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Wiley Miller’s Non Sequitur nails it yet again, as does with a list of four reasons why instead of treating terrorists like evil masterminds and making getting on a plane ten times as big a pain in the arse as it needs to be we should actually be laughing ourselves silly at them.

A lot of people have a strong interest in portraying terrorists as dedicated, evil badasses. Hollywood, is always desperate for proper bad guys. There are people who are trying to get you to vote for their terror safety laws or sell you terror safety equipment. And of course, there are the terrorists themselves.

When they convince us that they’re dangerous Bond-level supervillains, we have to deal with minor airline travel annoyances. But more importantly, we are sending a message to people who sympathize with the terrorists’ cause that, “Hey, this works! They’re very effective guys!”

But, she says, in reality they tend to be incompetent, stupid, hypocritical and apt to be their own worst enemy if left to their own devices. Go and read the whole thing, and keep it in mind as you move from the shoe removal queue to the one for the backscatter X-ray body scanner the next time you have to fly anywhere. The bogeymen didn’t do that – we did it to ourselves.

11 comments for “Bogeymen

  1. Maaarrghk!
    May 27, 2011 at 6:51 am

    A while back the Grumpy Old Sod did a piece on Isreali airport security systems – very interesting.

    Airport entrance to departure gate in 28 minutes maximum and you don’t even have to take your shoes off.

    • May 27, 2011 at 1:45 pm

      Yes, I blogged it myself. Ben Gurion International sounds like a comparative joy to fly out of, and more importantly the Israelis have shown us how it can be done if everybody simply refuses to put up with the security theatre and demand a service which is both quick and safe. Until that changes for the rest of us I’m a flying refusenik as much as possible – if I haven’t got to cross the country at short notice or a stretch of ocean too big to have a ferry I’m staying down here where I don’t get treated like I’m going to explode, thanks very much.

  2. May 27, 2011 at 7:39 am

    That Mladic* seems like a jolly good bogeyman. On telly yesterday, they said that even Karadzic (spelling?) was horrified by what Mladic got up to, whereby a couple of years ago when K was arrested, he was billed as the most evil warlord in Yugo etc (I think Slobo had already ‘had a heart attack’ while in custody at the time).

    * See picture to the right of this article.

    • May 27, 2011 at 1:47 pm

      Nice caption. And by the way I envy your talent with a pencil or whatever you use.

      • May 27, 2011 at 4:35 pm

        Indeed so.

  3. May 27, 2011 at 8:55 am

    The bogeymen didn’t do that – we did it to ourselves.

    We know this. Unfortunately far too many people have swallowed the propaganda.

  4. PT
    May 27, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Running out of Bogeymen? Nature is said to abhor a vaccuum. (Is Nature sentient? But I digress.) Our rulers themselves, by their own behaviour, are becoming the Bogeymen, those whom an increasing number of us are learning to fear and hate.

    • May 27, 2011 at 1:49 pm

      Nature is said to abhor a vaccuum.

      That’s cats, isn’t it? Ours run away and hide as soon as we get it out of the laundry room. 😀

  5. May 27, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    I couldn’t agree more. There are too many vested interests in keeping us ‘scared’ – from the police who’d like to try out some new toys and the politicians who like power & control to the companies who make big profits on the back of selling ‘anti-terror’ equipment. Nice post, AE.

  6. May 27, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    We have always been at war with Eastasia – or is that Eurasia?

    • May 28, 2011 at 1:00 am

      I just thought we’d always been at war.

      Gives all those chaps in uniforms something to do or they might get ideas. 😈

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