The pat-down and bag-check It was September 6, …

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The pat-down and bag-check

It was September 6, 2001. I was in the hell known as Heathrow Airport, hopping from line to line, passing through endless security checkpoints, desperately trying to board my flight and return to the States.

I remember passing my third security check and thinking, “this inefficient mess would never happen in the US.”

Let’s fast forward almost 2 years. I encounter security everywhere. It’s become a part of our culture and my daily life….. to enter my apt. and work buildings, museums, civil buildings, the Martin Luther King, Jr Memorial Library, concerts, and movies.

Sometimes they’re looking to prevent another terrorist attack, other times they’re trying to protect corporate concerns. All I know is that, for better or worse, my behavior and packing patterns have changed.

I try to avoid carrying bags. If I’m lugging cameras and other equipment around, I’ll use a carrying case with minimal pockets/zippers/strappy things. I never check luggage at the airport (learning how to stuff 2 weeks worth of clothes into a carry-on has turned into a positive thing).

I take special care choosing a travel outfit for flights. You never know when you’ll find yourself stripping in front of a mob of strangers… especially since underwire bras and shoes always set off those bloody detectors.

I hate having strangers peek repeatedly thru my private property.

The lines, the wait, the voyeurism – it’s a necessary evil. But is it really making us more secure?


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