Thursday, August 18, 2011

Full Body Scans Ending?

This post marks the beginning of a new section on thunderstrokes called Free Radicals.  Free Radicals is the name I'm giving to some of the strange, spontaneous and/or random things that enter my head.  They generally fly directly in from the atmosphere, but for some reason don't fly out again.  Instead, they ricochet around inside my brain, damaging healthy cells and causing premature aging until I finally crack my head open and let them out.  They are mostly fragments of ideas, or small bursts of writing that I can't, or don't want to, turn into full-blown posts.  Since, strictly speaking, I didn't create them, but merely caught them, like a social disease, I assume no responsibility for their quality or appropriateness.

So I was driving Jessica to school today, and heard a news story on the radio about those full body scanners at the airports that everyone’s been complaining about.  According to the story, the TSA has begun replacing the extremely accurate 3D scanners because of the public outcry.  

This was the most innocuous of the images I found when I googled "airport full body scanners." There are others.

The way it was described on the radio, the new generation scanner eliminates the provocatively realistic images and instead shows stick figures.  Arrows point to areas that need to be checked further. 

I’m glad to hear that the federal government will be getting out of the Tron porn industry, but what about those poor stick people?  Do they deserve to have their private parts openly displayed for TSA agents to linger over lasciviously? What about Joe the pedestrian crossing guy, or Bill the construction zone warning guy, or Betsy, the ladies’ room lady? Imagine their embarrassment the next time a TSA agent crosses in a crosswalk, or uses a bathroom, and gives them that creepy, knowing smile.  They can’t run and hide; they’re stuck to those bright yellow or orange signs, whose sole purpose is to draw our attention to them.  They have no mouths, so they can’t voice their concern or protest this decision. It’s just another example of a minority group being victimized by the rest of us.  Poor, poor stick people.                             
If his face is red, now you'll know why.

The same story also mentioned that although Phoenix is currently using the realistic full body scanners, it wasn’t yet scheduled for the stick figure upgrade (or is that downgrade?).   If I’m not mistaken, weren’t we one of the first in the country to test and implement the naked picture scanners?  And now we’re going to be the last to get rid of them?  Hmmm.  The TSA has obviously discovered what we have known all along:  Sky Harbor has the hottest passengers in the country.


  1. Just Strange. But that's what I like about your brain.

  2. Hutton - That's what Free Radicals is all about! My brain, exposed to air. That hasn't happened since I cracked my head open at the Milwaukee County Zoo in 1978.

  3. Now that explains everything!