Ramblings From The Road
Just recently, I got an email about the newspaper coverage on my going through the airport security procedure in which women have to take off their shirt and have their bra and what’s in them examined. The e-writer asked when I’m going to stop complaining and when I’m going to start “encouraging polite behavior between people who are citizens” including towards airport screeners.
Polite behavior. As a singer and actress, I rely on civil behavior. Every time I appear before an audience, I count on it to complete the performance with an effort of 100% plus. It’s hard to stay on focus and on tune while dodging catcalls or cabbages.
The polite e-writer continued to say, “If you are only willing to complain about the groping, and not willing to stand up for what made the country great … I have no sympathy for you.” What made this country great? That’s big, and I had to think back to high school civics. While I was not a student in 1776, it was a few years ago.
Now, I wish I had paid more attention, but as I remember, what made the US great in 1776 was that the citizens of the new nation decided to take control of their political life from a distant and over-reaching king. Yes, now in 2004, we have to have a government that works and a society that functions and (I travel a lot) airport safety too. However, we should not lose the rambunctious individualism that keeps the government on notice that when it inserts itself into our personal lives (and bras!), it better keep proving that what it is doing is effective and not over-reaching. What made us great is that we Americans consent to be lead by competent and honest people; we do not consent to be herded.
Back to the airport. Someone suggested that to be really effective, the screeners, while they are looking in our bras for explosives, could also be looking for lumps. We ought not to lose our characteristic sense of humor, even when the government is the butt of it. That makes us great too.
I must add, the first 2 e-mails I received after the New York Times article were hate mail from... men. I say, wait till they tell you to drop trou, and massage your testicles to see if you're holding.
I wish all of you the happiest of holidays and safe travels. See you in the New Year.
p.s. My holidays are in Florida!