After hearing about the kid who ran away from home by jumping into the wheel well of an airliner later to arrive in the Aloha state, I was impressed. I mean that's an epic fight with the parents to say, "Fuck it, I'm gonna run away to WHEREEVER". I bet it was serious stuff, my guess is his video games were off limits. One thing's for sure he's grounded (Pun possibly intended).
Since then this kid, who apparently did not know air gets thinner and colder at altitude - our public education system again proving its value - is a top story. It was only a matter of time before some asshat politician cries foul and reaffirms their unyielding commitment to the protection of Americans from dangerous so and so's; in unrelated news public opinion numbers are up. Seriously though, we x-ray every passenger who flies in or around the US just in case something fishy is going on, meanwhile you can hop a fence and take a suicidal stroll on the tarmac. The image of security my friends- cough cough.
As you can imagine my last flight was miserable, probably slightly less uncomfortable than our stowaway buddy's trip, but on my way through to the TSA public molestation corral this girl comes up and asks if I am interested in Clear. She had a captive audience, so I stood for her pitch - which needed work. Clear is a company that offers its members expedited security screening. Sounds great doesn't it? Don't have to wait through those pesky lines, it's like going to Disney Land with your handicapped cousin. Over the next few hours of self medicating, I considered this Clear company.
There are a few issues I have with the business model. What I like most is, rather than having your privacy invaded publicly Clear customers give their permission to be investigated and pay some coin in the process. Sure you value your privacy, but waiting in lines, the worst! Pay around $200 a year, submit yourself to what I assume is a thorough background check, and you get to skip the line. The S-E-C-U-R-I-T-Y line. The line that everyone else, namely those who did not pay for the service, is subjected to stand depressingly. I'd be very interested to see what percentage of people are rejected. And who is deciding what's OK and not OK for the background check? I hope it's not the same brainiacs politely informing me of the friendly use of the back of their hands on my "sensitive areas". Does a bounced check throw up flags, or do you have to make a trip to Mecca to get rejected? And why is it $200! FBI background checks are around $20. Looking on the bright side at least there is a private company invested in making the security process as painless as possible…for their customers, everyone else on the other hand can get bent, and the worse off they are, the better.
The industry or Homeland Security or whomever is responsible for the clusterfuckery, created this hugely inconvenient, invasive, often inappropriate, and arguably useless security process. The traveling public just has to understand it's for our own good. Meanwhile civil liberty advocates return to their semi-permanent state of "outrage" and the sheeple gradually accept the new installment to our Orwellian reality. My next trip, I'll have to consider packing a jacket and some O2 - this fence hopping thing is sounding pretty good.