{ thinking out loud about the things i care about }

Beware the Sky Blankets and Other Ridiculous Things

On Christmas day, a man tried to explode the plane he was on using a bomb in his underwear. His actions were thwarted by a bomb that didn’t work properly and other passengers, but perhaps predictably (and disappointingly if you think like me) the TSA dumped a whole pile of arbitrary new flight dos and don’ts on the heads of travelers at this, the peak travel season. These rules included, among other things, a restriction on passenger movement during the last hour of travel over American airspace. For the last hour of travel, passengers are not permitted to use blankets, pillows, laptops, the in-flight televisions, or move about the cabin at all. The only thing passengers are permitted to do for the last hour of travel, it seems, is to sit perfectly upright in their seats with their hands on the arm rests.

I am not afraid of terrorists when I fly. Not even a little bit. Partly because the chances of being killed by a terrorist while in a plane is 1 in 10 million, but mostly because being afraid to fly — being afraid to carry on the every-day actions of my life — is how terrorists win, and I’m stubborn enough and proud enough and some might say stupid enough to defy those people who prey on my fear.

You know what I am afraid of, though? A country and a society that responds to 1 in 10 million odds with nonsensical security theatre that restricts my right to fucking pee. Every time we give up a right — even a tiny, seemingly insignificant one — the terrorists win. We beg not for real security, but for a pacifier of safety to suck on, and for it we’ll give up anything and that terrifies me. It terrifies me, and enrages me, and frankly it offends me.

And now? Two bloggers are being subpoenaed for posting the wackadoo new TSA protocols.

Anyway. Fuck you, TSA.

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