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 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Apr 14, 2002
I am so annoyed with Osama Bin Laden or whomever it was who ordered those planes to be flown into the WTC and the Pentagon last September.

It's terrible how so many folk died or were injured. I mourn. But what's annoying me at the moment is the way those events have given free reign to every uniformed semi-trained gorilla (and every armed, untrained pipsqueak wannabe thug) to make travellers' lives more difficult than they already were.


More diaries by Greg
Windows XP: First Impressions

I write this at 33,000ft somewhere between Singapore and Manila. Embarking at Singapore I witnessed an angry outburst by a passenger who had his tiny scissors confiscated. He claimed they had been declared kosher on his two previous trips through the metal detectors, and couldn't see what the problem was in any case. Now, I'm fairly amazed that he was silly enough even to try to carry such an item onto a plane these days - they've been things non grata on domestic flights in Australia since September - but I have to acknowledge his point. Like, he's going to hold a .25 inch blade to a flight attendant's throat and order him or her to break down the door to the flight deck, menace the two or three crew with this mighty sabre and frighten them into giving him the controls, so he can fly us into Raffles' Hotel?

I think not. But that's not the point, is it. The point is that every anal, ISTJ, rule-toting idiot in the world's air terminals is now having the time of his or her life. Suddenly, the world has been rearranged and turned around and tailored to suit their tiny mind. Their opportunities to hassle and importune their "customers" have expanded beyond their wildest imaginings. Now they can push around the CEO of a Fortune 500 company for daring to carry a manicure set.

I've flown a bit. Prior to September I'd never had my bag searched (except in Manila, of course). Last October it was searched three times before I managed to leave Sydney. An astute metal detector attendant at Hong Kong divined that the handle of my razor was the offending item, but that possibility had been beyond the imagination of the overzealous Aussies, empowered and emboldened as they now were to throw their considerable weight around as it suited them.

The contrast pre- and post- 11 September 2001 in the boarding lounges of this planet deserves a more thorough analysis than I have time for at the moment. Suffice to say that in July I flew round the world on a trip involving fourteen takeoffs and landings, without my shaving tackle exciting anyone. And without having to dismantle my laptop, which has happened once (so far) on this trip. Note: once! 66 percent of the metal detector jockeys so far have let it through intact. But one decided to exercise her authority - arbitrarily.

The arbitrary exercise of authority, as a principle, scares the bejesus out of me. Especially arbitrary exercises of authority by not-very-bright people with guns. It was bad enough last March in Manila. Being given the once over by half a dozen, variously uniformed armed guards, some holding blunderbusses that looked like sawn-off shotguns, just to get into the mall, was a little unnerving to say the least. I'm not looking forward to seeing how the War on Error has affected the situation. My protectors are not likely to have mellowed out.

I'd rather take my chances with a nail-scissors wielding terrorist any day.


You know, that guy *is* annoying. (5.00 / 2) (#1)
by elenchos on Sun Apr 14th, 2002 at 11:35:48 PM PST
And I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed. I can tell you one thing, that Mr. bin Laden isn't getting a hearty good-day-to-you-too-sir from me next time I run into him at the club. Does man think he can be that annoying -- I say he's been downright rude, truth be told -- and continue to get civility in return? Nothing of the kind, noble Adequacy reader, nothing of the kind.

Even though I don't really do any air travel, I want you to know how much my heart goes out to intelligent business travelers such as yourself. It really is the end of decent society as we knew it when those of superior intellects are made to suffer inconvenience when flying. Especially, as you note, when the inconvenience is at the hands of those who are not smart too. I bet those neanderthals run Windoze on their laptops, eh? Heh. Morons.

What we need is security checkers with a college education. A good college education, not some state school. Princeton, Stanford, same as you right? You bet.

Hey, maybe they could have a special line in the airport for gentlemen such as yourself. You cold wear a badge with your IQ stamped on it and you would then be privliged to have your bag rifled by your intellectual equal. You and the security guard could chit chat about linear algebra or Pynchon while he checked your toothpaste for razor blades.

Well, I wish I could help, but all I can offer is my heartfelt sympathy. Yes, yes, 3,000 people are dead and some third world pisshole is a smoking crater, but the real pain is among the poor business travelers, damn it! Intelligent ones! Sorry, man. I'm sick about it, that's the truth.

Hang in there, brother.

I do, I do, I do
--Bikini Kill

Thanks... (5.00 / 1) (#2)
by Greg on Mon Apr 15th, 2002 at 01:41:07 AM PST
...for reading my diary and commenting, though you do seem just a little confused.


It's the drugs. (5.00 / 2) (#6)
by tkatchev on Mon Apr 15th, 2002 at 11:04:57 AM PST
That sort of thing catches up to you later in life. (Or sooner, if you're into detergent.)

Peace and much love...

You know... (none / 0) (#10)
by hauntedattics on Mon Apr 15th, 2002 at 05:32:54 PM PST
despite his detergent abuse, elenchos has a point here.

ISTJ (none / 0) (#3)
by because it isnt on Mon Apr 15th, 2002 at 04:03:42 AM PST
Just wondering, what does ISTJ mean? I Speak To Jesus? -- because it isn't

ISTJ (none / 0) (#4)
by Ernest Bludger on Mon Apr 15th, 2002 at 04:30:02 AM PST
I suspect it's a personality type; Introverted Sensing Thinking Judging. See here. So you're close to the mark - I Speak To Jesus seems to be a useful synonym (what's the acronym for the synonym of an acronym?).

Acronym Finder didn't know this one.

Personality types (none / 0) (#5)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon Apr 15th, 2002 at 10:57:17 AM PST
It's a Myers-Briggs Type index, sometimes referred to as Jung Type indexing.

ISTJ = Intovert, Sensing, Thinking, Judging
as opposed to Extrovert, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving.

Fascinating subject, NASA have gone as far as to classify common personality types to each set, i.e mine (INTP) is the portrait of an architect.

I believe that ENTJ is the portrait of an arse.

Problem with these labels (none / 0) (#8)
by dmg on Mon Apr 15th, 2002 at 02:35:46 PM PST
Is that you will almost certainly get a different result each time you take the test, if you answer honestly. A lot of the questions are mood/time dependent. Myers-Briggs is totally discredited, in much the same way that IQ tests measure the ability to succeed in an IQ test, Myers-Briggs tests are similarly useless.

time to give a Newtonian demonstration - of a bullet, its mass and its acceleration.
-- MC Hawking

There's nothing wrong with speaking to Jesus. (none / 0) (#16)
by SpaceGhoti on Wed Apr 17th, 2002 at 01:45:40 AM PST
It's when Jesus talks back to people that I start worrying about them.

A troll's true colors.

ARG! (none / 0) (#7)
by JoePain on Mon Apr 15th, 2002 at 01:31:49 PM PST
"Like, he's going to hold a .25 inch blade to a flight attendant's throat and order him or her to break down the door to the flight deck."

Why do you say this? They actually used a FUCKING BOXCUTTER to slice up the flight attendants-- forcing the doors open WITH SCREAMS. Whats your problem?

This jack ass should be sent home with a note pinned to his chest to show his mommy so she can tell him what a JACK ASS he is.

Jack a** (none / 0) (#11)
by Greg on Mon Apr 15th, 2002 at 05:57:20 PM PST

Two points:

1. There is a huge difference between a tiny pair of manicure scissors and a boxcutter. The former could barely give you a scratch. The latter could cut your throat.

2. Do you eat with that mouth?

Love and peace

Yeah, but (none / 0) (#12)
by derek3000 on Tue Apr 16th, 2002 at 05:18:52 AM PST
couldn't you stab someone with the scissors? Even if they were curved at the end, you could still do it.

"Feel me when I bring it!" --Gay Jamie

Yes, but (5.00 / 1) (#13)
by because it isnt on Tue Apr 16th, 2002 at 05:23:12 AM PST
you could stab someone with your fingers. And I hear that you do. Perhaps you should be banned from flying? -- because it isn't

I wouldn't think of it as stabbing. (none / 0) (#15)
by derek3000 on Tue Apr 16th, 2002 at 06:21:39 AM PST
A better analogy would be grabbing an ice-cold six pack.

"Feel me when I bring it!" --Gay Jamie

Piss off wanker. (none / 0) (#14)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Apr 16th, 2002 at 05:24:03 AM PST
1. Too inteligent people like arabs who can sharpen the scissors there is no difference.

2. Yes I do.

I feel your pain (none / 0) (#9)
by nx01 on Mon Apr 15th, 2002 at 04:35:25 PM PST

"Every time I look at the X window system, it's so fucking stupid; and part of me feels responsible for the worst parts of it."
-- James Gosling


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