September 11, 2001 changed the United States, in ways that no one could have predicted. To protect the populace from future fanatical suicide bombers that learned how to fly planes in small American airports while spending Al Quada cash in land of liberty’s strip clubs, the commercial airline industry, through the newly created government agency, Homeland Security, gave us another scourge, the TSA.
The Transportation Security Administration seemed like a great idea in 2001. Then again, so did Jennifer Lopez in a scarf. Remember that?
But after eleven and a half years of zero airline terrorism acts, making Grandma strip to her skivvies and banning bottles of shampoo over has given way to an antagonistic culture of “us versus them”. The them isn’t terrorists; it’s poorly trained, common sense lacking, power-tripping from a uniform and unilateral decision-making rubes. If you haven’t traveled in ten years, you may be shocked to know that there are people in police-like duds who have greater ability to screw up your life than actual law enforcement officers. If you have too much suntan lotion in your carryon bag and you tell one of these TSA agents that they’re being ridiculous, they can have you detained, bypassing normal due process laws that police officers must abide by.
One of these TSA agents had a very bad day, allegedly, this past weekend at Los Angeles’ LAX airport. But this time, allegedly,the TSA agent messed with a blogger’s kid. And he’s about to learn what real power looks like.
Sunday morning, 15-year-old Sarina Frauenfelder, Mark’s daughter, was conducting college tours with high school classmates when she went through an ID checkpoint. An adult male TSA agent checked out her ensemble of leggings, tank top, and a button-down shirt.
Sarina did the usual show removal, no computer or electronic equipment then heard this, allegedly, come from the TSA Agent.
“You’re only 15, cover yourself!”
Sarina also reported glaring, aggressive body language and a hostile tone. I have a teen-aged daughter and I know melodramatics and exaggeration go with them like Taylor Swift downloads and frappucinos, but mentioning the girl’s attire is preposterous.
If Sarina Frauenfelder had been the daughter of Skip Frauenfelder, plumber, then perhaps TSA receives a strongly worded email and a snarky tweet from the Frauenfelder’s respective Twitter accounts. But guess what, Sarina’s dad, Mark Frauenfelder, is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. He’s so connected in the blogging world that one of his BFF’s is Maureen Herman, the ex-bass player in Babes in Toyland, and founder of website A Is For http://www.aisfor.org/another-reason-to-be-shameless-tsa-agent-shames-15-year-old-girl/
This alleged harasser of an TSA Agent stirred a hornet’s nest of over a million readers, through blogs, Twitter and Facebook accounts of the aforementioned folks.
So far, the TSA Agent’s name hasn’t been released, Mark and Maureen are showing their journalistic responsibility. Although the punk rock fan in me hopes Maureen Herman gets back together with Kat Bjelland, fires up Babes in Toyland and puts out an album called TSA Go Away, because it’s time.
In defense of the TSA, they met with Sarina’s parents, opened an investigation and issued a half-hearted apology to NBC:
“We regret that this passenger had an unpleasant experience and are in the process of thoroughly reviewing the circumstances,” TSA spokesman David Castelveter told NBC News.
“TSA officers are trained and expected to perform screening methods in a dignified and respectful manner at all times. We work to make our screening procedures as minimally invasive as possible while providing the highest level of security for the traveling public,” said Castelveter.
But for those of you, including my own friends and family, that don’t take my writing on the Internet seriously. Tell my 17-year-old daughter he yoga pants, tank tops, and flip flops are inappropriate. Because, it’s on old school. New school has blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and friends who are punk rock icons.
Fight the power, Sarina.