May 26, 2004


My devotion to language studies has paid off, as I find myself able to read passages apparently written in a foreign language and accurately discern their meaning despite the hazards of translation.

"[Ashcroft] also warned that terrorists may not have a typical look and that 'the face of al Qaeda may be changing.'
Ashcroft said the group adapts quickly to new security measures and may be recruiting operatives in their late 20s or early 30s and 'may travel with families to lower their profile.'
'Our intelligence confirms al Qaeda is seeking recruits who can portray themselves as Europeans,' he said."

After careful consultation with a dictionary, I have translated the foregoing into English as follows:

"It's really important to us to be able to nab people and then talk about how they were terrorist operatives. That lets us show that we're very necessary for your protection, and not at all arbitrary and invasive. We really don't like it when people object to the nabbin' on the basis of silly arguments like whether it was likely that the people we nabbed were connected to al-Qaeda. This way, you see, absolutely everyone is subject to suspicion. We noticed the way that you all responded to our racial profiling of people of Middle Eastern descent, and by the way, your mistrust and your tolerance for mistreatment of Middle Eastern folks within your own communities was incredibly helpful. We'd like you to do the same thing for everybody else now, please."

Posted by dianna at May 26, 2004 03:23 PM

I hate to be all HTML police and whatnot, but I THINK that you neglected to close an ITALICS tag.

Posted by: Erik at May 26, 2004 03:36 PM


I fixed it even before you commented. *points accusing finger* Commenter on things that don't exist anymore! Commenter on things that don't exist anymore!

Posted by: Dianna at May 26, 2004 03:37 PM

{{hangs his commenting-on-things-that-don't-exist head in commenting-on-things-that-don't-exist shame}}

Posted by: Erik at May 26, 2004 07:47 PM

/me hijacks thread

How do you pronounce Snoqualmie?

Posted by: Chris at May 27, 2004 11:05 PM

Sno as in snow, qualm as in "I'm having qualms about this," and ie as in "Eeeeeee!"

Emphasis on the QUALM.

Posted by: Dianna at May 27, 2004 11:21 PM

Not sno-KAHL-meee-eh? Damn.

Posted by: Erik at May 28, 2004 09:09 AM

so-call-me, eh?

Posted by: michele at May 28, 2004 09:23 AM

I was thinking that I'd never fit any terrorist stereotype and never get pulled to the side in an airport. Something more than the explosives wipe test they did once. I just want to feel special, so that they acknowledge that if I wanted to, I really could kill some people. I'm capable, damn it!

Posted by: Thomas at May 28, 2004 10:48 AM

they harrassed my small tiny grandfather last time he was at an airport. there's hope for you yet, thomas.

Posted by: didofoot at May 28, 2004 10:51 AM

I got my shiznit hastily opened and rummaged at each airport on a two-leg flight, once. Standing in line, ready to board the planes, BOTH TIMES I was 'randomly' asked to please step over and have all of my crap held up and examined, and then left to try to repack all of my meticulously packed things AND get the bag closed AND get to my seat before my friggin' plane took off.

I figure that I'm that single, white fool who they search in order to make it look like they aren't racially profiling at the airports. I am the hand-waved justification for evil deeds!

Posted by: Erik at May 28, 2004 07:37 PM

At the height of my indie-kid phase (when I was flying unreasonably often for reasons not currently relevant), I got stopped and searched at every single damn stopping and searching opportunity. It pissed me off intensely.

Let's take stock here. Boots which take 10 minutes to unlace, take off, and put back on? Wallet chains? Grommeted belt? Several dozen bracelets and necklaces made of ball chain? I had to take it all off, uncram my crap from my backpack so they could look at it, recram, and then run to make my flight.

Either dorks with backpacks full of Get Up Kids CDs are as much of a threat to national security as international terrorist rings, or they just got a kick out of seeing me sprinting for the boarding gate with my boots unlaced and my belt and jewelry stuffed into my pockets.

Posted by: Dianna at June 1, 2004 01:20 PM

why would you ever wear that much metal on a day when you're going to be flying anyway? i try always to wear cotton everything with no metal. which means velcro shoes, pants with drawstrings, no jewellery (or things which i take off before reaching the line), etc. i am terrfied of those beepy gates you have to walk through. honestly terrified. not as much as i am of flying. but it's right up there. they make me unaccountably nervous. because of the beeping. wow. i'm pathetic.

Posted by: michele at June 1, 2004 01:25 PM

Yeah, those gates really are the worst. Even after I have placed all metal objects in my backpack, removed my boots, epee, belt, watch, sidearm, glasses, RFID implant, and wallet, considered removing my pants and then thought better of it, even THEN I hold my breath as I pass under the Gate Of Judgement. That stupid-ass metal detector with its damned false positives has the power to make my entry into the airport a total breeze, or to force me to get more intimate than I want with some rifle wielding rentacops (my desired intimacy level, for all you rifle wielding persons out there, rentacop or otherwise, is zero).

The final step or two under The Gate is akin to any scene in an M Night Shyamalan movie in which the camera is particularly close to the protagonist's face as he opens a door or parts a few corn stalks or the like with that high-pitched violin going wheedlie-wheedlie-wheedlie-SQUEAK. Pure, edge-of-your-seat terror.


Let's see...that flight to Austin is when? Monday? Great.

Posted by: Erik at June 1, 2004 01:38 PM

But, see, being in a major indie-kid phase means wearing all that stuff every damn day no matter how impractical it may be. I felt naked without my 3475826385 stupid ball-chain bracelets, especially since I was flying to visit my indie-kid boyfriend with his own set of 438593475 stupid ball-chain bracelets and we had to match.

It's a pathetic showdown. Who's more pathetic?

Posted by: Dianna at June 1, 2004 01:40 PM

your rendering of the music in MNS's movies=brilliant. =) i am excited about his new movie. the village--or town? whatever it's called.

Posted by: michele at June 1, 2004 01:40 PM

Good lord, you people. What's so scary about a damn beepy gate?

Posted by: Dianna at June 1, 2004 01:42 PM

we can both be equally pathetic. my pathetic level is rising though as i gasp all over CH here like it just saved me from drowning. i can't bring myself to turn it off and go back to work!

Posted by: michele at June 1, 2004 01:42 PM

stop posting at the same time as me! you're worse than the beepy gate, creepy girl!

Posted by: michele at June 1, 2004 01:43 PM

Beepy. Creepy.


Posted by: Dianna at June 1, 2004 01:51 PM

*ahem* The Gate (plz note the caps) doesn't friggin' screams TERRORIST and LOOK AT THIS PERSON and BOO! and PREPARE TO GET NASTY WITH A RENTACOP all at the same time.

Not to mention that wheedlie stuff.

And yeah, The Hamlet (or 'Hood or whatever) movie preview had me biting my nails, which I then dug into the armrests of my chair, on the edge of which I was sitting, rather pensively. *shiver* I can't wait!

Posted by: Erik at June 1, 2004 05:21 PM