If you peruse the reader comments of the newspapers or, heck, even the comments on this-a-here internet world wide web blog, you will find sentiments reflecting the following line:
I don't really want to fuck with the actual TSA workers themselves. I'm guessing that most of them took their jobs because it paid more than Blockbuster.It is worthwhile to note that your sympathies are being deliberately manipulated here and that this is one of the ways that the exercise of power becomes self-concealing and self-effacing; it is worthwhile to compare this to the experience of talking to a call center employee when trying to address or fight against some unfair exercise of corporate power. In either (and any similar) case, the actual exercise of power at the point of human interaction is assigned to a person least able to do anything about its unfairness. The call center employee cannot reset your just jacked-up APR rate. The TSA slug cannot change the policies of the surveillance state; cannot exempt you from a search; is just doing his job, which, like Paul Alexander says, he only took because it paid marginally more than some other job.
I have no particular solution to offer. My sympathies also lie with the low-wage employee, even if he is enacting the prison planet all over my ass, and not in a good way. And previous posts aside, I do pause before making his life miserable, just as I try to refrain from anything harsher than a mild, "Please transfer me to your supervisor," when talking to some corporate help desk, just as I always bring a book and suck up my impatience at the DMV. It is important to recognize that the loci of oppression and authority are alienated from the point of enaction. Most TSA employees do not actually want to touch your cock and balls or pat your vagina or grope your breasts, and yet most of them want even less to be fired.
It's sobering to consider how easily those of us on both sides of the strip search are coopted by the mechanisms of our own oppression.