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Searched again at O'Hare by TSA, but this time the guy is curious, wondering why the detonators don't match with the metals in my body as I've...

Searched again at O'Hare by TSA, but this time the guy is curious, wondering why the detonators don't match with the metals in my body as I've explained their location (right elbow, right hip, both knees)--so now it's my word against the machine's. Hello, John Henry, hope this story lets you sleep.
The man politely explained every step of his thorough search, and even apologized when he got into the lower topography of this body (groin, buttocks, no metal there just yet). I can't say it was a pleasure, but I can say it wasn't a horror show.
But then they had to search my suitcase, too. That means a different guy handled all the contents and removed the suspicious stuff for scanning. As he puts things in the scanner, I'm thinking, ah, of course, the king's two bodies, but then I realize that most of what goes into that device is fake floral decoration on the commemorative candle my Thanksgiving host had given me.
I can't help myself, I say, "What's the deal, you seem pretty worried about that candle."
He turns to me and says, "We have to be."
"Yes," he says, with the solemnity of a judge about to deliver a death sentence. He turns back to his inspection. "A candle reads as organic material. We have to treat that as potential explosive. These could be fuses"--he holds up a branch of tiny ornaments, shiny flourishes on the three pound candle--"and so we gotta put 'em through the scanner."
"I'll be goddamned."
"You're good to go. Have a nice weekend."
7 Comment:
Howell Harris
25-11-2017, 21:44:58
Modern life scripted by a God with a fine sense of the absurd.
James Bruggeman
25-11-2017, 21:52:17
The TSA check as planned boredom, speaking of organic materials and Organic Machines: “Lewis Mumford was not a planner, but he wrote eloquently of planning. It was a difficult task. Planning is an exercise of power, and in a modern state much real powe...
James Livingston
James Livingston
25-11-2017, 22:15:15
Give us the source, James Bruggeman!
Robert Meyerowitz
Robert Meyerowitz
25-11-2017, 22:25:44
James Bruggeman
James Bruggeman
25-11-2017, 22:33:28
Thanks Robert Meyerowitz . I remembered Richard’s reflections on Mumford and boredom. Because his The Organic Machine is sitting on my desk and full of sticky tabs, marginalia, underlined passages, and scribbled notes, it was easy to find. James Livingston has an interesting take on Mumford himself. My interest in the man is his activities with The American Regional Planning Association.
Robert Meyerowitz
Robert Meyerowitz
25-11-2017, 22:36:05
I just know him from "The Republic For Which It Stands," the new Oxford History of the U.S. volume. If I ever get through that I may look at his other stuff. Seems interesting. I love the Mumford quote. Organic Machine is good?
John Wojcik
John Wojcik
25-11-2017, 23:16:24
Interesting. I did volunteer management at a nonprofit and I couldn't get your average person to do any nonsexy, tedious work. Somehow, all of these Harvard MBA types (some were actually Harvard MBAs) volunteered and they inhaled all of the boring work I had in record time without complaint. So, I'm wondering if boredom is an effect of power, or those who are willing to do the boring work get power by default.
James Bruggeman
James Bruggeman
25-11-2017, 23:32:06
Robert Meyerowitz Yes, very good. The Organic Machine along with Bill Cronin’s Changes in the Land are considered foundational works in environmental history.
Chris Rywalt
Chris Rywalt
25-11-2017, 23:39:16
I think boredom is intentionally infused into the process by people whose strength is in tolerating boredom in a feedback loop of power.
Chris Rywalt
Chris Rywalt
25-11-2017, 23:40:01
But some things are naturally boring to begin with. Computer programmers and engineers have a high tolerance for things other people find boring, and that's another form of power.
Barry V Qualls
25-11-2017, 22:13:51
I once thoughtlessly put a five-pound bag of a special self-rising flour (from Kentucky) in my suitcase. In the Lexington airport my flour was opened and I removed from the line ... and something inserted in bag to see if it were ... drugs or gun-powder. All for biscuits for a City guy!
James Bruggeman
James Bruggeman
25-11-2017, 22:37:16
I bet that got a rise out of the TSA folks, being that organic material appears to be a bread-and-butter concern for them-a yeasty subject for them anyway.
Michael Hussein Tallon
25-11-2017, 22:45:17
This story triggered a twenty-year-old memory. Nice to know I can still recall stuff from back then. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/42379.stm
Grace Loehr
25-11-2017, 23:02:14
I hate the TSA. I hate the US gov't
Chris Rywalt
25-11-2017, 23:57:27
It's nice to know that our dystopia is at least polite some of the time.
Kelly Dennis
Kelly Dennis
26-11-2017, 23:40:41
So long as it's a white man.
Chris Rywalt
Chris Rywalt
26-11-2017, 23:45:05
Steve Rendall
26-11-2017, 22:26:07
Sometimes, even when you take your explosives out before going to the airport, the dogs and the machine sniffers still pick up on it.

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