(via John Gruber)
I asked him if he was looking forward to conducting the full-on pat-downs. “Nobody’s going to do it,” he said, “once they find out that we’re going to do.”
In other words, people, when faced with a choice, will inevitably choose the Dick-Measuring Device over molestation? “That’s what we’re hoping for. We’re trying to get everyone into the machine.” He called over a colleague. “Tell him what you call the back-scatter,” he said. “The Dick-Measuring Device,” I said. “That’s the truth,” the other officer responded.
So, to summarize: With no supporting evidence whatsoever that it will make anyone any safer, and in response to absolutely no credible threats, the TSA has decided to implement a policy, that nobody asked for, in which every passenger must allow TSA agents to either see or touch their genitals before boarding a plane.
And, of course, we’re all going to subject ourselves to it, because we have no recourse and no power, even though the creation and execution of this policy are likely violating a few laws or at least common-sense rights, because that doesn’t really matter.
I’m starting to understand some of the Tea Party anger. It’s grossly misdirected, but there are understandable reasons to look around at our country and wonder what the hell has gotten into everyone.
Personally, I believe in George Carlin’s American Dream: the most intelligent 3 minutes and 14 seconds of political commentary spoken in a generation.
Two lines from it have stuck with me and helped me mostly stop being scared or disappointed by everything that happens politically. “Be happy with what you got,” and “They’ll get it all from you, sooner or later.”
I know this sounds hopeless or jaded. But it’s the only way I can cope with American politics. Have you ever known someone who worried constantly and irrationally about all of the dangers that could happen to them (say, on planes) and could barely function in their lives? And you just want to tell them, “Stop worrying about everything! You’ll be fine!”
Well, believing those two simple lines from a remarkably insightful comedy writer helps me deal with the inevitable and increasing disappointment and disillusionment that I have with our great democracy.
I still vote and participate, but I no longer expect functional, sensible, honest, or just results. It’s easier to just sit back and laugh at how ridiculous it is, as I get on with my life and accept whatever new dysfunction or injustice has been added to our society. When the (usually half-assed) improvements happen — and they do — it’s a pleasant surprise, but I don’t expect anything.
With this philosophy, I’m much happier, with less stress.