Today I’m flying back to Boston from Dallas. As a matter of fact, as I write this I’m on the plane and we’re heading from the gate to the runway. I was surprised on my way down here how dramatic my process with the TSA wasn’t. The TSA is pretty much my nightmare of a government agency.
Today, when I went to my screening to leave Dallas, I lived my nightmare.
1) Yes, the bomb squad has had a busy day today in Boston. Yes, they did just blow up two things in controlled detonations (as in, within the last two minutes) at the Marathon Finish Line. Geoff and I are both fine and were nowhere near any of the controlled detonations today. Yes, there were more than just those two detonations, no, we were never in any danger.
2) To all the crazies/”patriots”/martyrs/whatever who think that today is a day for demonstrations of their ideologies by throwing backpacks full of stuff into random places: Go back under whatever rock you came from. We don’t want you, you will get caught and possibly killed, and your “message” just gets lost in the kerfuffle. Stop already, enough. April 15th is for paying taxes.
3) To the people heading up the security theater that now invades so much of our lives: I want my rights back. Catching the guy who tossed those backpacks into the middle of a heavily guarded street was no biggie. Stopping the guy who shot up KS yesterday? Not a whole lot of warning on that one despite his obvious history of hatred. Oh, and that was terrorism too, in case you missed the memo. Just because a white guy did it doesn’t mean it isn’t terrorism.
And finally, to leave the serious topics for a minute:
4) Geoffrey and Joffrey aren’t the same person, thank all the Gods. If you’re looking for information about the character on Game of Thrones who died, his name is Joffrey and that post is here. Geoffrey is my husband and he is a) not a psychopathic murdering boy king and b) very much alive.
ETA by Geoff: And c) I am very much loyal to the Starks and hate the Lannisters very very much. I am a true man of the North. Nyah.
We’re 48 hours out from the bombings and things are… different. It isn’t just the obvious police presence or the national guard people in uniform everywhere. Things are different. Yesterday everything was eerily calm, almost like the afternoon of 9/11 when all flights were grounded and nobody knew what was going on, except that yesterday there were helicopters in the air overhead and we were all waiting.
Waiting for news of who else was going to die. Waiting to hear from that last person or two that we hadn’t yet heard from. Waiting for news from the police, the feds, the various hospitals. Waiting. It was like life in suspended animation.
We were going to work and going through the motions, but everyone was asking the same thing, “Should we be doing this?” “Is this appropriate?” “What is the right thing to do now?”
Nobody has an answer for that. There is no single answer when there is a 15 block long scar in the middle of your city that was carved out by a coward with bombs, a bone to pick with humanity, a need to see his human fears and frailty writ large on the TV, and not enough guts or intelligence to make the change he wants to see from within the system.
This is a quick post to let people who have been calling and emailing from near and far know that we’re OK. We were driving back from Boston when the bombing happened. The Cambridge EMS, Fire, and Hazmat were screaming past in the other direction and I casually wondered if there’d been a bomb threat. Oops.
We’ve heard from one friend who ran today and he finished and cleared the area before the bombs went off.
I’m sure there will be more information and more to post about later. Stay safe, everyone.
Many of you who know me know that I am a great admirer of Bruce Schneier, a renowned cryptology and security expert who has been a thorn in the side of those who believe all security issues can be solved with big, expensive machines and the push of a button. He is the inventor of the term “security theater”, or measures that are more effective at looking like you are doing something than actually doing anything to make you safer. I have several of his books and I highly recommend them. Anyway, recently Bruce was uninvited from testifying in front of Congress at the insistence of the TSA. I imagine this has something to do with the fact that he is a very vocal critic of the TSA and many of their policies.