Thursday, November 18, 2010

I'm a Whore....for Convenience

Here at the start of the holiday traveling season, there's a lot of uproar about the new TSA screening procedures. I have to admit I haven't studied them backward and forward, but the gist seems to be:

  • It's gonna take a whole lot longer to get through the god damned security line
  • There will be front and back body scanning
  • Upon refusal to submit to a body scan, there will be groping. Oh yes there will
While I don't welcome yet more delays in my air travel experience and I do think that these measures just add to the growing list of Things That Do Fuckall to Prevent Terrorist Attacks, I'm really a little perplexed and amused by the amount of outcry among people about the impropriety of the body scans and their bastard alternative, the expanded pat-down. There's are movement asking people to Opt Out of body scans and go for the pat-down or even break up with air travel altogether to protest these measures.

I've thought long and hard about this. And I've come to the conclusion that: I really don't care if the TSA sees me naked. I mean, really. It's not anything anyone hasn't seen before. And as far as someone getting off on my scanned image or about the world being able to tell it's me if it ends up on Oh PLEASE. These image scans will be about as erotic as an x-ray or a health class filmstrip. So if some fat TSA creep wants to use the body scanner as his government-issue x-ray specs, whatevs. It's not enough to make me opt for the body search, which in my opinion has MORE risk for offending behavior. And as for the expanded searching, I'm perfectly capable of screaming bloody murder if there's a bad touch, and I encourage others to do so. It's within our rights--just ask Penn Jillette.

Am I REALLY going to drive 2000 miles to visit my parents as an alternative to flying? That may be your choice, but it ain't mine. (Yes, I know it's about larger principle, but if we become a cloistered, provincial nation that spends 2/3 of its vacation time numbing its butt on long car trips, the terrorists really have won.)

I'm not willing to forego air travel or raise a stink about scanners. But I AM willing to ask for concessions. Hey, TSA, how about if in exchange for a body scan, you let me and my family keep our fucking shoes on when we go through security? A chance to bypass the family goat rodeo that is security line shoe removal is worth a peep.

And if I let you get to second base in the pat-down, what say you let me take ALL of my hair and beauty products in my carryon instead of trying to wedge negligible amounts of a select few into a 1-quart baggie? Do you think I just get out of bed in the morning looking like this? It's takes a lot of work to look this good for you, TSA.

In all seriousness, I'm concerned with the usefulness of these tactics and where it will end. But at this point, not concerned enough to get bent out of shape for my Thanksgiving trip next week or any near-future travel I may have. HOWEVER-- if the TSA introduces airport shoe mirrors, I may have to raise an eyebrow.

1 comment:

dazzlingbetty said...

so happy you're back in the blog business; it's delightful to read your writing. also, I concur re convenience. I was totally out of it in terms of TSA procedures before I flew to SFO and back last week and was naked x-rayed both ways (sounds even worse than it was), which gave me a vantage point to observe the gropefests, and I felt somewhat better about my choice. you get your choice of humiliations, given that, as you say, let's pick the one that's more convenient for us.

years ago, we had our moment of thinking, "that's the worst job in the world" when a TSA officer had to search Leo who was nearly 2 and for reasons that are too dumb to type out had a one way ticket while traveling w/ us and somehow got flagged to be pulled out of line and inspected--while in the throes of a vomitous stomach virus and with a whole lot of mixed business in his diaper. they had to do a pat down of this tiny kid and I was all, have at it! good Lord, there is not enough Purell in the world to want to handle a kid in that state who is not your own.