Thursday, December 16, 2010

tsa goes crotchal

I heard last evening on NPR that some TSA personnel are now using the term "crotchal area," apparently to designate the nether boundary of places they allow their hands to roam into when performing pat-downs of air travelers. The newscaster remarked that he thought "crotchal" should be recognized as "word of the year" along with "refudiate," the nonsense syllables sent out to her eager public via Twitter by former half-term Alaska governor Sarah Palin.

I agree with the sentiment, but must point out that "crotchal" and "refudiate" are not words, and thus should be designated "non-words of the year," which goes along well with the TSA's practice of diligently invading travelers' most intimate personal space searching for dangerous objects and substances they don't have, and heroically countering non-existent threats.

And if they have to inspect someone's crotchal area, they don't go there themselves, but send a canine instead. You have to sound official when you say these things.

I haven't flown since the advent of this latest outrage against the autonomy and dignity of a passive and obedient populace, but a friend of mine who flew from the west coast to New York State recently described it this way:

"Oh my gosh - the TSA's! They became so invasive that I feel they are the new terrorists. With all the travels I do, I am beginning to feel that I need to change my ways of getting around to avoid those TSA's. In addition to taking off my shoes, coat, jacket and scarf, I had to take off all metal stuff including my jewelry, and after a full body screen they patted me down, especially around my breasts. Maybe they felt I had two bombs. Then they moistened my hands with some liquids to check for residues of explosives. At that point I was ready to explode. Not only do I feel that they are invasive, I also feel that they are another burden on taxpayers along with FBI, NSA and the many other agencies created to protect us."

And that begs the question, who's going to protect us from them?

I urge anybody who's reading this to boycott commercial airline travel for the time being. Do you really have to get anywhere that fast? We can always take a day or two extra and drive, which actually wastes fewer resources over long distances and provides the best way to avoid the insults, groping, and nonsensical diction of the semi-trained and apparently semi-articulate agents working the "security" detail for the gangster empire.

TSA Checkpoint sign by Oleg Volk, 2008.

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