OK. I opined the other day that something didn’t feel right about the new adventure in airline security that has us virtually standing buck naked in the queue or having someone probe in areas where the sun don’t shine.
Folks, I am all for homeland security and for keeping asshats off airplanes, but these new procedures won’t fly.
And I guess I’m not alone in having some reservations about this. Consider this excerpt from an article in the NYT by Susan Stellin, “Pat-Downs at Airports Prompt Complaints“:
“I didn’t really expect her to touch my vagina through my pants,” said Kaya McLaren, an elementary schoolteacher from Cle Elum, Wash., who was patted down at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport last Saturday because the body scanner detected a tissue and a hair band in her pocket.
The agency has so far responded to the complaints by calling for cooperation and patience from passengers, citing polls showing broad support for the full-body scanning machines.
Still, it remains to be seen whether travelers approve of the pat-downs, especially as millions more people experience them for the first time during the holiday travel season.
Dare I say it? Woot. This will be a fiasco of national proportions over the Thanksgiving holiday. It was tough and frustrating enough to get through security before the start of these “new normal” conditions. Sheesh.
And this isn’t just the rant of a pajama-clad citizen journalist. Charles Krauthammer has an excellent article in the Washington Post, “Don’t touch my junk.” It’s well worth the full read. Here’s part:
Ah, the airport, where modern folk heroes are made. The airport, where that inspired flight attendant did what everyone who’s ever been in the spam-in-a-can crush of a flying aluminum tube – where we collectively pretend that a clutch of peanuts is a meal and a seat cushion is a “flotation device” – has always dreamed of doing: pull the lever, blow the door, explode the chute, grab a beer, slide to the tarmac and walk through the gates to the sanity that lies beyond. Not since Rick and Louis disappeared into the Casablanca fog headed for the Free French garrison in Brazzaville has a stroll on the tarmac thrilled so many.
And the point:
And now three months later, the newest airport hero arrives. His genius was not innovation in getting out, but deconstructing the entire process of getting in. John Tyner, cleverly armed with an iPhone to give YouTube immortality to the encounter, took exception to the TSA guard about to give him the benefit of Homeland Security’s newest brainstorm – the upgraded, full-palm, up the groin, all-body pat-down. In a stroke, the young man ascended to myth, or at least the next edition of Bartlett’s, warning the agent not to “touch my junk.”
Not quite the 18th-century elegance of “Don’t Tread on Me,” but the age of Twitter has a different cadence from the age of the musket. What the modern battle cry lacks in archaic charm, it makes up for in full-body syllabic punch.
Don’t touch my junk is the anthem of the modern man, the Tea Party patriot, the late-life libertarian, the midterm election voter. Don’t touch my junk, Obamacare – get out of my doctor’s examining room, I’m wearing a paper-thin gown slit down the back. Don’t touch my junk, Google – Street View is cool, but get off my street. Don’t touch my junk, you airport security goon – my package belongs to no one but me, and do you really think I’m a Nigerian nut job preparing for my 72-virgin orgy by blowing my johnson to kingdom come?
Don’t tread on me.
Don’t touch my junk.
Hmm. Some politician is going to like the sound of that as we head into 2012.
Sarah, you reading this?