Because the Night

I mean, seriously, is there anything that the Roots can’t play? This is pretty good

Might just tide me over till I can get my mitts on the new box set


Train in Vain

Flying used to be a grand adventure and the shifting gaze of paranoia is reaching epidemic proportions of imagined safety, not mention taking all the fun out of it.

One of things that rankled me during the Presidential election in 2004 was Vice President Cheney admonition that we needed to vote for the then current administration to “stay safe.” That struck me as fear mongering instead of deserving to be reelected.

Not long after, George Carlin was delivering a hilarious but true rant about the state of airport flying in a post 9/11 environment and while detailing all the steps being taken were tantamount to basically doing nothing but making the “white people feel safer.”

If you haven’t seen this, be horrified.

What is that accomplishing? I mean other than trauma. What compels an agent to be qualified to do that? I know if that was attempted on my kids, I know that both their mother and I would be vocal, probably to our detriment.

I don’t have any real concern with the scanner as we are just blobs anyway and I kind of thing the “if you touch my junk” guy was spoiling for some notoriety, but something about all of this just seems off.

With the shifting degrees of enforcement from airport to airport, it is difficult to know what to expect when you fly. TSA staff is acting as cops without being trained as them. This recent round of aggresiveness is achieving a lot of bad public face episodes, but not curtailing anything. Do we really think potential trouble will come from somebody checking in with something taped to them, with these procedures in place? Maybe that is the point.

Aside from the nightmares that child in the video is dealing with, I can’t help but wonder what is getting accomplished. The safety first folks will point to how all has been calm since 9/11. My problem with that logic is that that was seemingly a million to one shot and things in our skies were pretty calm prior as well.

My spouse and I have told our kids to be respectful of the badges and authority figures, that they are there to help. I was worried for my daughter when we flew a few years ago and I was asked to step into the chamber that shot air at you randomly. Being a very pale (almost pink)  guy for Buffalo, I’m pretty sure I was filling a quota.

I certainly empathize with the woman in Florida who wanted to avoid the full body scanner, asked a question and for her trouble, wound up handcuffed to a chair while a TSA Agent tore her ticket up (which was documented on youtube as well).

There isn’t a consistency to how things get done, which I think adds to the uncertainty and fear. Much like turning the customs spots in Buffalo and Fort Erie into fortresses of authority, while in some border areas you can just walk, it’s tough to predict which airport procedures are being done in genuine safety and others are police state preludes.

The terrorists didn’t win because we didn’t all go shopping like the administration asked us to, they’re winning because we’re doing this to each other.

Not sure what the answer actually is, but this sure doesn’t seem like it.