August 12, 2006
News Travels Fast
Fred’s post was Day 1 of the currently-seems-silly TSA ban on liquids on airplanes. One day later, today, I had the pleasure of traveling from Idaho Falls to Boise and back (one metropolis to the next!), and I noticed almost no difference in security and passenger behavior at either airport.
Most people in line zinged out one bit of sarcastic resignation after the next about the silliness of banning all liquids. My favorite was “next thing you know, we’re going to have to travel naked” — yikes — YIKES! — but as terrorists find new and exciting ways to terrorize us, and as our now-nationalized airport security staff doesn’t seem to understand the phrases “anticipation” or “long-term planning,” this seems like a not-so-silly comment.
Hopefully this hysteria will die down at some point. I do remember for a few weeks after 9/11, security personnel were removing nail clippers and disposable razor blades from unsuspecting passengers, as if somehow we were going to shave the pilot to death. Then again, the phrase “death by 1,000 cuts” must come from somewhere.
But the element of this whole thing that left the biggest impression on me was the difference between this and 9/11 — in the weeks after 9/11, passengers still showed up at the airport not knowing that Swiss army knives were contraband. Within 48 hours of this incident, every single person I could hear at both small regional airports in Idaho were 100% informed and had not a single bottle of liquid on their person. Perhaps one more reminder than in the Internet era, news travels super fast?