Usually, when I write a piece for National Review, it appears only in the print edition. In other words, it disappears down a magical media hole, never to see the light of day.
Occasionally, though, it ends up in both places: in the pages, and on the web, at NRO.
This is one of those times. Here's the opening lede from my piece this week, about the TSA, rubber gloves, and who really makes us feel safer on airplanes:
There’s probably no context in which rubber gloves are anything less than alarming. These hands, they seem to announce, are tasked with some dirty business. These fingers, say the brightly colored latex digits, are crossing into unsavory terrain. You don’t know where those hands have been, and you don’t want to know where they’re going, but wherever it is, they’re going to need protection.
Which is why, I think, the most unsettling part of passing through airport security — more disquieting than the quasi-police TSA uniforms, which always seem at least two sizes too snug; more heart-racing than the body-imaging equipment, which looks exactly like what a brain-tumor-inducing machine would look like if you tried to build one — is the sight of a slightly bored TSA agent, bursting out of her uniform like a baked potato out of the foil, waiting on the other side of the machines with a pair of rubber gloves and a dead-eyed expression.
Because whatever it is she’s wearing those gloves for, it ain’t to do the dishes.
I noticed -- because I'm an egomaniac and check these things obsessively -- that the post on NRO has 8 comments. As Ricochet members know, comments are sort of our business, so I thought: Hey! Let's not give away the product!
I wrap it up this way:
Be honest now: When you stumble through the security line, personal belongings every which way, clutching your shoes and belt to your chest the way a ravished maiden clutches her dress in a Victorian melodrama, do you feel safer? On the other hand, as you board the plane and struggle down the aisle with your (face it: too large) carry-on and bump along the rows, check out your stolid, irritated, loaded-for-bear fellow passengers. Now imagine that the guy in 22C starts to light his underpants, or mix his tiny shampoo into his tiny conditioner. Do you have any doubt that the lady in 22D, or the fat guy in 22A, or the wiry old guy in 22B, or the hipster plugged in to the iPod in 22H will hesitate, for a moment, to kick his
...and right here I violate the Ricochet Code of Conduct, but you get the idea.