Aretae has offered a theory of how human social interaction works, based on our (evolutionary-speaking) not so very long separation from monkeys. Our brains are wired from millions of years of evolution, hammering simian thought patterns into the very fiber of our beings. At a basic level, we think with Monkeybrains:
I claim that there's a simple, easy grand synthesis that explains human behavior in 3 words:It's hard to argue that humans are not status seeking beings, and this is precisely what the TSA policymakers should have realized. Their new policies could not have been designed to more offend Monkeybrains if they'd tried.
Status Matters Most.For 80%+ of human behaviors, when asking why did they do that...trace the status effects. Trace the status effects in-family, in-group, on the opposite gender, in the neighborhood/community/polis.
Consider a parent flying with a child. The child will be groped. The parent will be restrained from interfering, forceably if necessary. How much of the parent's self image - and image to others - is based on keeping their child safe? How does their Monkeybrains portion of their grey matter interpret the TSA's "love pat"?
Or consider a husband flying with his wife. He too will be prevented from interfering with a sexual assault on his wife. How will his Monkeybrains interpret the TSA? Protecting the family is one of the basic instincts with which we're wired. Failure to protect the family risks major status loss in the tribe.
The TSA is triggering a reaction that is primal, not cerebral. Because it is primal, it can't be reasoned with. Because it is primal, the story has "legs" - people are sitting up and paying attention. Monkeybrains are becoming engaged, from sea to shining sea.
What is astonishing about this whole situation is that the TSA (and DHS) top leadership are politicians. Good politicians understand Monkeybrains. Clinton, Reagan, (Jack) Kennedy, all worked on that primal level. So what's up with Janet Napolitano?
Pat-downs have long been one of the many security measures used by the U.S. and countries across the world to make air travel as secure as possible. They're conducted by same-gender officers, and all passengers have the right to request private screening and have a traveling companion present during the screening process.Napolitano is a politician. Doesn't she realize that when it's someone kid being groped that this is what Monkeybrains hears?
Blah blah blah blah you loser little man, you.The fact that the Administration seems to be surprised by all this says that they're not just incompetent as administrators (there's no security benefit to all this), but incompetent as politicians.
And this won't go away. Every day sees new stories - some well documented with video proof, some hearsay and potentially fabricated. Is this story true or made up?
En route home through Charlotte, our 6 year old son was subjected to an aggressive pat down by a female TSA employee. He was pleading for me to help him and I was admonished for trying to comfort him. His genitals area was groped. He walked down to the plane in tears. When the stewardess asked why he was crying, I explained my frustration and I was further admonished for not being more compliant.The answer is that it doesn't matter. Everyone's Monkeybrains has already seen credible examples of abuse, has heard incompetent government flunkies spout nonsense that further offends their Monkeybrains, and so is in a mood to believe everything.
It was inevitable, as if Napolitano had driven off with all the lug nuts removed from the wheels of her car. The question was not whether the wheels would come off, but when they would come off.