When I started working almost three years ago, I stopped watching TV mainly because I worked nights and couldn't watch. I've since lost interest and don't know most of the new crop of celebrities that the world goes goo goo over, but that's beside the point.
I keep up on my current events with the internet, reading headlines and digging further into the articles if the mood strikes. This way I know the gist of what's going on in the world but I'm not inundated with the incessant bullshit propaganda that the news stations perpetuate. I've successfully kept a pretty good distance from the televised media until recently when all the TSA headlines started making the rounds.
There is a wall about three quarters high that separates our checkpoint from the passenger waiting area, and there is a TV perched up high so a person can see it from both locations. Fox News plays nonstop and one day last week I looked up and saw images of people I worked with in Denver; friends and co-workers who I knew on a personal level, doing their jobs as they had been told to do them, and being vilified for it.
An image came onto the screen of a woman in the body scanner, and in the foreground I saw Josh, the person I miss the most, my best friend. I wanted to cry, to rip the fucking TV out of the wall. My friends were the poster children of a misunderstood system, resulting in hatred and resentment towards them.
This morning I received a message that school was cancelled, so I called Mom to let her know, as the kids slept at her house last night. In her sleepy voice she said, "Are you doing the body scans in Cody?" "Um, no...(?)" "Well why?" "Well, because we don't have a scanner...(where is she going with this)" "Well, are you doing the GROPING patdowns like everyone else around the country?" "Well yes, of course I am doing patdowns on people here... and could you please explain what a GROPING patdown is?" "Well you know, you grope womens' boobs, and reach up into their crotch with your hands..."
The media has caused panic within our communities; it has caused fear; it has caused us to turn against each other. Bin Laden must be one proud man because, nine years after his biggest victory, his terrorism is proving to be more effective than ever and we fall for it, hook line and sinker, thanks to the fucking news. Without the uproar started by our own news stations, I am certain the new patdown procedures would have gone virtually unnoticed and my mom wouldn't be accusing me of mishandling women's boobs.