Sunday, November 21, 2010

My Junk, My Junk, My Lovely Gentleman Junk

Untouched - The Veronicas (mp3)

Today's post is about my junk, in two parts. My junk isn't in two parts. That's a possum. But the post is in two parts.

The TSA Can Blow Me... Metaphorically Speaking

For every bit of undeserved attention "Don't Tase Me Bro" received, John "Don't Touch My Junk" Tyner deserves triple. The first loser was a nuisance and a punk whose entitled attitude deserved precisely the voltage it received. The latter took a stand about something that potentially affects all of us and our legal rights. There is no comparison on the coolness or relevance scale.

If you want a very amusing yet spot-on take of the new TSA rules -- and the column that in my opinion started the avalanche of deserved attention this has received -- read Jeffrey Goldberg's "The TSA Meets Resistance." It's time well spent.

Make no mistake about it: The TSA's new body scanners and increasingly intimate pat-down measures are the opiate of the flying masses. They will not prevent a terrorist attack, and everyone knows this. The sole purpose of these new measures is marketing, to sell you, the stupid American, on the notion that you're safe.

Not only have some preliminary studies suggested that the odds of getting cancer from the radiation are right on par with the odds of you dying on an airplane from a terrorist attack. (Both of which, by the way, are "slim as shit." It's an industry term.) Read more about "the hidden costs of extra security" here!

In short, not only are they feeling you up in a very non-exciting way and making people feel more and more like cattle, but all of it serves no substantial purpose.

Junk Through Your Wires

A female friend recently attended a party where she and her drunk female pals sat around sharing all of the junk pictures they'd been sent by their male friends and lovers. A female co-worker said she has received numerous pictures of male junk by friends who just wanted her opinion. (On what? The photo quality? The framing? The fleshtones?)

Clearly, sexting isn't just a teen problem, nor is its use limited to rich idiots in professional sports. No, we Americans -- particularly the ones of us with penises -- are constantly fighting and looking for new ways to expose ourselves to as many people as possible. Chatroulette may be dead, but the key motive behind most people being on there is still very much alive and kicking.

I can't help but ask myself, were men in King Arthur's time constantly looking for ways to expose their privates to unsuspecting or innocent ladies? Were the men in Braveheart, who lifted their kilts to insult the Brits on the battlefield, merely repeating a show they constantly offered the women of their clans on a regular basis? If Jesus' disciples had access to a Droid, would they be taking "up-robe" pictures of Jesus' junk and sharing it with their neighborhood pals back home?

When Junk Collides... On An Airplane

Clearly we Americans -- particularly men, who comprise almost 60% of airline travelers -- can't be too troubled by the notion of having our junk exposed in a computer picture. In fact, I daresay American men will be most bothered that they can't purchase a copy for themselves or post it to some kind of site. Men love nothing more than the opportunity to, under the safe distance of semi-anonymity, dangle their junk and compare it to other men.

So we shouldn't be bothered by the prurient issues surrounding these scanners. The problem lies squarely in how easily and lackadaisically we give up our privacy and our reasonable rights to it.

As a friend said at lunch on Friday, "We're all like frogs in boiling water. We know the temperature has gone up five degrees, but we keep waiting for something more extreme before we act. By then, won't it be too late?"

In the meantime, put it back in your pants, John Holmes, and remember the sagely immortal advice of Tom Jones: It's not the lead, it's how you swing it.

They call it "your privates" for a reason.

Meanwhile, the TSA can rename itself the TnA. It'll make Chertoff more money and more accurately reflect the group's new core mission.


troutking said...

Jeffrey Goldberg got demolished by Colbert on the Report. No one's saying this is the only thing that needs to be done to keep people safe. That's a false straw man argument he sets up and easily knocks down. I have no problem with the scans. People who don't want to do either the scan or the pat down should drive.

Billy said...

Your last sentence sounds like people who say if you can't speak the language you should leave the country. That kind of attitude doesn't really create much chance for either compromise or dialogue.

I guess I'm interested in this "straw man" claim, since it's not like there's just one or two problems with the system, how they're implementing it, how they're strategizing to force people into having no viable option, or how it's very likely a completely illegal thing to require. That's a lot of straw.

Not to mention there's hardly a shred of evidence that they'll protect anyone. Which is kind of an important factor. Israel, often considered to have the most stringent airport security in the world, has none of this technology and doesn't seem interested in obtaining it. (Hint: They profile. They don't need no stinkin' scanners to check out nuns and their breasts.)

Scanners aren't some magic catch-all solution. Vigilance will win over x-rays every day, and you don't have to watch Papillon to know why.