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August 13, 2004

I have authoritah!

by Feòrag

United States: The War on Terror has a new target - role-playing games. A New York gamer had an interesting encounter with a Cartman employed by a ferry company to check bags for weapons:

This morning, they're doing bag searches again to get on the ferry. And the guy doing the searches pulls me aside and says, Sir, I feel that I need to confiscate this book.
I pause and say, in that tone of voice that most people would recognize as meaning, have you lost your grip completely, chuckles?: You need to confiscate... a book.
Yes. I feel it's inappropriate for the other people on the ferry to be exposed to it.
Now, I had the book IN MY BAG. It was not open. And while the Maiden of the Mirthless Smile is displayed as improbably proportioned, well, this is not, as far as I know, illegal to have. I mean, there was a guy carrying a copy of Maxim, and some of the women in THAT are improbably proportion. (All right, I admit: they're not wielding a huge sword and dressed in a bustier studded with human finger bones. But really.)
My response: Well, let me call the ACLU and have them come down here, and see what they think about your attempt to confiscate a book that was not in the plain sight of others due to your feeling it's not appropriate. And I pull out my cell and start scrolling down the list - ACLU-NJ is at the top, actually, before 'Amanda' and 'ardaniel' since it sorts alphabetically.
He gets all pissy at me and says, Don't you understand this is for your safety?
Confiscating someone's gun or bomb is for my safety. PErhaps confiscating someone's pocketknife or nailfile may be for my safety. What's so damn dangerous about my book?
It's INAPPROPRIATE!
That's NOT YOUR DECISION! I could be carrying a copy of Hustler in here, and it's STILL not your decision! You're looking for bombs and knifes and guns and things that hurt people, and a book that is IN MY BAG is not going to leap out of its own damn accord and HIT SOMEONE!
The rest of the people waiting for the ferry are watching our exchange. He realizes that they're all looking at him, and that I'm winning this one in their eyes.
He lets me go on the boat.

GRRR! - Sea and Sky and Land, 11th August 2004 (via Avedon).

Posted in Hypocrisy at 13:24. Last modified on September 28 2006 at 23:42.
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» Stop that man! He's got a 20-sided die and a book of spells! from Pharyngula
Here's yet another example of fear and insecurity being used as an excuse to intrude on personal liberty: searches being used as an excuse to judge the 'appropriateness' of books. This morning, they're doing bag searches again to ge... [Read More]

Tracked on August 13, 2004 2:45 PM