Friday, January 28, 2011

Going Home

Fly the Paranoid Skies
"Fly the Paranoid Skies"
Olympus E-P2 with M.Zuiko 17mm
1/30s, f/2.8, ISO 400

The trip home from El Paso was probably the worst airline trip I've ever experienced on any airline, and that includes the old AirTran from the mid-1990s. My trip home started out poorly on Thursday, when I tried to check in 24 hours before my Friday flight. I wound up in group 6, the last group to board the aircraft.

On my way through El Paso security, I was chosen by some of TSA's finest to be both irradiated and patted down. Apparently the fabulous irradiation machine thought I was wearing a necklace, so that they had to check around my neck just to make sure. I have no idea what a guy with a necklace could do to an aircraft, especially one packed to the rafters as the one I flew, but it must be pretty bad.

Of course, I wasn't wearing one.

On final boarding I was pulled aside "randomly" to have my computer bag checked one more time. I guess they wanted to make sure they hadn't missed anything. That action calls into question the competency of their screening crew, but just about everything they do these days calls into question their competency.

I managed to find space in the overhead bin to stow my one alloted piece of carry-pn luggage. The flight was completely full, allowing me to become truly close to my fellow passengers.

Landing at DFW and waiting for my connection back to Orlando, I came across the large dark ad you see at the top. The sneaky, slightly paranoid look helps set the tone. It reminds me of a system that uses its citizens to spy on one another.

Just another signpost on the winding road to the eventual loss of our constitutional freedoms.

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