The Phoenix

Monday, August 20, 2007

Airport Security: Turn That Frown Upside Down

Once again, I am not making this's crap like this that makes my blogging so much easier. I will never run out of ways to show you that science is stranger than fiction.

The wonderful people at the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) is working on training its already highly skilled personnel the art of reading passangers' "micro-expressions."

Okay, what the hell?

Body language is a very powerful form of language, as we all know. Learning to read it is an excellent way to learn about the motives of others. However, micro-expressions include very subtle facial expressions that surface when a person is trying to conceal fear and disgust - the two main emotions these Behavior Detection Officers are looking to identify.

So let's get this straight: if a Behavior Detection Officer spots you trying to conceal fear and disgust by little tiny facial expressions you're making, you are in trouble.

If you are singled out by the "Face Police," one of them will probably approach you and ask you stuff like, "How are you doing?" or "Where are you heading?" When you reply, they will be employing their Ninja-like powers in determining if you are a terrorist.

Here's my assessment of this new science: What a crock of bullshit.

Since when was hanging around at the airport fun? Most of the time I'm dealing with cancelled flights and delays; I'm always fearful and digusted. Everytime I go into the men's restroom at any airport I am full of fear and disgust. I once spent nine hours stuck at Cincinnati's face was probably chock-full of fear and disgust. I'm pretty damn sure I was Mr. Fear and Mr. Disgust all rolled into one pissed off passenger up until we boarded our flight home at 12:47 AM.

O'Hare Airport is probably one of the most depressing places in the world! Practically every single flight out of there is late. In fact, O'Hare leads the country in delays. TSA is going to have to do body cavity searches of pretty much every single person waiting for their stupid flights.

This is America, damnit. I have a right to frown. I have a right to be cranky. I have a right to be in a foul mood at the airport. But with plans of having at least 500 of these Behavior Detection Officers in place by the end of 2008, just remember to turn that frown upside down...or else.

And if you're constipated, just rent a car.

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Blogger The Phoenix said...

Thanks for everyone's votes on Podcastalley. I appreciate it. Also, my two year blogging anniversary was on August 7th...and I reached 150,000 hits almost to the day.

Another big thanks to all you bloggers out there - especially those that have stuck around.

I'd put all of you in my will, but I don't think you'd appreciate having to share 13 bucks...and change.

8/20/2007 8:44 PM  
Blogger goldennib said...

Congrats on your anniversary.

I'm always cranky so I'm in big trouble.

8/21/2007 5:48 AM  
Blogger Pixie said...

I saw this on TV a while ago, silly..

Just this morning there was a news report about an airline who let a 15 YO girl fly from Alaska to SC alone (she was running away to meet a boy she met online) She paid for the ticket in 1's & 5's but nobody asked to see any ID.

The airline said their policy is only to ask for ID of over 18's LOL.

8/21/2007 10:25 AM  
Blogger KC said...

I haven't flown in almost 18 years so I absolutely know that if I had to fly again, I'd be shit-faced scared. Does that mean they'd deny me the right to fly? I'm sure I can't swim all the way to England, so I better make it past the Face Police!

8/21/2007 11:24 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

You ever been to Newark Airport? They actually add 20 minutes to your flight time to allow for circling the airport!

I hate flying regardless. There's no place to pull over if there's a problem!

8/21/2007 12:07 PM  
Blogger ozymandiaz said...

Yea, they are learning to read microexpressions yet the boobs at the Orlando International didn't notice the guy in the wheelchair in the SAME EXACT SPOT for like three days in a row. He had a stroke after being pushed there BY SECURITY. Yea, these boobs are gonna read microexpressions...

8/21/2007 1:43 PM  
Blogger phlegmfatale said...

My thoughts precisely. I hate flying and so everytime I'm going INTO an airport, I'm fearful and stressed-out. Seriously.

8/21/2007 2:02 PM  
Blogger cube said...

It's a good thing they can't see the expression on my face right now!

8/21/2007 5:20 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Makes you just wish you could just wiggle your nose and POOF. I wish I could do that anyway.
Cool blog.

8/21/2007 6:53 PM  
Blogger Phats said...

Wow they are going to be making alot of arrests come Christmas time when everyone's flights are late, not on time, etc. I don't mind airports and security and flying. I usually go early, take my book and read, but now I am scared of giving off those looks!

8/22/2007 12:31 AM  
Blogger Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

No way!

Makes me glad I don't fly...I'd never get out of the airport!

8/22/2007 6:54 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

So let me get this straight. The same people who can't spot a gun in luggage are going to monitor our micro-expressions.

Trains and ships. From now on.

8/22/2007 9:55 PM  
Blogger Orhan Kahn said...

I'm sure you'll forgive me for not reading the entire post because I think the whole concept is just retarded. This is why I'm in no great rush to visit the United States. Such a sad shame what your country has become. I'm sorry to say but I'm just not impressed :(

8/22/2007 10:16 PM  
Blogger FreeThinker said...

Just get wasted pre-flight ... and you'll have a happy goofy grin!

8/22/2007 10:18 PM  
Blogger Keshi said...

no matter what I love FLYING :)


8/22/2007 10:24 PM  
Blogger David Amulet said...

Not to mention that fact that the "science" of reading microexpressions is more like phrenology ...

Congrats on the second anniversary! I think mine passed last month and I forgot to notice. I'm glad you're still going at this so well.

-- david

8/23/2007 5:27 AM  
Blogger DaBich said...

I think freethinker is onto

Congrats on two years of putting up with us! :)

I don't fly, so this won't affect me. Good luck to all the flyers, hope you can keep your faces happy!

8/23/2007 6:35 AM  
Blogger DaBich said...

by the way, is that guy at the bottom trying to make a mean look someone we know???

8/23/2007 6:40 AM  
Blogger angel, jr. said...

I have a fear of flying, so I drive whenever possible.

8/23/2007 8:48 AM  
Blogger The Phoenix said...

goldennib, You'd better think happy thoughts.

pixie, Thanks for the heads up on that story. Incredible.

KC, 18 years? Wow. Good luck flying over the Atlantic Ocean. I bet that makes you feel better.

Mike, Yes I have. I took Newark instead of going through JFK. I think they need another runway at Newark.

ozy, You are one hillarious dude.

plegmfatale, One word: Valium

8/23/2007 10:51 AM  
Blogger The Phoenix said...

cube, Why, because you'd hear, "Sir, please come with us" along with the snap of a latex glove?

jessica, Like on 'I Dream of Genie?' Thanks for visiting.

phats, I think burying your head in a good book is perhaps the best defense. Just make sure it's not the Quran.

stacy, It's amazing how many people like yourself don't fly.

dan, and don't forget bikes!

8/23/2007 11:00 AM  
Blogger The Phoenix said...

orhan, Our country is still pretty amazing. Lots of diversity, lots of culture. We just have some morons working at the TSA.

freethinker, Sounds like a plan!

keshi, You are always smiling anyway.

david, Or astrology. Congrats on your two year blogging aniversary as well.

dabich, Yet another person that doesn't fly. Here's to another two years!

angel jr, Driving is more dangerous. OK, now I'm going to add to peoples' fear of anykind of transportation.

8/23/2007 11:03 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

Blogsphere anniversaries are so fun!

As far as airline delays... grrrrrrrrrr!

Don't even get me started on that one!!


8/23/2007 1:04 PM  
Blogger The Phoenix said...

dabich, That guy at the bottom was just a picture I found online. I thought he really possessed that angry OR constipated look on his face.

I have no idea who he is.

8/23/2007 2:19 PM  
Blogger DaBich said...

Well, Phoenix, time to disallow Anonymous postings!

8/24/2007 6:40 AM  
Anonymous delmer said...

When I got to the airport this morning I learned that my flight overseas was canceled. Rather than go with 'fear' and 'disgust,' I tried 'happy' and 'hopeful' thinking it might make the ticket agent press some secret, special keys on my behalf.

My happy and hopefulness shined even brigher as 'rude' and 'bitchy' was at the counter next to me.

Of course, I was using macroexpressions, not micro, so my experience may not be pertinent to this entry.

8/24/2007 8:34 AM  
Blogger Vani said...

congrats on your blogaversary!

8/24/2007 1:42 PM  
Blogger Mimi said...

What will $ be wasted one next? Next thing we know airport secruity will become fashion police.

8/25/2007 8:50 PM  
Anonymous the weirdgirl said...

Damn! I always get stuck next to that person with BO. I better start practicing my "happy thoughts" now so I'm ready the next time I have to fly.

Congrats on your two year anniversary! It's gone by so fast!

8/26/2007 1:52 AM  
Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

I'm so glad to see the TSA going to such lengths to insure my security.
BS to the max!!!!
I think the money used to train these "experts" could have been MUCH better spent.

8/27/2007 5:50 PM  
Blogger stephanie said...

I have anxiety attacks before I get on a plane because it might crash. I imagine that someone who knows they are going to meet their god, or whomever, is going to be feeling pretty peaceful.

8/27/2007 9:22 PM  
Anonymous mojotek said...

First, congratulations on your 2 year anniversary!! Mine was just last week too!

We should have a dedication ceremony or something.

Secondly, I don't think training TSA agents in the subtle art of recognizing microexperessions will ever be effective. These aren't CIA agents... they're the same people working airport security since before 9/11. They're just better funded now.

8/29/2007 7:25 AM  
Blogger Phats said...

jesus i'd say you got spammed.

Hey you happen to catch the Blake/Santoro match at the open one hell of an entertaining match!

8/31/2007 12:28 AM  
Blogger The Egg said...

Great! So, if I'm having a serious case of PMS, then I might be pulled aside for security's sake?! Oh well. I've had some bad experiences at the airport. Don't take crap from anyone. I got bumped to business class after the airline agent realized what an ass he was...never mess with a woman when her hormones are raging!!! Have a good weekend.

8/31/2007 9:33 AM  
Blogger Rocketstar said...

Although I am all for re-doing the current airport security joke that it is, I think they are reaching a bit too far.

9/06/2007 10:38 PM  

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