Memories From the Road

Hello, folks. Ben here.

As you may recall from previous mentions on this fine blog, me and the wife were on vacation in California last week. And, in a few short hours, I will be leaving NYC once again, this time in order to attend a wedding in New Orleans.

All of this traveling has reminded me of a darkly hilarious/excruciating episode that I witnessed in the Louisville airport about three years ago. Let me now relay this anecdote to you.

I was in line at the security checkpoint, and the individual ahead of me was a teenager very much in a “punk” phase (tight black pants, spiked hair, band patches all over a denim jacket, etc). This anarchic-looking youngster put his bag on a conveyor belt, and as it went through the x-ray, security personnel thought they saw a small knife. So, the bag was removed, and one of the security guys started to rifle through it. The first thing he took out was a bag of cds, which he removed and set to the side. I glanced at the pile, and the first one on the stack was Leftover Crack’s “Fuck World Trade”. On the cover was a picture of the second airplane hitting the World Trade Center.Now, according to Wikipedia, Leftover Crack is “anti-racist, anti-misogynist, and anti-capitalist”, and they are trying to spread “an anarcho-communist message of freedom and collective co-existence.” But, to the untrained eye, their album cover makes them seem like a bunch of terrorist sympathizers.

“Oh, man, this kid is so fucked”, I thought to myself. I kept waiting for him to get whisked away to a detention center, so that the proper authorities could question him about his terrorist leanings. But the security guy either ignored the cd cover that was right in front of him, or somehow did not see it. He calmly kept searching through the bag, and soon located the true problem: a small keychain with a knife on it. The keychain was confiscated, the cds were casually placed back in the bag, and the young punk was sent on his way. I imagine that he had been terrified.

In a way, this whole incident made me feel good. I was expecting an ill-informed over-reaction to this kid’s admittedly rather offensive musical preferences, but instead nothing happened. At all. Inaction ruled the day, and sometimes that’s the best course of action to take.

On that note, I will not be blogging again until Monday, at the earliest. See you next week!

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