Posts from November, 2010
Saw an ad yesterday that was clearly very well targeted to the unsure prospective parent in us all.
People do exxtreme stuff (ultramarathons, skydiving) to prove to themselves that they’re alive, and boring stuff (have kids, get promoted) to prove to other people that they’re not dead yet. Right?
I may be physically unable to go to Ireland in January. Unless policies are edited by that time (which they won’t be) I’m envisioning a heart attack on the security floor. Because I’m just not as cool under pressure as Jeffrey Goldberg. And I’m doubting my courage to strip my way through security. (Though if I did, I could have some fun with language and body paint.)
If Eric makes me go through with it so we can go have fun in County Cork, I’m going to write up a little crib sheet to recite items 1-4 more eloquently than my blood pressure would allow off the cuff. And besides, if my heart does explode in front of the TSA robots, I know Eric will do a good job on the news.
I ask, “Do a lot of people opt-out?”
“No, not many.” [says the TSA "officer"]
“People are cows,” I say.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean they’ll do whatever the federal government tells them to do,” I say.
“How come you don’t go through the machine?” he asks me.
I give him several more answers than he expected:
1) I prefer to limit my exposure to radiation, which the back-scatter imager produces;
2) I don’t think this new technology will stop terrorism;
3) I find the idea of the government taking pictures of my genitalia a discomfiting invasion of privacy;
4) I find the specific pose a person is forced to take inside the machine — hands up, as in a mugging — particularly debasing.
“Okay,” he says, “have a nice flight.”
To: Everyone Willing to Submit to Physical Assault in the Name of Safety,
Last year a man was killed by a tree branch in Central Park, when it broke and fell under the weight of some very heavy snow.
As I see it, the only rational thing to do to protect the rest of our citizens is to erect a grand bubble over the park. I propose that the bubble go up on December 1, just in case we have any freak early-season snow, and remain up through April to catch all the straggling frozen rain.
Some opponents of the idea (America-haters) have said that my plan will destroy the natural beauty of the park, that the trees and grass and plants won’t receive sufficient sunlight and will die as a result, and that we’ll waste energy by pumping in sufficient oxygen for park visitors to breathe. Some others have even suggested that the bubble itself is vulnerable and pieces of it could collapse under the weight of the snow, killing a few people each year.
First of all, to the hippies I say, we’re planning to bring in artificial light and water to keep everything alive. And to the other bubble-breakers (heh) I remind you, A MAN DIED here. How can you choose maybe over definitely did already happen?
Please sign this petition and pass it on so that the great city of New York may again be protected against the dangers of falling tree branches.
Jessica Wright, CEO and President, Amalgamated Bubble Construction, Inc.