22 Oct 2021

Airline Security



Spencer Klavan is perfectly justified in ranting against this intolerable, absolutely shameful stupidity. It shows what sheep people have become. My parents’ generation would never have put up with this.

Walking through an airport these days is like digging through sedimentary layers of useless government regulation. The TSA security line is where every hare-brained bureaucratic policy goes to die. Except they don’t die: they sit, fossilized in horrible suspended animation, crust upon crust of outdated protection against misunderstood crises.

Here is what happens now when you board a plane. You have to put on your COVID-19 mask as you approach the first security checkpoint, where you will be asked to take off your mask to verify your identity. Then you put on your mask but take off your belt and shoes, preparing to irradiate your body and your possessions in x-ray scanners. If anything seems amiss you will be apologetically groped by some poor functionary. Both of you will be too embarrassed by the indecency of it all to look one another in the eye, and the agent will be so eager to get the whole thing over with that if you really were hiding anything, he certainly wouldn’t find it. …

Maybe you buy a ten-dollar cardboard sandwich to eat on the plane, where you will be accosted if you do not put your mask back on between bites. Mercifully at long last you will land. Then the flight attendants will remind you to exit the plane slowly, leaving spaces between rows. This is because you need to maintain six feet of distance from the people with whom, for the past few hours, you have sustained a level and duration of physical proximity you otherwise reserve for your spouse. Safety first, you see.

The cumulative effect of this elaborate kabuki show is humiliation. It is shameful and emasculating to lurch through a series of stylized gestures that obviously make no sense. Everyone involved can see there is no coherent logic behind the several procedures which now govern airline travel. When tested, they do not appear particularly effective. Many of them obviously contradict and frustrate one another. Being forced to do irrational things, like being forced to say things you don’t believe, is a form of insult.

These nonsensical parlor tricks, dreamed up by inept politicians to assuage their own creeping sense of inadequacy, induce a superstitious kind of comfort in irrational neurotics and a crushing sense of demoralization in normal people. For decades our leaders have been too cowardly or sly to say what they were really after, too out-of-touch to see or care how their ineptitude would affect us, and too distant from the consequences of their actions to feel any accountability to real, demonstrable results.


HT: Vanderleun.


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