If you haven’t heard yet, the TSA has installed new machines at several airports that take digital images of you, um, naked, and oh, expose you to radiation. You can opt out, which involves an, um, personal pat down: read, not far removed from strip searching you. Jeffrey Goldberg over at the Atlantic is supporting National Opt-Out Day, November 24th. The idea is that the personal pat down procedure at the very least embarrasses TSA agents, who hopeful will protest to their bosses that this whole enhanced security thing is utterly ridiculous and unnecessary. Goldberg has added a nice twist: gentleman fliers, please wear a kilt, preferably sans under garments. If a woman can wear a skirt on a plane, I don’t see why a man can’t. I would advise undergarments though; without is both unhygienic and more than a little mean to the TSA agents.
Which brings me to the PSA of this post. Just remember, if you are flying over Thanksgiving, the TSA agent at the gate is just doing his or her job. Opt-out, protest with respect, but don’t be mean to the TSA agents. They have no control over rules and regulations. Plus, being mean to people who provide a service (and make no mistake, what these people do is both security and a service) only makes you look bad. It doesn’t actually speed the process up or change things. (This principle should be followed in all areas of life, actually. The girl who usually works the register at the cafeteria always smiles and says hi to me because on her first day I was one of the few people who didn’t yell at her about the new cafeteria rules. It’s not like she made them, and she was giving me information I needed. There was visible relief on her face because I treated her as a person. I make sure I’m extra nice to her now because I just don’t like knowing people are rude to her for doing her job.) Again, opt out if you think this new security measure is a gross violation of privacy and will do nothing to enhance security. But be kind to the TSA agents. After all, they have to work over Thanksgiving.