It’s over folks. ?The age of civilian air travel is coming to an abrupt end. ?It’s time to mothball our jets, shut the airlines, and go back to trains and ocean liners as our primary means of long distance travel. ?The United States as a country simply cannot fly anymore.
Why? Because of terrorism you ask? ?No, not because of terrorism. ?It’s because we’ve become a nation of panicky pussies. ?That’s why.
To be sure, on Christmas day 2009, a terrorist?did try – we think – to blow up a plane. ?Hiding a syringe with chemicals and incendiary devices in his underwear, he ignited his payload as the flight he was one prepared to land in Detroit. ?The only immediate casualties, fortunately, were his crotch and – we hope – his ability to procreate. In this case, Darwin may have?prevailed.
Shortly thereafter though, I realized that one other casualty resulted from this incident: our common sense. ?It started right away with Republicans and politicians in Washington. ?Rather than actually caring about the safety of the public and working towards learning from this experience to see how we can adapt reasonably and safely to this threat, if it IS a threat, they chose to pounce on this as a media stunt and politcal scare tactic. ?That’s right, because some silly Nigerian chose to roast his crotch on a flight, to them this clearly meant that Obama failed us.
So, while Washington was busy wrestling with that idea and preferring to focus on the potential political fallout of whether “the system” was working or not, the people who are allegedly tasked with protecting the public good and safety basically stopped focusing on protecting the public’s good and safety. ?Inevitably, this means “the system” that everyone was so busy arguing about has pretty much begun to break down all on its own anyway. That left the general public with the impression that they must now pretty much fend for themselves on the matter.
The result? ?Now we must get molested before we board an airplane, even though it probably won’t help the situation anyway. ?We now also have to deal with air travel being more erratic and unpredictable than before, ranging from the cut off of internet access and other in-flight amenities, to denying passengers the use of bathroom facilities. ?Because we all know that terrorists won’t possibly consider blowing up the plane if they will be denied those last couple minutes of facebook-time, or are unable to take a leak before the big moment, right?
Of course, none of these measures really add to the security of the flights. ?The hope, everyone agrees, is that maybe it’ll just help people feel a little safer, even though we’ve already told them, through the powers of twitter, cable TV news and the iReport, that these measures are fruitless and ineffective.
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