Cheat-Seeking Missles

Friday, August 25, 2006

Air Hysteria?

I'm flying to Denver then on to Albuquerque on Sunday, returning Monday. Will there be nail polish remover on my plane? Dynamite? Indian Muslims with too many cell phones?

And if such a situation arose, what would I do?

It is hardly a frivolous questions and the actors in these inflight dramas are hardly acting frivolously. They are struggling with questions of life and death in an environment where they have little control ... and that environment happens to have five miles to fall, should the wrong decision is made.

That doesn't make the passengers' responses hysterical, even if there's legitimacy to the argument that the London liquid explosives plot and the continuing media coverage of each subsequent flight impact is creating an atmosphere of near-hysteric hyper-vigilance.

In situations like this, human emotions swing between not wanting to embarrass oneself or others, and not wanting to die. Many rapes and murders have occurred because the victim chose not embarrassing over living. That's bad enough, but having a couple hundred people die in the name of not embarrassing someone is too high a price.

So yes, I will act on my suspicions if they are aroused. But I sure hope they're not, and I don't have to.

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