Beam Me Up, Scottie
It recently occurred to me that post-9/11 airport security has become like a version of the transporter on the old “Star Trek” TV show.
On the show, characters would stand, whole, on the transporter platform; someone would say “energize” and their beings would be disassembled into molecules, which would then be shot through space and reassembled elsewhere: on the planet surface, on another ship, etc.
At the airport, we do this to ourselves. We show up, whole, but to pass through security we have to lose the jacket, the scarf, the shoes, the belt, the watch, the wallet, the extra layer of clothes, any jewelry we're wearing, and only then, disassembled, are we allowed to pass through the metal detector, where, on the other side, we get to reassemble ourselves: gathering up and putting back on our shoes, watch, wallet, sweater, scarf and jacket, until we're whole again.
So kinda like beaming down on “Star Trek.” Just way less cool.