Saturday, March 25, 2006

Achieving High Altitude in the Blogosphere

As an air traveler on this day, I thought it worth pointing out that a new film in post-production from New Line, Snakes on a Plane, clearly appeals to the current Homeland Security Zeitgeist. Despite the thin premise, which is summed up in the movie's title, the response in the blogosphere has been enthusiastic. "Fans" of the movie's concept have manufactured their own pseudo-rebus t-shirts and made video parodies like Snakes on an Elevator. One featured fansite even includes recorded phone calls to major airlines from a prankster posing as "snake handling apprentice." The film's producers have responded to this do-it-yourself ethos by sponsoring a contest for composing theme music for the upcoming film. Some of the best electronic ephemera has been captured on Snakes on a Blog. (See below.)

The website for Transportation Safety Administration inspires considerably less mirth. Although they offer javascript rateable FAQ's about the No Fly list, remarkably little information is actually contained about the number of people on the list and the criteria for inclusion. Online information about the onerous clearance process also states that jumping over all the bureaucratic hurdles, involving snail-mailing PDF's and proving your paperwork identity, still will not actually remove your name from the list. You will simply be designated differently. See this amazing prose for more:

Please understand that the TSA clearance process will not remove a name from the Watch Lists. Instead this process distinguishes passengers from persons who are in fact on the Watch Lists by placing their names and identifying information in a cleared portion of the Lists. Airline personnel can then more quickly determine when implementing TSA-required identity verification procedures that these passengers are not the person of interest whose name is actually on the Watch Lists.

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