"If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin."
- Charles Darwin

Mar 3, 2009

The Gift of Security

Reenact racial profiling this holiday season.

This July I flew from Seattle to Vienna to present a paper at the VISU History and Philosophy of Science symposium. I was wearing the T-shirt I always wear while traveling, which says "We Will Not Be Silent" in both English and Arabic (the same one that blogger Raed Jarrar wore that got him harrassed by security and resulted in a $240,000 discrimination settlement). As I was boarding the plane I was pulled out of line by a team of five TSA agents, one of whom grabbed my crotch before patting down my arms and legs. I asked repeatedly why I was being searched, but they remained mute as they manhandled me. So you can imagine how pleased I was to find this actual toy currently on sale through

For only $62.00 your child can be the first on their block to own the Playmobil Security Checkpoint. The set comes complete with metal detector, X-ray machine and hand-wand for added security. Apparently the selling point is that while other kids are getting yet another Bratz knock-off, your child can experience all the stress and exhaustion of waiting in line while an overworked TSA officer ransacks their luggage (also included).

But perhaps the best part are these actual customer reviews:
I was a little disappointed when I first bought this item, because the functionality is limited. My 5 year old son pointed out that the passenger's shoes cannot be removed.

The best thing about this product is that it teaches kids about the realities of living in a high-surveillence society. My son said he wants the Playmobil Neighborhood Surveillence System set for Christmas.

Thank you Playmobil for allowing me to teach my 5-year old the importance of recognizing what a failing bureaucracy in a ever growing fascist state looks like. Sometimes it's a hard lesson for kids to learn because not all pigs carry billy clubs and wear body armor.

When we first set it up we tried it with my daughters African American Magic Jewel Ken Doll and Barbie Princess of the Nile Doll but they were pulled out of line before the security checkpoint and taken to a back room for "processing."
Not complete without the Playmobil Police Checkpoint ($99.99) or the Playmobil Police Station ($47.99) complete with jail! Yes, they're real. This is the world we live in.

The Gift of SecuritySocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

No comments: