When I hear the complaining about the airport full-body scans, I immediately think of the television commercial featuring a retired Marine DI now working as a therapist. Disgusted with the weepy guy on the couch, Sarge calls him a crybaby and throws a box of tissues at him. He suggests the poor guy belongs in Namby Pamby Land.
One might agree that this retired DI ought to be in another profession.
Maybe we could use him at an airport approving visas to Namby Pamby Land. In fact, the protesters, some of whom are threatening to tie up holiday flights by refusing the scans, might be encouraged to take up permanent residence in that fair land.
Some complainers supposedly plan to refuse an x-ray-like body scan that virtually shows the body naked. That means they will be subject to an even more invasive pat down by TSA officers, which could cause nightmare delays during holiday season.
One traveler got his 15 minutes of fame by referring to his privates as his “junk,” earning grins and guffaws even on serious news programs. The word “junk” seems to describe something broken or no longer useful, so that does not seem to be a word many travelers would consider apt. Or at least they wouldn’t be likely to admit it.
Interestingly, the humans who view the fully-dressed travelers are seated in another room and never see the subject face to face. The faces and genitals of the subject on a screen are blotted out. A traveler can refuse such a scan but will be subject to a thorough pat down, a very hands-on experience.
Polls show that up to 81% of Americans support the body scanner idea. As usual, the vast majority of Americans possess an abundance of common sense. They understand that in light of increasing sophistication on the part of Al Qaeda terrorists we must improve technology so that the next underwear bomber headed for Detroit can be stopped before he boards.
What is really puzzling is the TSA reaction to such idiotic threats by a tiny minority of holiday travelers. In apologetic tones its director is begging people not to screw up the works for other travelers. A better approach might be to cancel the pat down option and make everybody go through the scanner. Crybabies!
I also find puzzling the vehemence of the protests. If you have ever endured a draft board physical by bored doctors, you would find the scanning device a welcome refinement. Can you imagine some guy or gal sitting in front of a screen and getting kicks out of viewing thousands of “x-rays” a day? The human body has been the inspiration for thousands of works of art, but x-rays? Get real.
Simply put, it seems a small price to pay for more security on an airplane. A small but loud segment of our society suffers from the disease of wishful thinking. They refuse to understand that we are at war. We have been at war for a decade; in fact, for much longer, only we were blind to what was happening. This war will go on for many years, and we had better get used to it. At some point it is likely that a terrorist attack on American soil will succeed. If it does, and we pray it won’t, let us hope that we did all that we could to prevent it.
A smart woman I know often tells people (me) to woman up. She’s right.