Ming the Mechanic:
Angry people in airports

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Angry people in airports2002-12-22 23:59
13 comments
by Flemming Funch

The most linked article in weblogs today is Coffee, Tea, or Should We Feel Your Pregnant Wife’s Breasts? at Kuro5hin. It is presented as a tale of some ordinary decent people who get grossly mistreated in an airport by a fascist police state, for no reason at all, and he gets thrown in jail and she develops complications in her pregnancy. Well, I read it, and I'd otherwise be the first to complain about the violations of human liberty and rights to privacy going on in the United States right now. But, even reading the guy's own account, it sounds more like a self-centered macho guy with a big anger problem.

The security checks at U.S. airports are very annoying, and it is very questionable if they'll make much difference in hindering terrorist attacks. I made the mystake myself of flying to Las Vegas recently from L.A., rather than driving. Each way they twice pulled me aside to meticulously go through everything I was carrying and wearing. Taking off my shoes, patting over my body, locating my nail clipper, etc. It might or might not all make sense, but there's a point to it, and it certainly wasn't the personnel at the gate who came up with those policies. And everybody's a bit on edge. So, the very wrong thing to do is what that guy did. Refuse to take your hat off, because you can't see why you should have to. When they find the scissors in your bag, and they point out that you aren't allowed to bring scissors, you jump up and yell "What the fuck! What kind of shit is that?!?" Yeah, that'll help. And when your pregnant wife is crying after having gone through the same thing, you don't comfort her, but you stomp over and try to start a fight with the people who had checked her. The result is very predictably that they'll take you away in handcuffs, but that they'll later look quite leniently on it after things have calmed down, and it was obvious that you were being protective of your pregnant wife who was vulnerable, and you for some reason didn't understand what was expected of you. It has nothing to do with whether your rights are violated because somebody has the audacity to think you might have a bomb in your hat or around your waist or under your skirt or in your shoe. Indeed, it is people like you who are most likely to think they have a reason to. People who carry anger with them wherever they go.


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