In defence of . . . airport security
I’ve complained along with the rest of them about airport security in the past. While there will always be a loud minority of people who claim that, if it saves just one life, airport security should be allowed to get as invasive and controlling as it pleases, most of us just get plain (arf) fucked off with it.
Having travelled abroad twice this year I’ve already had my fill of flying and am glad there are no more scheduled airplane adventures for the foreseeable future. I am that dart-eyed sweaty wreck who ambles toward the screening point convinced that I’m going to be dragged aside, cavity searched and given a long prison sentence because I had an illegal 150ml bottle of Davidoff Coolwater in the front of my rucksack. It’s not because I’m a bad person you understand, but that the whole point of airport security is to make you feel like a terrorist and to make you feel like you are surrounded by terrorists. It also serves to prevent you having any kind of actual fun on your holiday.
Then again, how else would they be able to control our every move? The people who work in airport security are relatively free to do whatever the hell they like without any come back. Argue with these fuckers and you aren’t getting on a plane. And while our police forces are required to record every stop and search they do – including the ethnicity of the person they have stopped and searched in order that we can measure whether particular groups are being targeted – airport security is exempt. They can do whatever they want to whoever they want, and you can’t do a thing about it. Basically, if you want to travel by air, you’re gonna have to decant your precious drops of dignity along with your shampoo into the smallest bottle you can find and get your clothes off (it used to be just jackets – now it’s belts, boots, jumpers, scarves, hoodies and hats too). You’ll probably be photographed if you are travelling into Heathrow and it’s apparently now ok for a male member security staff to wander over to you and put his hand on your arse if, like I did on leaving Copenhagen airport this week, have a dastardly passport in your back pocket. Err.
Ok, but let us not focus solely on the negative. Here are some of the good points! :
1. Freedom from grooming and hygiene
Quite frankly, we’ve become too dependent on the cosmetics industry – we are slaves to a consumer culture that requires us to always be coiffed, made up to the full and smelling like a sexy thing from Sexland on the sexiest day of the year. It’s knackering; think how much more you can achieve in those precious minutes you would save each day if you didn’t have to strive for these standards. The novels you could read! The delightful breakfasts you might create!
The confiscation of your products and perfumes will free you. For the duration of your trip you can allow your hair to roam free about your head. And who needs anti-perspirant? If mother nature had wanted us to smell nice we’d have evolved to have roll-on deodorants on the inside of each hand instead of thumbs. They may take your sharps (nail scissors) away, but at least you will be able to grow the world’s wildest talons, with which you can protect yourself from any potential hijackers.
2. Lessons in austerity in these ‘tough economic times’
It might seem annoying that you aren’t allowed to take the packed lunch you made at home through the airport security, but look at it this way – once you get through there and see the prices of the food and drinks, as well as any cosmetics of hygiene products that you are now having to replace, you’ll think twice about frittering your money away on superfluous purchases like breakfast/lunch/dinner items. Of course, you already think about these things, which is why you went to the bother of making something at home in the first place, but let’s not get pedantic.
For the parents and so-called managers out there, airport security can act as an important reminder that sometimes, people with the tiniest smidge of power exert their authority unfairly. Next time you institute a ban on whatever it might be, or require a certain behaviour to be exhibited, with powerful sanctions for non-compliance, just remember that time your jeans fell down at Prestwick International because your Top Shop belt was being scanned for explosives and ask yourself “are my stupid rules really necessary?”
4. Crap cuddles for the lonely
For the lonely souls out there, airport security offers a unique opportunity to get a really crap hug/grope from a stranger. If you crave the contact of another human being but are too socially awkward to simply go to a nightclub and pick someone up for a night of an unsatisfying and ultimately depressing encounter, simply ‘forget’ about the few coins/watch in your pocket and wander on through airport security to your short-term destiny.
5. It prevents terrorism
It is a scientific fact, proven by biology and chemistry, that 9/11 would never have happened if the hijackers had had their aftershave confiscated at the airport after checking in. This is why the government has introduced airport style security checks for ALL public spaces such as train stations, shopping centres, hospitals, music festivals etc.
Then again, I should probably stop now. They might start getting ideas….