Monday, July 04, 2011

July 4 Anniversaries

I know, I know, I’m in danger of turning into a one-trick pony; my blog, which started over five years ago as a catchall discussion of any social, sexual or political topic which caught my interest, now seems to be all TSA all the time.

Still, better a one-trick pony than a horse’s ass, and the latter is what I’d be if I celebrated such illusory concepts as “freedom” while simultaneously knowing “I finally have enough money to take a really good vacation, I can even afford to see Europe for the first time firsthand, but I’m not allowed to fly unless some government agent first looks at or touches my genitalia.” Yet few of my fellow Americans are outraged by this; if anything, I’m considered rude, or possibly hyperbolic, for pointing this out.

Fine. If I can’t celebrate “freedom” this July 4, I will instead celebrate the anniversary of the first time Your Humble Blogress Here ever got published. As a child, YHBH spent every summer enrolled in a "Young Writers" summer day camp sponsored by the city school district. I have many fond memories of those programs, though I don’t specifically recall pooping out any patriotic poetry as July 4 approached, when I was nine years old. Still, I know I produced at least one pro-America poem that summer – doubtless written in my absolute-best Magic Markered handwriting, on colored construction paper decorated with red, white and blue glitter – and the first of the poem’s three stanzas read:

The Fourth of July is a symbol
of the red, white and blue
the three dear colors
of the land of the true.

Some two years after I composed that little masterpiece, on Fourth of July when I was eleven, my mother suddenly started yelling, “Jennifer, you're in the paper!” Sure enough, the newspaper my family subscribed to in those primitive pre-internet days had a special holiday insert section, an insert filled with patriotic prose, poetry and pictures by local schoolchildren, including a three-stanza ode to the Fourth of July printed over the words “JENNIFER ABEL, age 9.”

One line of the poem, obviously alluding to our national flag, mentioned “Fifty stars and thirteen strips.” Even though my 11-year-old self had no memory of writing the poem two years earlier, she indignantly insisted someone at the newspaper must have made a mistake, because even at age nine I’d known the difference between “strips” and “stripes” (though had no idea I’d do the former, nine years hence).

I read the poem with the maturity and sophistication I had at aged eleven-going-on-twelve and, even overlooking the strip-stripe typo, was utterly horrified by this reminder of how childish and simplistic my writing and thoughts had been back during my single-digit years, twenty-four months previous. And it didn’t help that my mother called all our relatives to tell them “Jennifer’s in the paper!”, then called all the neighbors and asked them to save their Fourth of July inserts for her because “Jennifer’s in the paper!”

Fourth of July, personal milestone, childhood trauma ... all the same to me. So maybe it’s fitting that YHBH started out writing shiny pro-America poems on July 4 and now spends the holiday planning ways to enrich foreign airline companies in lieu of my own countrymen, since the easiest way for me to simultaneously visit Europe and avoid being molested by the TSA involves my first traveling to an airport in French Canada.

So be it. Any given TSA agent can certainly kiss my ass, but otherwise may not touch it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yup. The day this ends we'll both be on that flight to Europe!
Spouse nags at me all the time to just go because I probably won't be picked. I told him sure, but what if I am? You willing to give up the money for the ticket and hire me a lawyer because I'll be in jail. No one is going to touch me like that and get away with it. He just keeps falling back on the odds are good that I'll be left alone. I keep falling back on, "a real man doesn't allow his wife and child get sexually assaulted in front of his face just so he can go to Europe."

8:16 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Abel said...

Yikes, Cinnamon. I'd also add "A real man wouldn't ask a woman to pretty-please run the risk of being sexually assaulted for his benefit. "C'mon, honey, odds are good you won't be raped!"

9:14 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Abel said...

More importantly, though, the best chance of seeing these travesties stop is if peoples' refusal to fly causes too much damage to airlines' economic bottom line. It's downright sleazy to knowingly and voluntarily support an abusive industry, since "if it doesn't affect me personally, I don't give a damn."

9:20 PM  
Blogger Windypundit said...

Sigh. I just took a consulting job that will require me to fly to Washington, D.C., and I'm contemplating a full-tine job that will require occasional travel. I hated flying before 9/11, I'm not looking forward to it now.

Actually the flying part was kind of awesome. It's commercial air travel that I hated. That and having the security goons at the airport pawing through my stuff. I thought it was rude that they opened my wallet without asking. My wallet. Got that? I'm going to have to take a Xanax or something to get on a commercial flight now.

Still, I console myself that I'll be doing it for the money. And as a libertarian, I condone prostitution, right?

8:15 AM  
Blogger Jennifer Abel said...

Congrats on the job, Windy, though the flying aspect of it sounds awful these days. At the very least, I hope you can make the TSA miserable. "That's right ... on your knees, slut ... SNIFF my crotch like the dog that you are! ... this is the only job you qualify for, you worthless stupid child-molesting piece of crap ...." Just make sure you say nothing obscene or threatening.

I literally would not be able to fly these days; I doubt I could make it through the molestation without being arrested for hurting the stupid worthless slutpuppy's feelings.

8:55 AM  
Blogger Kevin Carson said...

I usually treat July 4 as the celebration of a national liberation movement kicking the living shit out of a global military superpower and forcing them to hightail it home with thousands of their dead buried on foreign soil. May it happen many, many more times.

4:58 PM  
Anonymous TedTheJackal said...

Unless you're contemplating some sort of mass storming of the Bastille kind of solution, every TSA article you write should include an endorsement of Ron Paul for president. He slapped the TSA down again today-

Your idea that economic pressure will stop the assaults is unrealistic. The government doesn't care if businesses go bankrupt, except insofar as it's an excuse to subsidize or otherwise take them over.

7:30 AM  
Blogger Kevin Carson said...

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12:21 AM  
Blogger Jennifer Abel said...

Et tu, Kevin?

Your comment would've made more sense had I not deleted the genuine spam right above it. But, hell -- *I* don't even make money off this blog; damned if I'll let some Chinese Viagra company make money from it.

8:31 AM  

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