Monday, November 15, 2010

Our civil liberties, and our junk...

"Let justice be done... or the heavens fall!"
William Watson, 1601

"Give me liberty... or give me death!"
Patrick Henry, 1775

"I shall have you arrested... if you touch my junk!"
John Tyner, 2010

John Tyner, in case you haven't heard, is a fellow who refused to go through a pat-down search at a San Diego airport over the weekend. He videotaped the incident on his cell phone, and basically told the TSA agents involved that what they were doing would be considered molestation, if they were not, in fact, the government.

It's an interesting debate, really. Before we step onto an airplane, we have to take every precaution we can, of course, to make sure that we're safe. But... how far is too far? What is that line that we cannot cross? What if that line is in a different place for you, for me?

And, at the end of the day, is it all worth it?

Are we being stripped of our basic human rights just to get on board an airplane? And, if so... have the terrorists won???

...I dunno.

I mean, honestly, I can understand the uncomfortable nature of it all. I thought about that this afternoon-- about where exactly my line would be. What would make me pull a John Tyner? What would make me turn around and say, "No, thank you, I would rather not fly." What would make me get so angry that I would rather put an end to the security procedure, and get stranded in Cleveland? And my answer...?

Naked jumping jacks.

If a TSA agent pulled me to the side of the security line, made me take off my shoes, my watch, my belt? No problem.

If he patted me down, touched my junk, made me take off my clothes? Well, I wouldn't thank him for it, no, but, whatever. I'd get over it.

If he squeezed my buns, touched my junk a second time, and covered me with peanut butter? ...Yeah, actually, by that point, I think I probably would get a tad suspicious, but, hey, the man's just doing his job, right? "There's probably a perfectly good explanation for the peanut butter," is what I would tell myself. Every night. For the rest of my life...

However! Naked jumping jacks??? That's just not cool.

(Well, not in public, anyway.)

But, really, just about anything up to that point, and I personally would be pretty damn okay with it.

Again, I truly understand those who would feel differently, but I'm still incredibly leery about flying. As a matter of fact, after 9/11, I didn't think I would ever be able to fly again. It took me YEARS to be able to look into the sky, see a plane, and not feel a terrible mixture of deep sadness and angst.

And, seriously, we're not talking about the caressing of junk and buns, peanut butter jumping jacks, or anything all THAT bizarre, are we...?

I'm not saying I have all the answers, but... the truth is, there isn't a whole lot I wouldn't do to make 100% sure the airplane I'm about to strap myself into is completely safe. Someone wants to send me through an x-rated x-ray machine? Let's do it. You need to pat me down? Go for it, homie! You wanna touch my junk? Here y'go... Enjoy!

Well... y'know, maybe "enjoy" isn't quite the right word, exactly, but...

I mean, it's not like I ENJOY going to the doctor and having him feel around... that particular area o'mine. But, he's gotta do what he's gotta do. And, I know he's (hopefully) outstandingly qualified to check things out down there, so...




...I'm just thinking out loud here, and, maybe this is crazy, but... maybe that's the answer, enit? I think I even heard John Tyner say as much-- he doesn't want anyone to touch his junk other than his doctor.

Nobody's incredibly comfortable with a physical, but nobody really objects to one either. At least, in principle. And certainly no one would confuse a routine physical by a reputable physician with a gross disfiguration of civil liberties.

So, let's just combine the two! TSA screeners/physicians! This is GENIUS!!! Why has no one ever thought about this before???

"Please place any metallic items on the tray, and step forward... Okay, now, turn your head ...And, cough? ...Good, now, turn your head again, please ...Annnnd, cough? ...Great. Thanks, you're all set. Have a nice flight!"

See that? I sold myself short-- I really did have all the answers!

The five things I fell in love with today...

1) The great Roger Ebert, upon having his groin searched at an airport security line: "I would like to say he found nothing, but I don't know how that would sound." LOL!
2) Life.
3) Liberty.
4) The pursuit of happiness.
5) My junk.

Movie of the night...

Song of the night...
"The Streetbeater (Theme to 'Sanford and Son')" by Quincy Jones

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