Saturday, December 26, 2009

Airport security.

Let's recap, shall we?

9/11: All hell breaks loose, of course.
Result: All planes are grounded for a few days, and a generalized assault on civil liberties begins.

Later that year: Some nutjob named Richard Reid attempts to light his shoes on fire.
Result: Now you have to take your shoes off and put them through the scanner when you try to get on a flying machine.

August '06: Someone was going to blow up a plane using liquid smuggled on-board.
Result: No carry-on liquids or gels over 100 mL, and even those you have to put in a separate Ziploc bag. This blogger suspects a conspiracy hatched by the US government, the Ziploc Corporation of America and, of course, the Illuminati.

Yesterday: Allegedly, some moron from Nigeria tried to light a powder on fire as his plane was getting readly to land in Detroit.
Result: Nobody's really sure how this one is going to turn out but, in the meantime, anyone boarding any flight going from Canada to the US is going to be searched. Twice. Reports today suggest that flights to the US could be delayed up to 2 hours while all this extra screening is going on, which is really handy if you're flying to (or through) the US, which I am, tomorrow, on what is already the busiest travel day of Pearson Airport's year. Reports also suggest that nobody will be allowed to leave their seat when the plane is less than one hour away from landing, lest they want to pull this sort of chicainery as the plane is landing (as if that's any better than any other part of a flight).

Part of the problem is that, aside from the whole liquids/gels thing, all of this stuff is reactionary rather than, well, "actionary." Do you honestly think that, today, someone is going to try to hijack a plane with a box cutter, smuggle something in their shoes, or haul a two-litre bottle of liquid explosives in their carry-on? (The last and latest one is too vague to nail to the wall, which is why there's just a generalized increase in confusion about what to do.)

Three things strike me as particularly vexing.

1. Only Israel, a country whose enemies routinely talk about wiping off the map, has the level of airport security that we have. Also, Israel is pretty crazy (and possibly not-entirely-in-the-right itself when it comes to international relations, I'm just sayin', is all).

2. Enough, al Qaeda. You don't like us. We get it. Let us live our heathen lives and burn for an eternity in hell while you nail virgin poontang forever in heaven, or something like that. (Personally, I like a woman with a little experience in the sack.)

3. Why does this shit have to happen the day before I get on one of these pressurized flying tubes, anyway? Seriously, asshole, it's the holidays — chill out now and bomb something in February or April or maybe November Sweeps, if you're feeling plucky. In the meantime, pass the Yule Log, go get some Boxing Day deals, and stop trying to ruin my impending vacation.

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