"Security has become an all-devouring American God stiffened by righteousness, stripped of judgment, armed with technology. This deity knows no bounds, brooks no dissent."
Wow! Who are those righteous, reckless, well-armed omnipotent deities? And how can I become one?
Imagine my disappointment to find out that the writer is just ranting about airport screeners. It's TSA Inspectors who know no bounds and brook no dissent, etc., etc.
The usual airport scene: much-traveled pros huffing at the dilatory amateurs, harried people removing shoes and belts and laptops, sparring over trays like irritable kids, getting all the stuff lined up with production-line precision — only to find themselves thrust into one of the new full-body scanners that delivers an image of passengers in a state of near nakedness to some security official who, at whim, may order a repeat of the arms-raised, all-revealing little humiliation.
Philip Roth’s “indigenous American berserk” has gone into overdrive. It’s the new normal.
Is this right and forever? Security has become an all-devouring American God stiffened by righteousness, stripped of judgment, armed with technology. This deity knows no bounds, brooks no dissent. The threats are real — witness the cargo-plane bomb plot — but the right balance between security and freedom has been lost. I’m with Martin Broughton, the British Airways chairman who said recently that some security checks were “completely redundant.”
There's nothing new here. Everybody hates TSA. See this and this, to take only two examples in the news today.
Hating TSA is the national pastime. Even TSA employees hate TSA, which is how it came to be ranked #220 out of 224 federal agencies in employee satisfaction.
Those guys with the latex gloves aren't omnipotent, they're just extremely irritable.