So I flew down to Birmingham yesterday for a visit and to play a gig (Marty’s on Friday at midnight–be there!). And the planes that make the direct flights from New York-LaGuardia to Birmingham are tiny. These are the ones where they often make people move from the front to the back to redistribute weight during take-off. And on these planes, there is very little room for carry-ons–much less room even than on larger passenger planes where everyone is increasingly bringing everything they own on board to avoid bag checking fees, causing fistfights in the aisles on almost every flight I take. Anyway…
I had to check my guitar anyway, so I went ahead and also checked my small suitcase. And just to make things even easier on myself, I packed my work laptop inside the suitcase instead of bringing it on board with me. I know… For some reason, everybody thinks I’m crazy for checking a laptop, but just shut up about that and focus. Focus. Okay, are you with me?
So I get to Birmingham, and I take the laptop out of my suitcase to do some work, and this is what I find.
If you can’t read the note, it says:
“Fall of the Republic”
So what this tells me is that some TSA employee at LaGuardia, or perhaps a Delta baggage handler, wants me to watch these youtube videos for some reason. And I did watch a little bit of each one, but it’s not the sort of thing that generally interests me. They are perpetuating right-wing conspiracy theories about Obama and banks. It seems to be the same old illuminati stuff that people have trotted out every few years since the 18th century, but dressed up in the most recent issues.
So what do I make of this? I suppose it’s disturbing that someone at TSA is taking advantage of their job to furtively distribute anti-government propaganda (and I wouldn’t think it any less disturbing if it was pro-government propaganda). But I’m more amused by it than disturbed, though I guess whoever did this out to get called out for it. It does seem really creepy when I think about it.
When I originally posted, I had not yet opened my guitar case. When I did take out my guitar later in the day, I found ANOTHER NOTE. Basically the same as the first note, but with an additional message on the back saying, “Just check it out!”
And to the people that have a problem with me calling these videos “right-wing,” — really, that is beside the point. I could make arguments to defend that characterization, but ultimately it doesn’t matter. What is happening here is that a government employee is taking advantage of his/her job to furtively distribute anti-government propaganda, and that’s an interesting story to me. And even if you are one of those people that believes or agrees with the videos this person is promoting, that has no bearing on the fact that these messages came to me in a very strange and inappropriate manner. The content of the videos is really not important. I still find this whole thing more amusing than alarming, although the second note makes it all a bit creepier.