Skip to main content

A day (or two) at the airport





George McGovern writes Flying the Unfriendly Skies:

[W]hat terrifies me at the airports now is not the terrorists or drunks. It is the fear that I won't be able to get through all the checkpoints, or that my car will be seized for parking within a mile of the airport, or that I will have forgotten my identity card, or that I'll forget one of my shoes while my toes are being examined for explosives, or that my foot odor will offend some examiner and get me arrested as a public nuisance.
I do not fly all that often (well, other than a ride on my motorcycle). Indeed, I haven't flown for well over a decade. But last month I put my daughter on an airliner for a trip to Colorado to see her dearest friend in the known universe. Oy, the little Nazis they have working security, made more so by the stark contrast with the dear souls working the check-in counters (unlike McGovern's experience). What they saw was a dad putting his daughter on an airliner, entrusting her life (and his sanity) to them. What the little boot clicker at the security checkpoint saw was a big bald man, armed with a wallet and set of car keys (and nothing else): "Take off your shoes!"



She made the experience all the more wonderful by groaning in exasperation, standing with feet shoulder-width apart, and lecturing us all, "People, people! Listen up! ..." And she gave instructions on how to approach and be properly processed. I looked around -- in vain -- for where these instructions might be printed. I suppose we should have known the proper method of approach instinctively, like breathing.



No doubt she, the lady running the security check-in point, feels a certain sense of job security. She is, after all, now a Federall employee, with the glorious benefit of being protected by Civil Service. She is, in short, fire-proof. No wonder she was rude; no motivation to be otherwise.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Not the Hero We Deserve, But the Hero We Need

The Dark Knight is the best film I’ve seen in years. Not just the best “superhero” film, but the best film of any type. It’s not perfect, not quite a masterpiece, but it’s flaws are, to me, tiny and overwhelmed by the time the film ends. While relatively bloodless, it is consistently brutal, not just in what it depicts but in the themes that drive it. TDK is a film for adults, please leave the kids at home.Let’s deal with those “flaws” first, the largest being the character Rachel Dawes. In Batman Begins, I blamed Katie Holmes. Her acting was weak, to say the least, which is regrettable in that who she is and what she says and does are important to the film. Critics agreed and either for that or other reasons, Katie was replaced by Maggie Gyllenhaal, who is a better actress. Yet here she’s weak, real weak. Maybe it’s the character, not the actress, which is frustrating because Rachel is a pivotal character. The film, at almost two and a half hours, might be a shade long. Having said t…

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

I went and saw The Last Jedi shortly after it came out and at first I didn't really feel like writing a thing about it. Why? Because the film just left me apathetic; I just didn't care. But I've been seeing arguments and counter-arguments fly back and forth, especially the aggregate professional critic (very high) versus the aggregate viewer (pretty low) scores. So, what the heck, here's my two cents' worth. And because I want to work myself up to a proper, full venting, there will be spoilers a-plenty.

We join the action shortly after the events of The Force Awakens. The Resistance (with no clear idea of what they're actually resisting) is fleeing from the relentless pursuit of The First Order (with no clear idea of what their order actually is). Death is closing in on our less-than-plucky heroes. Much running ensues.

And that's it, the entire plot in a nutshell. Yes, Rey (Daisy Ridley) goes off to receive training from Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). But it…

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

With its release on home video, we come to the unsurprising and yet still bitter disappointment that is Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Unsurprising, because of a lousy director. Disappointing, because it should have been great. To explain further will involve light spoilers; I will avoid larger giveaways. In a galaxy far, far away, the Empire continues to consolidate its power after the fall of the Republic (see Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith). Toward that end, they are assembling a giant battle station, the Death Star. The Rebel Alliance plots a way of finding out what’s going on and perhaps, in the process, save their collective butts. Rebellious galivanting ensues. All of the elements necessary to craft a good story are here, yet none of them work. The blame lies almost exclusively at the feet of director Gareth Edwards. This is his third film (after Monsters and Godzilla) and his failings as a director stand out in each. The major problems with each film involve the peopl…