A Fear of Fear of Flying

Christmas Day, 2009. A man attempts to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 somewhere over what I’m guessing was Southern Ontario with a package of pentaerythritol tetranitrate strapped to his crotch. The bomb failed, he only succeeded in burning his cock off and thankfully the passengers noticed this, put out the fire, and stopped him from hurting anyone else.

So of course this is a non-issue. No one got hurt, the attack failed. The only reason to talk about it is if you want to over-exaggerate and say that it’s horribly horrendous that a terrorist was even allowed near the plane. However it seems the news media is reacting as if the attack was successful. I think this might be getting more ink than Air India Flight 182 did in it’s day. You know Flight 182, probably not by name so I’ll refresh your memory. It was the last successful bombing of an aeroplane (that I know of) back in 1985. (9/11 wasn’t really a bombing, it was a steering-a-plane-into-a-building.)

So what is the TSA’s response to what I would call a victory? Increase security and treat it like a failure.

So I figure now would be a good time to make fun of the airline industry and the TSA, and tell them why they suck.

The last time I went flying on an aeroplane I was pissed, not at the planes, I loved the planes. The experience of flying was exhilarating. But I was pissed at the airports. I probably spent an hour or two waiting and the people there were very inconsiderate. Now, I have OCD, so I don’t like to be touched, and people at the airports were beyond inconsiderate. One even laughed when I told him about my OCD. So now I have decided to never fly again. I love aeroplanes, hate airports.

There are several problems with the current model of airport security, first of all, the no-fly list, which I’m probably on by now. It’s basically a list of names of suspected terrorists who are no longer allowed to fly. There are two problems with this: First off, people who happen to have the same name as a suspected terrorist will get accused of terrorism. Secondly, and this is one few talk about, if a terrorist is on the list, all they need to do is get a fake ID and there is no problem. Fake IDs would be easy to come by for an international terrorism organization. But no one mentions that little problem.

Plus all this security creates a big security hole, as noticed by one, Phillip DeFranco. He had the idea of setting off a bomb at the airport screening area, killing all those people who are waiting up to several hours because they want to be safe. At least it will be an ironic death. I personally wouldn’t mind an ironic death. It will give people something to laugh about.

Anyway, there is also the new security measures being put in place after the old security measures worked too well. For starters this has reignited the debate over the full body scans. You know, the low-frequency x-rays that go through your clothes but bounce off your skin. Giving the TSA officials a good look at your junk. Personally I don’t mind. I’d prefer not to but it seems to me to be a small price to pay. I think the only discomfort that people get with being seen naked is the idea someone would be turned on by that. But if all you do every day is see people naked, of all shapes and sizes and genders, then I think they would start to think of it as passé. It’s their job, they can be professional about it, they’re like doctors. Besides the alternative is being frisked and I figure if they’re gonna find out what side you packed your genitals on this morning anyways, it might as well be through the method that doesn’t involve touching.

Which brings me to frisking. It’s important to point out that in the general world, frisking is reserved for those suspected of criminal activity. Which really describes in a nutshell what the mentality of the TSA is. For those who don’t understand what I’m talking about: The TSA thinks all airline passengers are criminals.

Then there is the possibility of an electronics ban on international flights. I’m not sure if this is true, but if so it’s a major concern. I don’t think they realize, international flights are just as likely to be subjects of terrorist attacks as domestic flights. But I guess they simply don’t want to inconvenience their own citizens. Then there is the issue of…why electronics? You including laptops and Nintendo DSs in that? (DSs is the plural of DS right?) If so I think you need to realize, a four-hour flight is a long fucking boring time. People need to keep themselves occupied, either by doing work (offline of course) on their laptop, or watching a movie on their laptop, or playing a game…on their laptop…or DS. Now you may have in-flight entertainment consoles, but last I checked they are either really expensive or shit, either way, not good. Thankfully this is probably all bullshit…at least for the time being, but I hope they realize it’s a bad idea before they start taking it too seriously.

It’s important to note that 100 per cent safety is impossible, not without significant drawbacks. I have always been interested in politics and if you elect me as President of Earth I can promise you 100 per cent safety, but you are not going to like it. Think George Orwell’s 1984. First off, no guns, knives, or arguments. To avoid fighting, people will be watched 24/7 by a network of security cameras stationed everywhere, even in your house. To compensate for the lack of knives and other sharp implements, all food is prepared exclusively by highly trained chefs, and no steaks or anything else that would need to be cut, all you get is a spoon. Hunting and fishing are banned, as are all sports, including ice skating and boating. (Is boating a sport?) Most hobbies will no longer be possible due to these regulations but these hobbies can be simulated using recreational electronic devices…video games. See, 100 per cent safety, and all you have to do is give up every freedom you hold dear. Is that what you want? Is that what anyone wants? We need to find a proper balance, and when we are treated like criminals because we want to see our cousins in Ohio for Christmas, we don’t have a proper balance. We need to look at each new security regulation and judge it for how effective it is, versus how annoying it is, how humiliating it is, and how much a violation of our basic human rights it is.

The most I want to see when it comes to airport security is a chemical scan of my luggage, (which they did at the local airport the last time I flew) and a metal detection, and if you really want, go for the full body scan. Someone seeing my junk is a small price to pay to prevent the already unlikely chance of getting blown up. Anything more is too much. Finally, I’d like to point out that cars kill more North Americans per year than terrorism. What are we doing about that?

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