People of America, rejoice! I passed my Homeland Security check with flying colors, which means you can safely read my articles without worrying that you’re endangering the security of the homeland or anything.
I’m serious. When I started working for this paper full-time, I expected the HR lady to hand me a thick pile of forms to fill out. And she did.
I did not expect one of the forms to feature the words “Department of Homeland Security” written prominently atop it. Yet it did.
Why, you might wonder, is the identity of the arts and entertainment reporter for a couple of central Connecticut dailies considered a homeland security matter?
The answer to that is in my column this week. But I will mention the relevant part here in case you’re too lazy to click on the frickin’ link
. . . that Homeland Security document is the standard citizenship form everyone in America must fill out to take a job.
It probably makes sense for Homeland Security to keep track of such folks as nuclear-plant operators and secret-weapon manufacturers. The wrong person in a job such as that could cause serious damage. But art reporters? Retail workers? Every single job in America? How does Homeland Security find time to root out actual terrorist threats when they’re keeping files on every teenage Taco Bell employee in the country?
I can’t answer that question; I’m still struggling to figure out why three ounces of shampoo in a flier’s carry-on luggage is fine, while four ounces is a terrorist threat worthy of confiscation. But I have a theory. Maybe “national security” is just a catch-all excuse to justify government involvement in even the most minute aspects of ordinary American lives.
The column also contains a long-winded rant against my new boss. Check it out!