A Divine Tribute to the TSA

Since there is such a hubbub brewing over the latest “travel restrictions” being handed down by our paranoid Federal Overlords in the guise of new security procedures, I’d like to dedicate the following pop classic to the TSA:

This is all ridiculous to me. I’m not going to go Activist Mode in protest, but the last thing I need as a frequent traveler is to be felt up by some bearded dude with garlic breath and a cheetos belly. I think the other option, where said bearded dude and his giggling band of merry men get to ogle my near naked body via a scan machine, would probably be more traumatic for them anyway.

I understand the outrage so many people are expressing, especially folks with kids. I’m also massively embarrassed. Can America really get any dumber? As the article I linked earlier points out, there is this telling fact:

According to a new CBS poll, however, four out of five Americans support the use of the full-body scanners. It’s possible this is a bigger deal on the internet than it is in reality.

When you consider an entry in the latest Harper’s Index from Harper’s Magazine, two out of five Americans also believe Jesus Christ will return to Earth before the year 2050. That’s 40-freakin’-percent of the population! It absolutely boggles the mind.

A vast swath of the US population consists of dumbasses. You heard it here first, people.

I’m all for Redemption and Second Chances

But I still say, “Fuck this guy!”

Speaking of Travel

This is a great little essay in The Atlantic from Christopher Buckley called “My Year at Sea: Recalling the Splendid Isolation of Travel by Freighter.” It isn’t that long; here’s a taste:

I remember standing in the crow’s nest as we entered the misty Panama Canal, and the strange sensation as the 4,000-ton ship rose higher and higher inside the lock. I remember dawn coming up over the Strait of Malacca; ragamuffin kids on the dock in Sumatra laughing as they pelted us with bananas; collecting dead flying fish off the deck and bringing them to our sweet, fat, toothless Danish cook to fry up for breakfast. I remember sailing into Hong Kong harbor and seeing my first junk; steaming upriver toward Bangkok, watching the sun rise and set fire to the gold-leafed pagoda roofs; climbing off the stern down a wriggly rope ladder into a sampan, paddling for dear life across the commerce-mad river into the jungle, where it was suddenly quiet and then suddenly loud with monkey-chatter and bird-shriek, the moonlight lambent on the palm fronds.

I think that is as fine a paragraph as I’ve read lately, even if Buckley’s dad is an asshole. I love travel writing like this, and stuff by guys like Paul Theroux and Bruce Chatwin. A couple pieces by Catherine Watson have also come across my radar lately. In one she describes a visit to the resting place of Robert Louis Stevenson, the other to Mark Twain’s grave. I’m definitely going to check out her books. Anyway, these articles came to my attention via a travel website called WorldHum, which is fantastic. I mean, check out the link to this photo essay featuring nine of the world’s oldest maps. Awesome!

Enough of this jibber jabber, though. This book came in the mail yesterday, and I’m only about a third of the way through looking at all the pretty pictures.

Unexpected: 30 Years of Patagonia Catalog Photography is a compendium of the 100-plus most compelling photos Patagonia has published – and a celebration of wilderness and outdoor-sport photography as an art and a practice

8 thoughts on “A Divine Tribute to the TSA”

  1. >Chris, you do know why full body scanners exist, right?It's because we're too politically correct to do what the Israelis do, which is profile.If we profiled, we probably wouldn't have a need for body scanners.

  2. >You going anywhere interesting, Heff? I have a couple trips in the next 3-4 weeks; Missoula won't have any fancy scanners, and I roll through there often enough all the TSA people know me. What's a little hand-on-genital groping among friends, you know? Then I have to make return trips through Moline, IL; Tucson, AZ; and Portland, OR all between now and mid-December. Should be interesting.

  3. >This must give terrorists the biggest kick of all–watching what lengths we will go to to deal with *yesterday's* threats. If it takes any longer to go through these lines, you might as well drive or even walk.

  4. >The whole thing makes me uncomfortable. I mean, if they want to look at me on a scanner, it's their eyes. But subjecting my kid to something like that? Not a chance.

  5. >When I was living in Ohio, for work trips if it was within 8-9 hours driving, I drove. The hassle of dealing with airports and flights and connections pretty much made two-to-three hours of air time AT LEAST an eight hour ordeal. Anymore, now that I'm in MT, I don't get opportunities to drive for work trips anymore.

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