There’s nothing like airports to give social observers a litmus reading of a culture as my recent pass through LAX amply illustrates:
Fat people: Not only the U.S. national benchmark, obesity appears to be spreading world wide. There is nothing like an airport to show the observer ample examples of bulging waistlines and gargantuan behinds as they waddle through the check points. One can only infer that the food industry is farming a population when LA super market shelves budge with 18 varieties of sliced bread, all but one containing from 1 to 5 gms. of sugar.
Fast food: Airports are hamburgher havens. If you want to kill life on a planet be sure to go into beef cattle ranching. Americans happily munch away on their beef- and cheese- burghers, oblivious of any harm to the planet their luncheon choice may cause. It’s the national dish of an a-gastronomic nation, and nothing can dislodge it from the national taste buds, not even climate collapse.
Entitlement: White male entitlement is ubiquitous, not only in airports. One small incident stands out: The couple is in their 60s, he’s absorbed—where else—in his I-phone. His wife, a large, no nonsense woman who knows her place, wants to make sure he’s adequately fed. She brings him a menu. He selects while watching his I-phone. She returns with the chosen hamburgher. But it’s what she says as she delivers it: “Aren‘t you lucky there’s someone to bring you lunch without your having to raise a finger.” She’s a big girl, and fully aware of power alignments.
Security Theater: But the best, most telling display is security theater. It does nothing to enhance passenger safety, but it reassures the public, which trudges barefoot and complacent down the cattle chute, yanking screaming, terrified children behind them. Wheel-chair-bound Asian crones ask pleadingly how old they will have to be before not being required to remove their shoes, and die-hard resisters (I am one) demand a pat-down—just like any other routine criminal. I demand a public pat down because mine is a public act, an act of resistance. Of course, that public is so conditioned by now, nobody even notices an elderly female libertine having her breasts fondled—all except the kids. They know smut when they see it. They’re not brainwashed yet.
When the TSA patter downer demands I remove my shoes, I remind her I wear foot braces (ask Johnson & Johnson about their malpractice drug Levaquin) and require my shoes to stand. I extend my remarks: “This is theater,” I remind them each time. And in fact, the CIA can by–pass this ritual anytime they choose to escort an underwear bomber or any other operative on board, guns and all. So if any proof were needed, all this display of hyperactivity is very expensive theater, public entertainment, you might say. However, it’s something of an offset that agents are now serving without pay. Airports are becoming clogged and have to shut down early with an overflow of passengers because of increased daily call-ins by disgruntled agents who demand their pay to play.
From 2016 – 2021, the market value of airport full body scanners is expected to rise from $79 million to $118.3 millions of dollars. Michael Chertoff, 2005-9 Secretary of Homeland Security under the Bushling, has happily pocketed millions on his investment.
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