Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Safety, Amrrrrrca Style...

I know you've been saying, "why hasn't David taken on the TSA yet?!" Well, I meant to after a recent airport experience, but was sidetracked until I read THIS today. So, finally, here it is:

I was, as I do a few times a year, flying from LAX to Syracuse, NY. Going through security at LAX, I removed my shoes, jacket, hoodie, and laptop, laid them all out in trays and sent them through the scanner. The young guys working the scanner were DEEP in an important convo in slangy urban dialogue comparing the merits of the ORIGINAL (and FAR superior, I might add) Dawn Of The Dead film, to the lame "REIMAGINING." Due to the important nature of this discussion, I'm not sure they looked even once at the items scrolling by on the x-ray screen. In fact, I'd forgotten to take my baggie of "liquids" out of my carry on and no one noticed. At least I wasn't racial profiled as the Jewnibomber...I don't think anyone was. And save for the woman who was literally going INSANE at the check in counter and thinking that using all her toiletries in front of the check in agent would make them acceptable carry-on items (I just can't possibly do justice to the explaining the fits that this woman was having...it was truly incredible), it seems anyone could just sort of slide whatever through the x-ray.

A week later, on the way back to LA, I went through security at the Syracuse airport. This is not a TINY airport, but it is in no way a major hub for anyone. And yet, the stately, old, white TSA agents in Syracuse seem to think it's the Mecca (enjoy the pun) of the Islamic Terrorist movement. Every bag is meticulously scrutinized, tested for chemicals, sniffed, prodded, poked, licked, tossed, and tussled until not only have they confirmed that no contraband is present, but that they have also crushed your freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, greased up your undergarments with their sweaty fingers, and played seven games of solitaire on your laptop. I don't need security to be friendly and fun. I don't hold them to the presidential standard of "person I want to have a beer with." But I WOULD like some efficiency and moderation.

What can we learn from all this?

1) The TSA is utterly and completely devoid of enforcement for the standards they so highly prize.

2) Intelligence is not a factor in the TSA hiring process.

3) Airport security is a joke, mostly in place to slow down our airport experience and torture us by making us juggle our shoes, coats, liquids, laptops, etc.

4) Stodgy old white people are more thorough, intense, humorless workers.


Colin Ryan said...

am I wrong, or would the Mecca of the Islamic Terrorist Movement more or less be...Mecca?

TheGreenMan said...

I was being ironical!