4.24.2008

Other things, et cetera, and so on #5

An Airport Encounter

No, not that kind. A few weeks ago, my wife and I flew to Denver for a family wedding. On our return trip, we went through the obligatory TSA security check at Denver Intl. Airport. After collecting my things from the conveyor belt, I walked over to a row of chairs and sat down to put my shoes back on. I happened to be sitting next to an older gentleman who was also tying his shoes and getting all of his things in order. I didn't really notice him, as I was privately wishing -- as I always do -- that I could somehow learn to like loafers so I didn't have to waste so much time tying my shoes at airports.

As he finished, he leaned over to me conspiratorially and said under his breath "Damn Arabs!"

Startled, I replied "I agree," and with that he got up and walked toward the terminal trains and I didn't see him again. Then I was lost in thought for a bit as I wondered if we had meant the same thing. I questioned whether he had just distilled a long, principled line of reasoning into a sound byte to say to a random stranger in indignation at the state of our world, or if he was just a jerk and a bigot.

When I said I agreed with him, I was responding to the other thought that occurs to me every time I fly, namely that if we as a country would respond to Islamic terrorism in the appropriate way, then we wouldn't need to screen little old ladies' shoes for bombs. I don't have a problem with Arabs (how can you have a problem with an ethnicity?). My beef is with radical Islamists and the disastrous response our political leaders have given, and it was too difficult to gauge if that's what he really meant in the 3 second exchange. Thus I don't think I'd say "I agree" again.

Still, however crudely he phrased it, for a moment I thought we shared a common view. All in all, I'm sure that encounter affected me much more than it did him.

Around the Interwebs

SB over at One Reality has a very thought provoking post about the Pope standing in Yankee Stadium. I particularly like his characterization of the proper place for the Pope, and his ideas about the nature of organized sports as an example of advanced civilization.

RationalJenn is hosting the Objectivist Round Up, and she also got some great news about one of the cutest little girls I know.

LB posted a great Kipling poem that her daughter happily memorized! I'll certainly remember that one. With a line like "...Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it..." my kids will hopefully be reciting this poem one day. And I don't even like poetry.

3 comments:

Clay said...

So just don't tie your shoes.

C. August said...

That's just so crazy... it just might work!

I'm going to have to think about it for awhile, though. You know, work out all the implications, contingencies and the like.

Rational Jenn said...

Thanks, C, for the Round Up plug and about my girl. She is pretty cute, isn't she?