Here’s a question: Would I rather have my phone records collected and readied for possible inspection by the National Security Agency, or have my genitalia scrutinized by the Transportation Security Administration?
One answer, of course, is, why choose? In today’s America you can have both.
But my preference is the latter, and not only because the TSA Genitalia-Inspection Service has been doing its business on me (and you, too!) for years now and I’ve grown used to it in the way that Americans too-readily accept indignities foisted on them by large institutions, including, but not limited to, the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Homeland Security and Facebook.
Here’s my reasoning: It is better, I think, to suffer the stick-’em-up humiliation of the TSA’s naked body scan machines, because while they can see through our clothes, at least they can’t see inside our heads. Not yet, anyway.
By the way, careful readers may recall that I was one of the original Opt-Outers, those bold travelers who swore never to subject themselves to full-body scans, and would choose instead the manual TSA pat-down. I found the artisanal grope session more emotionally satisfying (if more physically creepy) because I knew that it flummoxed the TSA. But the TSA quickly caught on to the Opt-Outers, and now makes the pat-down so inconvenient (delaying it, on occasion, for five or 10 precious minutes) that when I’m running late for a plane, I submit to the porn-scan. It’s beginning to seem normal to me, unfortunately.