Friday, August 1, 2008

This is how it begins

How many movies have you seen where society has devolved to a scarcely recognizable shadow of the one in which we currently live? Like so many things, it happens slowly and in inches instead of huge leaps. I'm here at the Orlando International Airport and I see the steps as they are happening.

Everything about the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) has the marks of a shadowy Orwellian 'ministry.' And we all accept it with smiles. They check through our luggage, they make us take off our shoes, they X-Ray every inch. Over the PA there are regular announcements informing us that the current terror threat level is at 'Orange,' indicating that there is a high risk of a terror attack. And all of us (most of us, anyway - myself included) smile throughout the process and think, "You know, I feel safer knowing that everyone is subjected to the same scrutiny." And I do feel safer. And it is true that it isn't really that big a price to pay for security.

I'm not trying to be alarmist. I won't deconstruct it any further or try to make any predictions about the future of our country or the world. I don't know that I even had a point. I was surprised to see all of this first-hand (I don't travel by air - or any other mass-transit way - very often) and thought it sounded ominous. It reminded me of a movie - maybe several movies - where the terrorists are never seen, but are obviously used by the government to leverage more control over the population.

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