My daughter and I are flying to Philadelphia on Sunday, and I can promise you that we’re most certainly not allowing ourselves to be herded through Sea-Tac’s new X-ray scanners along with the sheeple.
Or at least, I’m not. My daughter’s thirteen now, so I suppose it’s up to her to choose her own humiliation: the unconstitutional invasion of privacy and unknown health risks of the TSA’s porno-scanners, or the intentionally intrusive new crotch-grabbing indignity of allowing a glorified rent-a-cop to pat her down… or as my daughter aptly describes it, “feel her up.”
And just to be clear, I honestly do believe the TSA’s new pat down procedures to be intentionally intrusive, in that the motivation, at least in part, is clearly to discourage travelers from opting out of the scanners by making the alternative as unpalatable as possible. And if a growing wave of opt-outs do succeed in clogging up security lines throughout the nation, dollars to donuts the TSA will only attempt to up the humiliation ante. Or worse.
That’s why I believe that the only effective means of combatting this latest escalation of the TSA’s security theater of the absurd is to humiliate the TSA agents in return, by making pat downs as uncomfortable and embarrassing for them as they are for us. For while regulations require travelers to comply with lawful requests from TSA agents, there’s nothing that says we can’t have a little fun in the process.
For example, it’s certainly possible you might be extremely ticklish — who’s to say you’re not? — so imagine a TSA agent being forced to conduct an intrusive pat down while you’re writhing and giggling and shrieking with uncontrollable laughter. Or perhaps you bruise easily, or are just extremely sensitive; who’s to blame you for screaming in pain at the slightest white-gloved touch, while loudly pleading with the TSA agent to “for the love of Christ, stop hurting me!”…? Or maybe the attentions of a same-sex agent just, I dunno, turn you on, causing you to moan with pleasure at the pat down as you breathlessly encourage the agent to draw their hands further up your inner thighs, before exploding in a When-Harry-Met-Sally-like fake orgasm.
Or how about wearing an adult diaper through security? And filling it. No law against that.
And then imagine having a compatriot capture the entire scene on video, and posting it to YouTube. Think that might go viral?
I’ve discussed all of these options with my daughter, and while she thinks they’re damn funny, she’s forbade me from doing any of them in her presence, and I suppose as a good father, I’ll have to honor that. But the point is, if we really want to send a message to the TSA, it’s time to fight theater with theater.
Otherwise, if we continue to allow the indignity to remain one sided, we can only expect it to get worse.