Friday, January 15, 2010

Oh, those wacky airports.

Ever in the pursuit of the divine right to deflower seventy-two virgins in the afterlife, radical fundamentalist Muslims in some parts of the world remain determined to slip bottles of explosives into their Hanes whiteytighties and board commercial airliners. At the rate some of these fellows are sacrificing themselves in the name of jihad, you'd think that Allah had hymens on backorder.

Now, remember when you were a kid (oh, I'm talking to the boys here, although I'm certain plenty of youse grrls would agree too) and you had fantasies of being able to see through your classmates' clothes? Any of you remember those ads in the back of the comic books for X-Ray Specs? Sure you do.

Now, whatdya get when you mate these two ideas? You get the ProVision Active Millimeter Wave Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) System, baby. Developed by Massachusetts-based L3 Security And Detections Systems, these devices will soon appear in airports throughout Canada and elsewhere as a new and improved means to make certain that no one has C4 where you can't see it, PLX where their penises should be, or astrolite packed with their Astroglide.

The so-called "naked scanners" produce an electronic, three-dimensional, seminude image within two seconds. Opponents such as Privacy International and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association are condemning the devices as an invasion of privacy, and seek assurances concerning both its effectiveness and discretionable use. Nevermind that these devices have already been in use at border crossings, prisons, courthouses and elsewhere in the world for some time. Some bemoan that faces and genitals aren't systematically blurred during the scanning process. Some even argue that children should not be scanned because to do so would constitute the making of child pornography.

Because, you know, a radical extremist and violent zealot would never consider using someone under the age of consent to, you know, hurt anybody or anything. I mean, that'd be no fairzees.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the American Association for Nude Recreation thinks the devices are a splendid idea. In a recent press release, the AANR counsels folks to "put it in perspective... (that safety) is more important than parochial concerns over a scanned image of the human body."

"(We) think it's going to change how (people) think about things," said AANR publicist Carolyn Hawkins in a recent Toronto Star report. "We think it's a great idea, and not just because we're nudists."

Me, I'm still waiting for my X-Ray Specs. Maybe they're on backorder too.

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