Yes, it’s all over the news. The airport security backlash over increased personal pat-downs and low radiation security scanners invading our privacy is beginning to crest. These measures are invasive and wholly unnecessary to our security. People are finally beginning to wake up and smell the bullshit that what is being promoted is just smoke and mirrors.
After 9/11 companies saw an opportunity to capitalize on fear. Fear, that greatest of motivators used over the millennia to herd people, like lowing cattle, in whatever direction those in power desired. Today profit equals power.
I limited my flying after 9/11 not due to fear of terrorist threat, but for two reasons.
- It seems that nearly every time I fly I end up with an upper respiratory infection. This is due largely to the recycled air pumped throughout the flying capsule and being forced to breathe in the airborne illnesses brought onboard by self-entitled infected passengers whose own travel convenience is more important than the health of their fellow travelers. Think about this. A sneeze spreads germs right? Now think about that sneeze being spread throughout the air with a forced air system. So one three-day trip can end up laying me out for ten days coughing and hacking like a respiratory therapist’s waiting room unable to breathe and wishing I was dead.
- Inconvenience. Having to arrive at the airport two hours before departure time adds four extra hours to a roundtrip. What makes it even more inconvenient is making the arrangements to arrive at the airport early only to have the flight delay for hours or even cancelled. This has occurred twice out of my last four flights. So I’m batting .500.
I used to love to fly. My favorite part was taking off. The plane’s engines spooling up, that lurch into movement, increasing speed on the tarmac as the engines begin to howl and that bump as the plane just seems to leap into the air…it was such an awesome feeling. I actually miss it.
There were times when on a Friday after work I would take a weekend bag to the airport on standby for a flight to another city just for a quick trip away or to attend an out-of-town concert last-minute and then return on Sunday. I could get to the airport only 30 minutes before the flight and still get a discounted airfare because they wanted to simply fill the seats. Now it’s like they are just daring you to book a flight.
These days you have to dress for security. Slip-off shoes so that you can stand in line with other shoeless passengers, walking on the same cold hard floor as the guy with athlete’s foot ahead of you. Wear elastic waist pants because taking off and putting on a belt is a hassle. Check everything so you don’t have to buy shampoo at your destination. Place your hands over your head while being frisked like you’re entering a drug cartel sit down. You can’t carry a bottle of water with you, after all, the concession stand needs to sell you a bottle at 500% over the street sale price. Remember the days when you could carry a hip flask? Remember the days when your drinks on the flight were complimentary? Remember the days when you didn’t have to pay an exorbitant sum to check your bags?
Well we aren’t going to see much of that change any time in the near future. And there are companies out there with contracts for multimillion dollar machines that will do what the comic book ads for X-Ray Specs used to promise. Enable some schlep who got rejected for the line cook position at Burger King to see your winky and determine that you aren’t trying to smuggle Vienna Sausages on the plane to avoid paying for that $3 mouthful bag of pretzels.
The pat-downs are an invasion, anyone can see that.
But I have a solution.
The airline industry should employ strippers for TSA security. Guys would gladly stand in line to get felt up by a silicone enhanced blonde. Hell they might even find an excuse to leave the gate and circle around again for another trip through the line.
In fact, they might even pay for the privilege.
Hmmm… I smell another profit center and it smells like jasmine.