Unstable airline passenger ignites self; none hurt

I try very hard not to write about the news; it affects me so little, yet frequently annoys me.

All that media noise about that guy on that plane. So much passenger delay will ensue.

Of course he was unstable. Killing yourself and others for a cause is not rational.

Of course he’d claim connections to Al Qaeda. He’s unstable, wants to sound badass.

Of course Al Qaeda would claim him as one of their own. What, would you turn down the free publicity?

So, the subject of this entry is how I think it should have been reported. Move on, people; there’s real news to be reported.

Meet Mr Random

It seems that, every time I fly to the US, I get to be chosen as the randomly searched guy. I try not to look too terroristy, but it seems those security folks just love to pat me down. Thanks, but they’re not really my type. They also always look in my shoes, which are always teh stinky, tee hee.

Flying into Washington, to the ridiculously-named Reagan International (I much preferred the old name, as in: dull, duller, Dulles), not merely was I the designated Mr Random (comme toujours), but everyone who flies into DCA has to go through the pat down anyway. So I was searched twice, within five minutes. Oh, and you have to get to your gate super-early, as they hold you for ages in a windowless room, as a sort of this-is-what-it-feels to-be-a-bad-person simulation.

I noticed that someone was knitting. Not merely could they have flipped out and killed people with the needles in the Knitting Ninja style, but they could also have stood up in mid-flight and announced, “This plane goes to Cuba, or I knit the Holiday Robin Motif o’ Doom! Bwahaha!”

When I got my checked luggage back, I saw that they’d opened it, searched it, and left a little note to the effect of: “If anything is missing or broken due to this search, we are so not liable! Have a nice day!”

Welcome to the War on Terror, folks. Make sure you’re extra scared when you travel. And if your travel plans include terrorism, please ensure you don’t go via Reagan International.

the new antediluvianism

ready.gov flash animation showing an office in a flood
Browsing a news site today, I caught this weird animation for the US government ‘preparedness’ (hunh?! as in ‘prepared food’?) site, ready.gov

Basically, it shows an office being drowned in a biblical-scale flood. Apart from being astonishingly insensitive to recent victims of the tsunami, when’s this going to happen? Could it finally be an acceptance of global warming by the US government? It’d take a fairly nifty terrorist to cause a flood like this. How’s some plastic sheeting, duct tape, and not talking to strangers going to help here?

I have no answers for this, but I tell you, I’m investing in gopher wood futures right away …