I've occasionally been having the feeling for the past few years that I'm stuck in an episode of The Twilight Zone. The main difference is that now it's color instead of black-and-white.
Let's take the airports, for a good example. When I'm at one there are lines two hours long. Except for the fact no one is smiling, everyone looks like they're about to start doing the Conga. I keep having this image that if I was to find a special pair of sunglasses (like the ones Roddy Piper wore in the movie, They Live, which showed who the aliens were) most of the people in those lines would have the heads of sheep.
Then those scarier-than-Pennywise-the-Clown clerks (the women with the big poofy hair and the make-up applied with a paint-roller) ask everyone the same stupid, meaningless questions, over and over: "May I see your driver's license? Have your bags been out of your sight? Has anyone tried to give you anything?" It wouldn't surprise me at all if soon it was escalated to, "Are you now, or have you ever been, a terrorist? Do you have any explosives on or near you? Are you capable of detonating a nuclear weapon? Do you have poison gas in your tooth? Do you have a grenade secreted in any of your orifices?" (What a way to blow up a plane --"Look out! He's got his butt up against the window!")
Then we have the airports patrolled by the National Guard -- except they're carrying unloaded weapons. This is in some ways a good thing. since I wouldn't want an M-16 to be dropped by some 18-year-old searching for a doobie for a bathroom break, and accidentally fired toward those long lines of sheeple. "Uh...sorry about that, dude."
When I look at the those screening luggage and searching passengers I often see the same kind of people who flew the planes into the WTC. I also see the very same kind of people loading luggage into the airlines ("Damn, these fuel-air bombs are heavy"). Some of them are even wearing the bin Laden one-layer wedding-cake turban. Instead what we are getting are people who are totally innocent being subjected to preposterous searches.
How in the world did Richard "Stinky" Reid make it onto the plane? "Oh no no no! We have to let him pass! It's profiling! Let's completely ignore the fact he looks like a Charlie Manson dog-humping lunatic! Let's do a full body-cavity search on Grammy here! No one can accuse us of being prejudiced then!" It's PC growing like the Blob, engulfing every bit of common sense in its path.
At my local airport one man apparently didn't want to stand in a long line to be searched (investigators suspected he was going to miss his plane). Somehow, he joined a line of people and bypassed the search. I guess he got on his plane in time. All I can say is: yay! for him. However, the whole airport went on Super, Super-Duper High Alert, and they shut down everything searching for this guy. I think they even had bomb-sniffing dogs. That's hardly the first time an airport's been shut down, even though everyone with one working brain-cell and a non-puckered butt knew it was a complete joke.
This is ridiculous. I'll bet Rod Serling would be impressed, though. He'd probably be scribbling ideas down like mad ("This'll be better than the one where the slot machine was chasing the guy and cackling, Frrranklinnn! Frrranklinnn!")
Another man was told he could take a disposable lighter onto the plane, but would have to check his refillable one. There is not one person in the entire universe who has a rational explanation for this. Because there isn't one!
We're told laws were passed to make the screeners "highly-paid professionals." "Highly-paid" I believe -- just more people to vote Commie. Uh, I mean Democrat. But "professional"? That's about as l ikely as Arnold Schwartzenegger being put into the hospital by a Pomeranian.
People who can stand there eight hour a day searching luggage could only do it if their IQ is less than 100. In their case "professional screener" is a perpetual oxymoron. A smart person would have to be high or boozed-up the whole shift to handle a boring job like that. For that matter, maybe the not-so-smart ones, too.
It's a good thing I can't read minds. If I could, here are some of the thoughts I would get from the screeners: "I've been charged with drunken driving three time, but boy did I fool them!" "I'm a convicted rapist -- look at the boobage on that babe! Wait 'til I get my hands on her!" "I'm a child molester -- and here comes some little kiddies for me to search!" I'm still waiting for the first screener to get popped in the snotbox for feeling up some guy's wife or kids. Or maybe even his cute little dog.
It really is too bad I don't have some kind of psychic powers, like the characters in a Stephen King novel. I'd walk through the airports, and everytime I came across a sleazy screener, I'd zotz him and make his gizzard fall out. ("Ooh, yeah, now I've got my hands on her --huh? What?" Plop.)
Then, on the airplane, if you go to the bathroom during the last half-hour of the flight, you get arrested. This raises the question: what if you just stood up, flipped ougt your crank and whizzed in the aisle? Wouldn't the charge of public indecency be a fraction of the charge for actually going to the restroom? What about if it's a four-year old? ("Mommy, I can't hold it any longer!") What then? "On your face, kid!" Click, click. "Wah! Mommy! Daddy! Wah!"
Personally, I'm boycotting the airlines. If everyone else did too, things would change but fast. Government is just like one of those big clumsy stupid dinosaurs who when when a T-Rex was chewing on its tail the message got to its peanut-sized brain two years later. Right now, it all reminds me of that old Texas saying about a monkey trying fuck a football.
I also get the Twilight Zone feeling outside of the airport. I agree with Rush Limbaugh much of the time, but recently I heard him claim that Dubya's almost complete unfamiliarity with pop culture (Leonardo DiCaprio? Whozzat?) is a sign that he's a Deep Thinker. I guess this means that Dubya spends his evenings reading Plato and Aristotle while stuffing Cheesy Poofs into his Cheesy Poof hole.
The irony of this is lost on Rush. Orwell saw this years ago: Ignorance Is Strength. Sometimes I get the feeling that while Rush is talking he is suddenly snatched away, in a nanosecond, and replaced with some goof who sounds and looks exactly like him. When he starts talking like that he's either self-deluded or a cynical liar (I suspect the former). Recently he's been reminding me of a woman I know, who's totally normal until she starts talking about how aliens kidnapped her and stole her eggs ("I'm sure I've got some half-alien kid out there somewhere").
I get the same feeling about Duyba. First he was a amiable, tongue-tied fratboy; now all of a sudden he's a Holy Warrior attempting to start WWIII with a bunch of countries that probably can't even manufacture their own toilet paper. If someone was to step on his foot, and the top of his head was to pop up like a lid, exposing a little alien in a Barcalounger, it wouldn't surprise me at all.
I'm also starting to get a little paranoid about the cops. Most of those on the street I consider little better than worthless, since I've had them admit to me that 99% of the time they do nothing (detectives are a different story). I've caught quite a few sleeping in their cars in hidden places. (I used to drive a taxi years ago, and was told by the other drivers where the police and city officials would go to sleep while on duty. Sometimes I would drive by and look at them with their heads back and their mouths open. I always had this fantasy of throwing a peanut in.)
Who is going to enforce all these stupid-and bizarre-laws the government is passing? The police, of course. Look at this way: who arrested the guy for peeing on the plane? Who arrested the pilot who made a ruckus about having his nail clipper confiscated? Whether the laws are right or wrong doesn't matter -- you're coming with us, perp!
I'd never make it as cop: "This is ridiculous! I'm not arresting this guy! He's in the right! I quit!" Then I would throw my badge in the nearest lake, just the way Clint Eastwood did at the end of Dirty Harry.
Then there's Donald Rumsfeld, who blithely says that innocent civilians get killed in war. Hmmm...terrorists killed a bunch of our innocent civilians (which is wrong), so we kill a bunch of innocent civilians in Afghanistan (which didn't attack us), which is right?
The Twilight Zone was about what all horror is about: things are normal, then, suddenly (and usually for no rational reason), things get weird. Sinister. Sometimes things go back to normal. Sometimes they don't.
It was also about paranoia. I'm not scared of terrorists. I am scared of my own government. Imagine if Hillary was put in charge of Homeland Security. I'd rather take my chances with the Chucky "Good Guy" doll from the movie Child's Play. (Now that I think about it, Hillary looks a little bit like ol' Chucky.)
The government gave up protecting our life, liberty and property decades ago. Now it's a behemoth, both domestically and foreign.
The longer this war (this undeclared war) goes on, the more sinister things are going to get. Right now the State is telling us War Is Peace. I'm sure there are people in the administration chomping at the bit to have teenagers "volunteer" for the draft (not only can they not say the word "slavery," they can't even force themselves to think it).
There are two sayings I keep in mind concerning perpetual war for perpetual peace. The first: "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand."
The second: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God" (which means those who are not peacemakers will be called the exact opposite of the children of God).
Brrr. Next stop...The Twilight Zone.