Archive for September 18th, 2007

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TSA to American Public: Fuck You

September 18, 2007

Sometimes, when things get a little weirder & then a little weirder still, in tiny increments, you can end up in a very weird situation & take it for granted.  If we could have seen in early 2001 that some day there would be a whole new bureacracy dedicated to the safety of our transportation, and this government division would have signs up all over our airports telling us that we can take the small toothpaste on the trip with us but not the large toothpaste (because the large toothpaste could be lethal!!!*), and that if we wanted to take a travel size shampoo with us on the plane it had to be in a separate clear pastic ziploc (maybe they just didn’t want it to spill on our clothes?), if we could have seen all this, a scant 6 years later, we absolutely would not have believed it.  Islamic terrorists flying planes into buildings is MUCH more plausible than a government organization dedicated to monitoring the size of my shampoo as I go through the airport.

That said, nothing to do with the absurdity that is the TSA can compete with their new program, Clear, and its bizarre, American Express looking website.  Clear is a government issued license to be less hassled by the government division dedicated to hassling you sold to you at a cost of $99 a year (verbatim quote: “Lock in these prices by purchasing a two-year membership for $199.90 or a three-year membership for $299.85”).  The division that sells you the revokable privilege to travel with less hassle is the same division dedicated to hassling you, of course, and this service that you are lucky enough to be able to purchase is only applicable at the handful of airports that participate in the TSA’s Orwellianly named “Registered Traveller Program.”  The features/benefits list of the FAQ states that “fewer missed flights” is a chief benefit of the program, which is linguistically so very close to a mobster selling you “protection” against anything unfortunate that might happen to your shop as to be laughable. 

Who knew, as Lindsay Marshall said, that all that hassle was in fact just a business plan?

*but apparently not lethal enough that they have ever stopped me from just carrying the toothpaste through the metal detector by tucking it up a shirtsleeve – hah, up yours TSA!  Advantage, my dentist!!