Friday, October 7, 2011

But what's to be done?

We're going on vacation in honor of my 30th birthday/fall break/possible last hurrah before maybe getting pregnant (assuming that everything checks out before we even try to coax me into ovulating, but that's another story). I'm so excited! Wizarding World of Harry Potter! One of my many dream vacations, come true!

The problem, is TSA. I don't like any of my options to get through security. Do I go with the visually invasive, dubiously "safe" backscatter machine? (Pardon me for not trusting the government's assurance that it's fine.) Or do I skip it and go with the physically invasive search, which I may get anyway if something is undetermined on the scan/they like my looks/I complain too much and they want to make an example of me?  Which is the lesser of these two evils? None of the options are really making us safe, all of them are invasive and useless and there's no other option. There is no other way for us to get to Florida with enough time to visit Universal and get back in under a week. We have to fly.

It makes me seriously stressed and anxious, thinking about airport security. There have been plenty of articles about people being humiliated and mistreated. I know that's not every experience, but how many times is too many? Children, elderly, bladder and breast cancer survivors with special equipment, sexual assault victims, all of these terrible stories. TSA has all these rules and guidelines, yet it doesn't seem like the employees always know what they are or care to follow them.

I hate that all the decent, honest Americans who happen to want to fly automatically get treated like potential terrorists. I hate that the security theater has gotten even more dramatic, but even less effective. We are forced to submit to what can only be considered unreasonable searches. Oh, they say "If you don't like it, don't fly." Well, what about the people who have to fly for work? And for that matter, why should I have to limit my vacation plans to place I can drive to? Or get to on the Amtrak, which incidentally, is almost nowhere. And blah blah blah, courts say the right to travel between states is a protected right. Politicians talk but don't do anything. We have to put up with it or do without it. I feel so browbeaten by a smug, holier-than-thou government agency--which, let's face it, is most government agencies. It's just all so unreasonable!

But honestly, what is to be done? I think the Occupy Wall Street protests lately are pretty stupid, but if they wanted to throw in airport security to their lists of complaints, I might be a little more sympathetic.

Anyway, we fly out Sunday. Fingers crossed that it goes okay.

2 comments:

  1. Our airport may be different - because they ALL have different systems which I think is stupid - but we do the scan thing. We can see our own image as it's done and someone gets their jollys from that vague, asexual image, have at it buddy. And we've never been searched for anything though I fly with syringes and all kinds of crazy stuff. I credit my fantastic packing job.
    Am I tempting fate? Yes, probably, but in the meantime it hasn't been a problem to fly other than remembering to wear socks that don't have holes.
    Good luck!

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  2. Can you see your own image at your airport? I've never been to one where you could. Anyway, my real issue is that I don't trust the government's assurances that it's safe. Especially in the long run, and when real scientists are concerned. And of course, the fact that none of this hassle really makes us any safer.

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Be nice.