Through the Looking Glass

Ottawa has purchased dozens of body scanners at a quarter million a pop to install in the country’s airports.  And I say, hurray! 

Honestly, who cares if some airport worker sees through to your bones?  Why all the modesty?  It’s not as if we’re being asked to parade around naked in front of thousands of stangers.  A couple of dudes or dudettes sitting at a screen will watch you walk through, making sure you have nothing illegal or dangerous strapped or otherwise shoved into your body and then it’s on to the next person.  Bring it on.  It’s far superior to unknowingly getting on board a plane with some lunatic who has explosive materials tucked into his underwear.  It’s a sign of the times and I find it all very comforting, actually.

It reminds me of a certain medical test that can cause one to feel self conscious and exposed.  For me, that feeling vanished when I was wheeled atop my gurney into a waiting room full of people who were about to undergo the exact same look-see.  As the calming medication washed over me I realized that to the doctors, we were on a conveyer belt where one would appear after another after another and so on.  There was nothing to be embarrassed about!  I recalled the words of Mama Soprano when Junior came to her with the fundamental existential question: why do we die?  Instead of being the soothing Grandma he had hoped for, she barked back, “What makes you so special?”   We think we’re so special but in these situations, we’re just another specimen, and we’re all pretty much alike.

Anyone with an artificial inner body part should be happy about the new scanners.   They’ll reveal the reason for the relentless beeping and allow the person to go on without further delay.  No one has the “right” to fly until they prove that they mean no harm to everyone else with them up in that tin tube.  If looking through me helps to determine that I’m not a threat, well, slap on those X-ray specs and let’s get on with it.

2 thoughts on “Through the Looking Glass”

  1. Although I’m all for full body scanners or any technological advancements which will increase airport security and thus reduce the risk to travelers, my concern is, that once again governments and even society has fallen into the continuous and recurring trap of addressing a symptom and not the root problem. Governments, businesses and society as a hole continuously try to fix or address the symptoms of a problem verses examining under the hood and asking “Why”, in order to identify the root cause. For if you never address the root cause you’ll never eliminate the problem and the symptoms I guarantee, will return.

    Political posturing, self absorb interests and ego of not letting the other guy get one up on you creates a systemic break down in communications of those in trusted groups and agencies responsible for the gathering and sharing of intelligent and security risks. Once again we discover that it was a failure in communications and sharing of the readily available intelligence which opened the door to this potential bombing.

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