Saturday :: Jul 21, 2007

Free in America? Not Flying

by paradox

I’m supposed to have booked a flight to Chicago by now, and one of the reasons I haven’t is that I virulently loathe flying in the United States. I like flying in planes very much, watching humans in airports is always a quiet joy, and a long day in cramped seats with possible delays is no big, that’s travel.

No, my intense sorrow and fierce anger in the friendly skies since 9/11 is how our freedom has been robbed in plain sight, the worst part of the story being 95% of the population looking right back at you and insisting there is no story at all. It’s a textbook example of fascism creep, 330 million little American froggy citizens oblivious that the water of their environment just notched a hell of a lot higher toward boiling, but everyone just sits there in the airport pond, [ribbet] nothing at all unusual here [ribbet-ribbet].

The no fly list.The Baltimore Orioles, Seattle coffee, apple pie, LA facelifts, Minnesota nice, the no fly list. [ribbet] Excuse me? Thousands of citizens placed on a list forbidding them a form of travel for no stated reason, with no recourse to get removed? One can describe the United States in a lot of ways, but a country that inflicts that behavior on its people ain’t a free one, it’s the plain truth, but America seems to insist on being amphibian about flying, Jesus it’s discouraging.

Hilzoy at Obsidian Wings says the country went “slightly crazy” after 9/11, and there is a lot to be said for the theory a horrific event like 9/11 would of course spur on irrational behavior, that’s what extreme events do. 9/11 was six years ago, but if anything the country seems to be accelerating (loss of habeas corpus) in its psychosis of soft fascism, we’re not getting over it and chucking the no-fly as quickly as we can, we’re losing more freedom every year.

A favorite American of mine is Jesselyn Radack, an embodiment of bravery few can ever match in this land. She’s been persecuted with the no fly list, and every time I see her work I wonder, what did she really do to get banned from flying? How does she get around? How much fear has to be pushed aside every morning to be an American, knowing some thugs have twisted your life into their sick schemes? Will she ever get off the list?

I sometimes wonder if I’ll get put on the no-fly list for accurately calling Bush a lying killer and Cheney a creepy fascist freak, I truly do. It still blows my mind many days, I’ve been chilled, for Christ’s sake, that’s the authoritarian twofer of sick repressive acts: it silences the instigator and instills a kind of wary fear in everyone else to watch their back, to be careful, to lose their freedom in a disgusting cloak of denied fear.

Predictably our amazing Vice President and his felon puppet, ever grasping for more power in flagrant abuses, have set off a saddening chatter of wonderment at our very own brand of shiny new American repression, some of our greatest souls and writers wondering if the latest outrages from the White House have truly tripped us into a land where freedom was a memory. Is what we’re seeing right in front of us, they ask, is what we observe following the textbook models and theory of how a country regresses into its own form of fascism?

There the no-fly list sits, a precise shouting example of fascism creep, of the frogs oblivious to the steam rising around them. Nobody talks about it anymore, it’s just an accepted part of the American tapestry as everyone worries about this year’s outrage.

I’ve written before on the sickening outrage of 4th amendment loss checking in. Visually record me, search my luggage, scan me, but keep your chickenshit authoritarian mitts of my person, bitch, no, I’m not taking off my shoes for your security ass. Jesus, it’s always a dark mood watching American citizens stripped of their dignity, standing in their socks for nothing but rank fear.

How I wish I could drive or take a high speed train, anything to avoid experiencing the glaring examples of a country lost at the airport, an aching sadness for times when flying was always fun and the country free.

paradox :: 5:51 AM :: Comments (23) :: Digg It!