Joshi at 120 mph

Ruchir Joshi dropped by Fortress Amerika recently. He had fun at O’Hare:

“…[W]hen I reached into my pocket for my passport, he froze like a Rottweiler about to attack: ‘Keep your hands on the counter! It’s not a good idea at all, to take your hands out of my sight!” This, with each and every immigration and customs officer, not to mention the airport security, all porcupined with assorted weaponry. What did the man think I was going to do? Pull out my ceramic AK-56, the one that Heathrow Security had failed to spot, the one that I had failed to use on the flight, and open up on him? Of course, I said none of this out loud and I kept my hands on the counter — after all, there was the small matter of gaining ingress to Fortress Amerika to be kept in mind.

Of course, American paranoia is neither a new phenomenon nor one confined only to the Right-wing. It runs through American society like streaks of fat marbling a slab of meat, from star anarchotics like William Burroughs and Hunter S. Thompson to mere ‘inhalers’ like Bill Clinton and his Secret Service to the chair of the Memphis city council who, just few days ago, said he would bring in the anti-bomb squad if a delegation of Iraqi civic leaders (invited by Colin Powell’s state department, no less!) entered his city hall.”

I love it when the boy gets into full ranting stride.





4 responses to “Joshi at 120 mph”

  1. Marginalien Avatar

    Hmmm. D’you think I should complain to the authorities? Two days ago, I breezed in across the boundaries with barely a twitch — and even that was a friendly one, the smile on the face of the Immigration Officer as he waved me through. What IS it with me? WHY can’t I elicit the memorably negative responses that my co-citizens achieve with such apparent ease? Should I wear a turban? Should I cease to look middle-aged and non-threatening? Ay me. What woe I’ve known.

  2. Hurree Avatar

    What, no full body search at a baker’s dozen of airports ala Rohinton Mistry? Not even an interrogation session conducted by racist airport officials ala Amit Chaudhuri? No being yanked out of line because you resemble a famous (female) terrorist as apparently happens to Arundhati Roy?Tut tut. You’re running–or to be accurate, breezing through immigration–with entirely the wrong crowd!

  3. Anonymous Avatar

    I’m frankly pissed off at all the attention the Ayrabs (Indians included) are getting at our borders. Just cause I’m an African guy with an American passport, what, that means I can’t be a terrorist? They just wave me through, sometimes with a friendly smile. In fact, I’m the only person I know who doesn’t take his shoes off at the airport.Damn it, if every Tom, Sikh and Harry is getting a full body probe, I want the thrill of personal violation too. But no. Not in these days. Apparently, blacks are no longer a threat to national security. Malcolm X must be turning in his grave.elck

  4. Hurree Avatar

    Heh! Elck demands the right to be discriminated against just like all of us. I like the idea; what’re we going to call it, the Affirmative Discrimination Movement?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: