Sweet Jesus, we should have thought of this ages ago. Why didn't we think of this ages ago?
It seems so obvious. You want to ignite some delicious outcry in this brutally divided country? You want to unite the wary populace around a single, seething hotbutton of patriotism, privacy and putrefied civil liberties?
Do not launch bogus wars that cannot be won. Do not tell them lies about a major health care reform package that actually helps millions. Do not invade their dreams with thoughts of happy gay people holding hands in a wedding chapel. Do not rip their retirement accounts to shreds, sell them bad home loans with a grunt and a slippery Wall Street grin. What are you, an amateur?
What you do is, you go direct. You grope them right on their tingly 'n forbidden genital regions, AKA God's country, AKA Father O'Malley's special secret, real and true and WTF-do-you-think-you're-doing. Works every time. Just ask the Vatican.
Either that, or you demand they submit to a full-body scan of their copious, world-famously overweight American flesh, those bits and parts they don't even share with a mirror much less a giant camera the size of a refrigerator, and then stifle a laugh as you secretly post said photos to a creepy anonymous blog run by the Russian mafia (Note: possible exaggeration).
Basically, you shame and humiliate them, over and over again, in a giant public space, in front of their families, herding them like confused bison through an increasingly absurd, demeaning series of tests and checkpoints. And you do it all under the auspices of protecting them from a few extremist imbeciles who (we are told) want to blow them up and kill their dog and steal their Kim Kardashian pre-paid debit cards.
This is the real way to provoke a revolution. This is a wonderful way to rally the nation, get our values in order and set both political parties scrambling for a tolerable response. In the age of wild transparency, direct genital invasion is pretty much all we have left.
See, we've been going about this invasion-of-privacy thing all wrong. From Bush's illegal wiretapping to Facebook's wily account settings, the panic over personal privacy has been, until now, mostly about data -- your home address, credit card number, PIN, SMS chats, your filthy lawn appearing on Google street views, that sort of thing. It's all vague and rather abstract; we can't actually feel anything.
But this is different. This is literal. Nothing, apparently, sets us off more than some unhappy TSA worker -- an increasingly unenviable job, you gotta admit -- yanking you out of line and giving you the delightful option of getting your entire body X-rayed from ass to nipple, or being groped all over in case you might be carrying something explosive in your pants....
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Mark Morford is the author of The Daring Spectacle: Adventures in Deviant Journalism, a mega-collection of his finest columns for the SF Chronicle and SFGate. Get it at daringspectacle.com or Amazon. He recently wrote a fine letter to whiny young Democrats, a column about the adorable ignorance of the Tea Party, and the trouble with the Arcade Fire. His website is markmorford.com. Join him on Facebook, or email him. Not to mention...
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