say he meant Diane. Then he wraps up:


elan gale @theyearofelan

I conclude by saying hopefully a few people got a few laughs over a slow Thanksgiving weekend

 So it was comedy, staged for the world’s entertainment.

What genre of comedy? Humiliation comedy; public shaming comedy; hipster guy taunting an unhip woman in unhip jeans comedy, with the pretext that she was self-absorbed and slightly rude to a flight attendant. That kind of comedy. “Edgy” – which is hipster-speak for mean.

I see it as more of a Milgram experiment than a witty short story. Much more. The fact that so many people admired his reported self-righteous bullying tells us a lot, whether that’s what Elan Gale intended or not. Way too many people pushed the dial all the way up, merely because the guy in the white coat hipster hair told them to.


  1. says

    What genre of comedy?

    The genre of incredibly stupid statements, originally intended to be serious, that get rebranded as “I was just kidding!” after they’re debunked and exposed for the horseshit they are.

  2. says

    …and as I forgot to add in my comment on the previous thread:

    Whatever Gale is, his supporters on the Diane story are a bunch of sociopaths and moral imbeciles.

  3. dianne says

    What genre of comedy?

    Pathetic. Even without the abuse component, it was trite and done 60 years ago. Confirming his status as completely talentless.

  4. says

    So now we know: “Diane” was really Barack Obama.

    I think we’ll need Clint Eastwood to verify that, after interrogating both chairs. And reviewing “Diane’s” long-form vault-copy birth certificate.

  5. Bjarte Foshaug says

    Elan Gale says haha it was just a joke. Or a story or a test or an experiment or a lie. It was untrue. It was a fiction, an invention, an imaginary incident.

    And since the story turned out to be false in retrospect True Skepticism™ dictates that the people who applauded for him were justified in reacting the way they did given the information available to them at the time. Another logical consequence of True Skepticism™ is that if the story had been true, his behavior would have been completely justified.

  6. carlie says

    You know, when Clint Eastwood insulted an empty chair, people had no problem realizing that was a really stupid thing to do.

  7. quixote says

    What else it says about Gale who was grossly rude in order to, he says, teach politeness to others is that he’s a mutant who is missing the entire chromosome on which the irony gene is found.

  8. Anthony K says

    Ah, so they weren’t both being douchebags, as many of your interlocutors on the ‘Bullying at 35 thousand feet’ thread have insisted.

    He was simply being douche enough for two.

    Well played, Mr. Gale, well played. Not many people can play the roles of the villain and also that of the second villain who gets mad at the first villain, but I guess all that reality show training must have paid off.

  9. Kels says

    On the other hand, since he’s already made it clear he can’t be trusted, maybe he’s now claiming it was made up because he actually feels bad on some level for being so awful. So maybe Diane really did exist, we’ve only got his word either way, and that’s not something I can believe.

  10. says

    Wow. He really is a trolling little man-child. “Hahaha just jokes LOL #yolo !!11”

    To all the brave defenders showing up in various threads defending this dumbfuck: slow clap.

    Not only did you side with someone butting in and being an asshole where his presence wasn’t even required (seriously, cabin crew are equipped to deal with worse than a single irate passenger), you didn’t even check to see if the account was legit. You could be excused for not checking the facts, however, as noone else seems to have done so including the major media outlets who ran the story – but, to reiterate, you defended a guy who not only butted in where he wasn’t wanted or needed but continued to act like an asshole and snark his target behind her back after he sat down. And now he’s got a little shit-eating grin on his face because he pranked the whole world with this bullshit and got you to pat him on the back for it.

    At this point, the fact of the hoax is kind of irrelevant because you stepped up to the plate for a juvenile little fuckwit.

  11. savagemutt says

    So not only is the story fake, but the best fake story he could invent (intended to make him look like Good Guy Greg) still made him end up looking like a complete asshat.

    That’s kind of sad.

  12. says

    And this will IMPROVE his career in the “Bachelor” “reality Tv” world he works in.
    You know he has earned back-slaps and high-fives from his co-workers and his star amongst them is on the rise.

    Because this shit is exactly what “reality TV” is ABOUT.

    Being an ass isn’t just a hobby, it’s his job.

  13. sailor1031 says

    Still way past time for daddy – or some other adult – to take this creep’s twitter account away.

  14. says

    Joe @ 14 makes a great point – if this was real this clown might, at a stretch, be forgiven for an emotional outburst (but probably not for the followup tweet-hate). But no, he simply thought it’d be funny to pretend to be a colossal two-fisted wanker.

    What the complete and utter fuck.

  15. Brea says

    “Way too many people pushed the dial all the way up”

    They sure did. On both sides.

    As I mentioned on your other thread, this has turned out to be quite the interesting, if unintentional, social experiment. People decided to support either Elan or Diane then subsequently reduce and/or exaggerate Elan or Diane’s behaviour based on whether they were trying to justify and/or condemn it. Throughout all of this every report I’ve read has cherry-picked the parts of the story that will sustain the polarisation for as long as possible. Then, finally, people have tried to use the revelation that it was all a hoax to support their argument further and try to identify egg on their opponents faces.

    There have been so many parallels between how this has played out and how the fictional confrontation played out that Elan and Diane’s childish back and forth offers us a perfect microcosm of how poor discourse in gender politics is.

  16. says

    Brea, you’re making vague general statements about what both sides did, without reference to any specific thing that either side did. That kinda sounds like a phony “equivalency” argument.

  17. says

    I took a side here, so of course I may be biased; but I didn’t see “Diane’s” defenders doing much distorting or minimizing — we all admitted that “Diane’s” actions, if real, were uncalled-for and wrong. It really doesn’t take ANY such distortion to see how vile and petty Elan’s actions were — both the imagined ones and the real ones.

  18. says

    @ 19 – no, that’s not what happened. What happened was that people who thought Elan was a bully said Diane’s mild rudeness was not a valid reason for Elan to bully her for the duration of a multi-hour flight.

    I consistently said that telling a flight attendant “this is not about you” is rude.

  19. Jackie: ruining feminism one fabulous accessory at a time says

    That’s his idea of entertainment?
    …and he works in what industry again?
    That explains so much.

  20. Brea says


    That’s exactly what happened. Your example is one thing of many things that happened not the sole reaction of everyone who was criticising Gale. You referring to Diane’s behaviour as ‘mild rudeness’ is a reduction. In fact, I found your posts about this situation via someone linking to your ‘cancer post’ on the New Statesman using it to justify Diane slapping Elan. What was the relevance of your post if not to encourage that sort of opinion?

    “I consistently said that telling a flight attendant “this is not about you” is rude.”

    No you didn’t. Maybe as a very cursory aside, but that’s it.

  21. says

    Yes I did. It wasn’t once and it wasn’t cursory or an aside. You’re wrong.

    What was the relevance of my post? To say that a woman being self-absorbed on an airplane and mildly rude to a flight attendant is not a justification for a random guy to persecute her for the duration of the flight.

  22. Brea says


    That you seemingly synonymise a desire to see more objectivity with a statement of superiority is part of the broader issue.

    There exists a pressure that some people feel to pick a side for fear of being seen as being an indecisive fence-sitter or as acting above it all.

    Yours is a personal comment though and I don’t wish to respond in kind so I will just wish you happiness over this festive period in whatever way you intend on celebrating it.

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