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Brad Fitzpatrick

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LAX sucks; sweet land of liberty [Feb. 22nd, 2004|11:29 am]
Brad Fitzpatrick
LAX is the worst airport. Large, slow, dirty, smelly, lacking good food.

It's been awhile since I was here last, and I hope I won't be back here again for some time.

I wanted to sing the national anthem in the security line, and did a bit, but nobody else started singing with me, including Dina. I think I need to print out flyers with the words and distribute them next time in line. (Because honestly, I forget too. I mix up the lyrics to "America"... My country 'tis of Thee, Sweet Land of Liberty... Of thee I sing...)

Of course, if I passed out lyrics I'd have to censor certain words so I wasn't responsible for a mass singing of....

... the bombs bursting in air....

I don't think the TSA would be amused with that. Could they arrest me for showing patriotism, though, even appropriately censored?

Oh say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Free? Hah. Brave? Hah. We live in fear.

I'm not sure what would be more ironic:
  • Singing a song about freedom and bravery in the security checkpoint line.
  • Getting arrested for it.
  • Having to censor words in the song.
Anybody want to fly somewhere with me and try it out?

Oh, even more ironic:
  • That you're afraid to.
Fuck this police state. (and this airport)

[User Picture]From: tally_cat
2004-02-22 11:28 am (UTC)
what's scary is...

I'd do it.
You don't know me, and I don't know you.
But ask anyone who DOES know me...and they'll tell you...

I AM the type to try that - just to find out which would be more ironic.
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[User Picture]From: erik
2004-02-23 11:27 am (UTC)


Dude, you live in that city where that fucking huge alligator ate all of those people! Be careful!
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[User Picture]From: ashiegrrrl
2004-02-22 11:31 am (UTC)
As an LA native, I know to avoid LAX. If you fly Alaska, Aloha, America West, American, Southwest, or United Airlines, try flying into Burbank Airport. It's not an international airport, is relatively small, and you only need to show up an hour before your flight, but are usually through all of security within 30-40 minutes.

How long are you in LA for?
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[User Picture]From: jes5199
2004-02-22 11:32 am (UTC)
maybe "home of the brave" wasn't meant to mean everybody

maybe it's like "and brad lives here, too, he's our brave guy"
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[User Picture]From: zind4gi
2004-02-22 11:39 am (UTC)
Ever since Alaska Airlines lost all my luggage at LAX and they never tried to help me find it so that I was stranded without any clothes for a week, I have been avoiding that airport. I spent numerous long distance calls which were not reimbursable and I didn't have a cell phone back then. Oh, I learned a few things:

1) I made those bastards suffer but overpricing everything lost in my luggage up to their max limit

2) Always have a small carryone bag with critical supplies and some clothes

3) NEVER EVER fly through LAX again
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[User Picture]From: j7xz49br3m93xrr
2004-02-22 02:56 pm (UTC)


1) Doesn't everybody do that anyway? ;-)

2) Last time I went to LA, I only took hand luggage. Might sound unusual until you learn I was going for a month coming from Europe, lol. It worked out a lot easier to buy clothes when I got there. It was such a great feeling to walk past all the people standing around at the luggage conveyor :-) (and then my ride was 30 minutes late.. bah!)

3) Well if you're flying international you have no choice, but as someone responded to me earlier, the international terminal is supposedly better than the rest of the airport.
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[User Picture]From: deveiant
2004-02-22 11:39 am (UTC)
Oh, me! I will! I should get a Veterans of Foreign Wars shirt and wear it when we do. Heh.
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[User Picture]From: lindsay
2004-02-22 11:52 am (UTC)
"sign the national anthem..." "Signing a song about..." From the rest of your post I gathered that you weren't using ASL for the national Anthem, so you might want to change sign to sing :) Brad, LAX must have really taken it all out of you (it is a horrid airport btw).
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[User Picture]From: darksoul
2004-02-22 11:52 am (UTC)

I am Jack's raging inner jackass.

Maybe if you'd sang the song instead of signed the song, people would have sang along. Most people don't understand sign language.

I've had to take a few business trips with my boss over the last couple years and conversation in the security line almost always involves some talk about how idiotic our transportation security has gotten. I especially love the various displays you see telling you what sort of things you can't take on board. Denver's airport has a display at every check-in point full of the different types of items you might try to bring on board, including lighter fluid, rubber cement, a large supply of matches and lighters, flints, knives, scissors, etc. I keep waiting to hear about someone breaking into the display and burning the airport down or stabbing someone with the displayed knives. In Boston, they've got signs that show various items you aren't allowed to bring on board, including your classic round bomb with a fuse at the top, as if someone would be THAT obvious.

If you're going to go the extent of singing the anthem at the airport, you might as well go one step further and try to fly without state ID. There's no law that says you have to show an ID, no matter what they try to tell you. You might end up marked with a yellow flag though, making it more difficult to fly in the future.
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[User Picture]From: jackola
2004-02-22 11:56 am (UTC)
Free? Hah. Brave? Hah. We live in fear.

Exactly what's wrong with this country: we live in fear.

EVERYTHING we do as a country is somehow associated with fear.

I mainly blame corporate and consumer America for that. Every commercial on TV tells the viewer why they NEED to have that product and offers them reasons to FEAR not having it: you'll have bad breathe otherwise, you'll not get hard and make your partner leave you without these pills, you'll die if you don't buy this product.

I could go on forever about fear in this country. If you've ever seen Bowling for Columbine, you know a bit about what I'm talking about.

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[User Picture]From: detritus
2004-02-22 11:59 am (UTC)
You should order one of these : http://www.securityedition.com/
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[User Picture]From: j7xz49br3m93xrr
2004-02-22 12:04 pm (UTC)
As a foreigner who uses LAX, I think it's pretty good. Compared to London Heathrow, LAX is insanely fast, clean, and easy to deal with.

At Heathrow you have to walk past gangs of armed police several times, be subjected to sniffer dogs, have your luggage examined (twice), then once you're in Departures, you get most of the same all over again once you've gone through the gate. I wonder if the US is paying the UK to do their major security checks for them ;-) In comparison, at LAX I walked in, they looked at my luggage, loaded it, I was in departures within 25 minutes, compared to 90 minutes at Heathrow.

One complaint about LAX though. It's boring! Where are the shops!? Heathrow is basically a giant mall, so it's real easy to kill time (and empty your wallet) before flying. At LAX I just sat in a chair for three hours. I figure US airports aren't big on shops, since I've never seen many. This is weird since the US usually prides itself on the capitalism and all that.. but every UK airport I've been to has had way more shops.

Oh, and flying into LAX.. it was real quick to get out once I'd got through Customs. At Heathrow it takes at least 15 minutes of walking just to get anywhere near an open door. Perhaps Heathrow just sucks, I don't know ;-) It is the busiest passenger airport in the world supposedly.
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[User Picture]From: perpetualmotion
2004-02-22 01:50 pm (UTC)


The Tom Bradley international terminal is actually pretty OK, the domestic part of LAX is different. Still not as bad as NYC's JFK was a few years ago ;) And yeah, Heathrow sucks
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[User Picture]From: scsi
2004-02-22 12:21 pm (UTC)
Wow; bitter, party of one, your table is ready.

I agree, LAX is pretty dumpy.. Sacramento is almost on par.. SFO is probably the nicest airport in the state.
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[User Picture]From: octal
2004-02-22 12:24 pm (UTC)


I would actually enjoy hanging out at SFO, if it were not for the whole security thing.

SJC and OAK are pretty dumpy too, depending on where...Alaska flights out of SJC usually get stuck in a horrible part of the airport.

PDX is really nice; also a place I'd go for fun if not for security.
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[User Picture]From: scsi
2004-02-22 12:32 pm (UTC)


PDX is awesome, and so is SFO.. I love any airport that has a wall of flat panel TV's to display flight information.. The're always so bright and colorful.. Unfortunally Alaskan/Horizon to Portland is only out of Sacramento.. Plus Sac is only a 45, min drive compared to an hour and 45.

I had a 4 hour layover at the International Airport at Houston,TX.. That place is really nice.. Over an hour it took me to walk all over and look in all the shops.. But I agree, it blows ever since they increased security, but cant complain too much, better than being blown up.
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[User Picture]From: ydna
2004-02-22 06:30 pm (UTC)


better than being blown up

Do you honestly believe the risk is that great? Even without the airport "security", planes are more likely to fall out of the sky due to mechanical failure, human error, or negligence than any kind of terrorism.
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[User Picture]From: scsi
2004-02-22 08:07 pm (UTC)


Its a controllable factor that can hope to be prevented. I'd feel safer if we could prevent mechanical failures and human error, but we cant.

I think the chance of me being blown up due to a terrorist is very small, but at least increased security makes that risk even smaller, especially after all the shit that went off after I put my scuba gear through the xray machine.
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[User Picture]From: mcfnord
2004-02-22 12:55 pm (UTC)

I think they'd say, "You're free to walk."

I've sang the National Anthem to lines of police, and am good with this challenging song. I've also been through police interrogations (one at an airport, another in my own home). I think I'm a natural fit for your plan. But it's important to me that we harmonize. When protest art is low quality, both the protest and the art suffer.
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[User Picture]From: saravana
2004-02-22 02:29 pm (UTC)
You are great.

Procedures can really get ridiculous. I was travelling to the US on the 1st of January, I let you imagine how thoroughly we got checked.

But of course, I shut my big mouth. And I think I was right to do so. I know that traveling by plane incurs special limitation on my freedom.

Cheers, I love reading your journal.

-- One of your stupid users ;-P
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[User Picture]From: edm
2004-02-22 03:22 pm (UTC)


If you're searching for food at LAX go to the Tom Braddley International Terminal (the one in the middle of the U), and go up the escalators. The food court there is reasonable (by airport standards); the rest of them (at least that I've seen) at LAX are rather dire. I've tended to walk down to the International Terminal even when I've only had domestic connections through LAX because of that. (You don't need to go through security to get to the food court, so it's not a big deal to do that -- of course you'll need to go back through security to get to the domestic gate again.)


PS: This information is 18 months out of date (last time I went through LAX -- I flew through Singapore the last two times I went to Europe), but presumably the food court is still there and still better than the domestic choices.
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From: pinterface
2004-02-23 06:45 am (UTC)

I generally don't comment because I have nothing useful to say, but airport security is so near-and-dear to my heart that I can't resist. And they love me, too; they always make sure to check my baggage to ensure I didn't bring along anything I could hurt myself with. ;)

I suppose that could have been related to the fact that, at the time, I looked rather like a hippie (long hair, beard, odd clothing), or perhaps because I tend to casually make remarks like "You know, if my goal was simply to kill people, Security does a really nice job of congregating a bunch of them together for me." while waiting in the security line.

Anybody want to fly somewhere with me and try [singing the national anthem]?

So long as the ability to sing isn't a prerequisite, it sounds like fun. I've been itching to put on a real show at a security checkpoint -- including rants about invasion of privacy, innocent until proven guilty, and habeas corpus as they drag me off -- but so far the only times I've flown I actually wanted to get to my destination; plus the rants would require a fair bit of research and planning to get right, and I haven't bothered to do that.

But anyway, if you do it, don't censor out the stuff about bombs. Maybe even plan a skit to go with it: "...the bombs bur..." "Eeeee! He said bomb! He said bomb! Arrest him, he said bomb! (pause) Dear God, I said bomb; I'm a terrorist! Nooooo!" ;P

It'd make a great publicity stunt, even; especially if someone in the crowd conveniently happens to have a camcorder, and the tape makes its way to live television and the 'net. ;) Though I suppose your options are limited to the size and audacity of the participating group. Oh well; it's a fun thought to entertain, even if considerably less likely to happen than a random breakout of the national anthem. :)

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