Daniel Boria was not the first person to see Up and think it would be a great idea to fly around in his own balloon chair. But he’ll stand as an eternal example of how thoughtless this kind of stunt can be.
A judge in the Canadian city of Calgary did not find Boria’s actions to be a laughing matter when he handed down his sentence on Friday. “There was nothing fantastic, fun or exhilarating about it”, Judge Bruce Frasier said. “There is no precedent for so foolish an escapade.” Reading the full riot act, Frasier also called the stunt “unconscionably stupid”.
If Boria had only put his own life in danger, that would certainly be acceptable. It is admirable that he pulled it off without killing himself. But he floated into an area where commercial airlines fly, not to mention the danger of a fully grown man falling onto the city from thousands of feet in the air.
Police immediately got involved and Borgia bragged to local news, last year, about seeing a flight go right below him at one point during his journey.
Now, he’ll have to pay $US26,500 ($34,402) in fines. That’s in addition to what he says was about $US20,000 ($25,964) that he shelled out to produce the publicity stunt. All in the name of promoting his company. Local police suggested he get a billboard next time.
It would appear that Borgia is unapologetic and doesn’t see why the stunt was so misguided. In fact, he’s just doubling down on delusions of grandeur. “[They] didn’t charge the Wright brothers,” he said. That’s true, at the time the Wright brothers were inventing human flight there were no commercial flights to endanger and they performed their tests in rural areas.
On the steps of the courthouse, he put on a Boston accent and recited a variation of JFK’s “We choose to go to the moon”-speech. My man, you are not inspiring anyone to the peak levels of human ingenuity. You’re a bro shilling a business by putting others in harm’s way.