First lemme explain something. I am a freak of nature. I love flying. I have little games I play with myself on airplanes, trying to guess the exact moment the wheels leave the ground and then touchdown somewhere else. I love the smush you back in your seat feeling of takeoff where your stomach goes a little wobbly. And I love love love the idea that you get in this metal tube and several hours later end up in a completely different place from where you started.
So it takes a lot to make me mad about flying.
But since 2001, 9 times out 10 I get my checked baggage "randomly" searched. (Happened again on our recent flight here. I wish I had collected all the TSA letters I've received over the years. They'd make a poignant collage).
And every time I go through the fucking Denver airport and am wearing a skirt, I (and every other woman wearing a skirt) get singled out to go through the chemical sniffer machine, that damn machine that manages to blow puffs of air in a manner that seems specifically designed to blow your damn skirt up.
And I know from stories that people in wheelchairs get subjected to extra crappy security measures.
And while I couldn't care less about the full body scans, I understand why someone would and am fully behind those that complain.
And bad-touching little kids with enhanced pat downs. No.Fucking.Way. This mom would have you arrested if you tried to touch my kid. But if you complain, not threaten violence but threaten to use the legal resources generally known to be available to all (well not all) citizens, you're treated as if you just threatened to blow up the airport.
And I am pretty sure that by writing this, the next time I try to fly will be a nightmare.
But it's not okay.
I remember when I was a kid and the big scary commies in the USSR were the boogy man of the day. I remember being told that part of the reason why they were so awful was because people in the USSR weren't allowed to travel freely. You had to get government permission to go from one town to another. And now I can't help but think that we're doing the same damn thing to people. Can't travel freely if you don't support government intrusion. If you complain it's off to the TSA gulag for you.
All this from a country that claims to value freedom above everything else. If that ain't fucking Orwellian I don't know what is.