Friday, December 30, 2005

Orlando airport

Having never flown into or out of Orlando airport before, I was unprepared for the scene today leaving Florida. I know I've said it about LAX before, but this really was the most Ellis Island-like security line I've ever seen. I really expected to get a new last name by the time I got to the shoe-removal spot. Just to prove that God really does read David Foster Wallace, the family in front of me in the miles-long, up-the-conveyer-belt-formerly-called-the-moving-walkway--when it moved--and-back-down-again line were all wearing those Mickey ear hats with their names embroidered in the back, except these hats were shining gold (Disney bling) and one of the girl's names was "Meme." (It did make me wonder if you could fit "Ceci n'est pas une hat" on the back of one.)

So that was the mildly amusing, ironic thing. The chilling thing was the "clear" stations with the non-existent lines where, if you are a registered frequent traveller, you can simply avoid the whole Ellis Island experience by flashing your Clear Card. It's brilliant really; the Fascists don't have to fight for their national identity card; they can collect biometric data and enter everyone in one centralized database and make them pay $80 a year for the privilege this way. What's more, the whole thing has been outsourced to a private company. (I'm sure if we do some digging we can find the links to Diebold.) I need to tell you, I am queen of the tinfoil hat wearing skeptics and I found myself gazing longingly at the Clear stations. Though I can see it now. I'd stick my iris up to those things and they'd start with, "You're walking in the desert and you see a turtle, Travis..."

My mother? Let me tell you about my mother....

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