Last week I passed through the Frankfurt, Germany, Airport on my way back to duty in Afghanistan. I saw that German security was doing pat-downs. I don’t know if they were doing 100% pat-downs, but in any case when I passed through the medal detector, the alarm went off. I believe it was my watch. So I was moved to a secondary search area inside a low-walled booth where a male security officer did a pat down and another sweep with a hand-held metal detector.
The whole time I was trying to conjure my Patrick Henry Doppelganger: “Give me junkless plane rides or give me death!”
Alas. The spirit was not moved. I envisioned our Founding Fathers of demigod status, demanding freedom from English conscription and crushing taxes. Washington mustering his troops at Valley Forge. Surely a pat-down should entice my revolutionary spirit. Was I even a real American anymore? No outrage, no images of Nazi Germany dancing through my head. Had I become so weak that I’d even vote for Jimmy Carter if he decided America needed yet another bad president?
Oh, but wait. There is always that man of letters that one can clamor to if one wishes to see totalitarianism in every motive, in each new rule. especially when one can’t really find the material, negative impact of that rule. It’s all about ideals, don’t you know. Orwell.
What a great year. And what a great book for the rabble-rouser. At any moment I can make any law look like it was penned by a fascist, simply by calling out that famed year.
My 30 second pat-down was over. And none too soon. Because surely, surely I say, had it lasted one second longer, I’d have been whisked off to a concentration camp and had my knee caps drilled. Or I’d have been goose-stepping to the coffee shop just on the other side of the screening area. All my American values dashed, succumbing to inglorious junk-grabbing. And all because terrorism is winning.
At last, after that long 30 seconds, I cast off my Thought Crimes, and skipped–no shiny black boots to slow me–to grap a hot cup of joe. Freedom never tasted so good….