I don’t know about you, but I long for those innocent days of tell-all books about being abducted and anally-probed (and not in a good way) by aliens. It was all fun and games and swamp gas and guys named Booger or Zell. But, as it did with so many things, 9/11 changed everything and we entered into the age of Boogie Men with Brown Faces Under the Bed and the psychopathology that used to to be limited to people with Cracker Barrel Frequent Fryerâ„¢ cards has metastasized to the coasts where it festers and burbles beneath the trÃ©s cool urban veneer.
The Godmother of the Mile High Xanax Generation is Annie Jacobsen who took her 4-hour Detroit-to-LA sphincter clench and turned it into a career as the Soccer Mom Laurie Mylroie. Since then Jacobsen has added extra innings to her fifteen minutes of Fox Fame by peddling her special brand of pteromerhanophobia and xenophobia (Annie’s House Blendâ„¢) and the recent events in the past week must have her giddy with anticipation of the attention and paying gigs sure to come her way as an expert in airborne paranoia du jour. I hear she’s ordering ventes, damn the cost, no foam, triple shot for that extra-vigilance caffeine jolt.
And if there is a out-of-control bandwagon running down that hill towards CrazyTown USA you can bet that La Shawn Barber is sprinting to catch up:
When I read that passengers on a British flight refused to fly with two Middle Eastern men on board, I knew weâ€™d finally reached the point of no return. Iâ€™ve been waiting for something like this to happen.
Welcome to the age of terrorism.
(Note to self: 9/11 start date no longer operative)
A flight from MÃ¡laga, Spain, to Manchester, England, was held up for three hours after passengers became suspicious of two men of Middle Eastern appearance speaking what they believed was Arabic. The men were â€œescortedâ€ off the airplane.
Iâ€™m as â€œtough on terrorismâ€ as any red-blooded American, but I cringed when I read the story. Itâ€™s come to this. I want people to be free and happy and left alone to live their lives in peace, but thatâ€™s not the way the world works. The men likely were not terrorists, but people are fed up with this stuff. There is evil in the world, and that evil is intent on destroying as many people as it can.
It is unfortunate that Muslims with no terrorist intentions get singled out, too, but the fact is that mostly young, Middle Eastern, Muslim men are responsible for worldwide terrorism. (Including this latest attack?) Thatâ€™s indisputable. So what are the rest of us supposed to do? Ignore it for the sake of political correctness?
Hell no! Get involved, Citizen Sky Marshal!
There arenâ€™t enough resources, presumably, to watch everything all the time. Bureaucratic, soft-stepping government agencies are virtually hamstrung to do what really needs to be done. The problem is deep and cultural, and taking off our shoes at airports is as effective as trying to lift a boulder with a feather.
Muslims on a Plane: A Personal Account
Last year while on a flight back to D.C. after a road trip, I saw several men I suspected were up to no good. They were young men of Middle Eastern appearance, and one in particular was acting suspiciously. I was in an aisle seat on the right side, and he was a few seats in front of me on the left sitting with another Middle Eastern-looking man. I noticed that he kept looking back, smirking, and nodding his head at two other young men of Middle Eastern appearance several rows behind me.
Itâ€™s an understatement to say the guy was strange. He was too far away to actually talk to his companions, and I didnâ€™t hear him speaking to the man he was sitting with. He just kept turning around, smirking, and nodding during the entire flight. My imagination kicked into overdrive. Was that a signal?
I remained alert, just in caseâ€¦I donâ€™t know. If I were mistaken, I had nothing to lose but the enjoyment of a good book. If I were right, I and everyone else on board had a lot to gain. But the flight was uneventful. I guess the man was remembering some inside joke or had forgotten to take his meds.
On a different flight, I sat a few seats behind two young men of Middle Eastern appearance. This time I wasnâ€™t worried. Directly in front of them sat two men I believed with 90 percent certainty were air marshals. They had that look, know what I mean? Anyway, they were sitting right behind the bulkhead, and one got up to use the first class bathroom. Upon his return, he did a double-take at the men, eyeing them in a subtle but definitely alert manner. Again, the flight was uneventful, expect for a little turbulence.
Iâ€™m not sure that what happened with the MÃ¡laga-Manchester flight would happen here just yet, this being a neurotically politically correct, donâ€™t-hurt-their-feelings kind of country, and all. People who arenâ€™t raising a ruckus, or who merely speak in Arabic or look Middle Eastern typically donâ€™t get thrown off planes in this country. But Iâ€™m certain Iâ€™m not the only passenger in America whoâ€™s ever suspected Middle Eastern-looking men on a plane. One day weâ€™ll read about passenger revolts on American flights.
Do you have a â€œMuslims on a planeâ€ story?
Well I never thought this would happen to me, but when I was a freshman at a small midwestern college I met these two muslim lesbian coeds from Michigan State and the three of us went into the airplane restroom and we—
That’s for the Dubai Penthouse Infidel Forum.
Forget I mentioned it.
Getting back to Annie and La Shawn’s point (and they do have one) it would be prudent to keep in mind words of abolitionist Wendell Phillips who once said:
Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty … but you can find cheaper fares if you book early through Expedia™
…and no sleeping on the redeye. America expects you to do your part.