It’s pretty clear that we’re now living in a society that’s dominated by fear, not unlike Midgar in Final Fantasy VII or City 17 in Half-Life 2. A Los Angeles “food stylist” (I assume that’s a fancy way of saying chef) was pulled off a flight the other day because someone thought he was “acting suspicious.” What, pray tell, was suspicious about the man? Oh, you know, his tattoos, specifically the ones on his knuckles that read ATOM BOMB. Because terrorists nowadays tattoos their plans on the visible part of their body, right?
It’s hard to blame the airline, Delta, here because they were put in a situation where a passenger, having been encouraged by years of “if you see something, say something,” thought their was suspicious about the tattooed man, one Adam Pearson. So, a tug of the flight attendant’s jacket—something about that man is not right, I don’t feel safe—and then you have a proper situation.
After being questioned by airline staff, Pearson tweeted his situation for the world to see. Twitter freaked out—140 characters does not lend itself to nuance—and now he’s something of a celebrity. Well, a bigger celebrity, since he’s apparently a well-known guy in food circles.
Both Delta and Pearson don’t seem to have any hard feelings about what happened, so we shouldn’t expect a national investigation or anything like that.
But what we can expect is for this incident to serve as yet another reminder of just how bonkers thinks have become as it relates to airline security. Gizmodo had a very important article yesterday that contained photos that were pulled from one of those body scanners. I’m pretty sure we were told by the TSA that these body scanners wouldn’t even have the capability of storing images, so how Giz would get its hands on such photos is beyond me.
Oh, wait, no it’s not: either the TSA has no idea how to operate the machines, or it misled the public in order to sell them on the idea that the scanners are fine and dandy.