Thursday, August 10, 2006

A little unwell

I was going to blog about maps, but I have to admit: this whole security threat has me feeling incredibly freaked.

Maybe it's because they were planning to target services that GIS and I actually use on a regular basis. Maybe it's because my family is flying here in a few weeks and will have to fly back, too, or because we are going to visit friends in California this Christmas and might have to fly out of Heathrow into LAX...which means quite possibly on one of the routes that they were targeting.

I know I should just be grateful that British intelligence thwarted the whole thing, but instead I'm absolutely terrified. As bad as 9/11 was, it still felt psychologically distant: I didn't really know anyone in New York, and there were never plans that came within a whisper of my existence. Now, my fear of flying is going to get worse. I used to love planes, but I've been nervous about flying into and out of the UK since 9/11 -- even more so after 7/, I'm just hoping I can drag myself onto the plane and recognize reasonable fears instead of mistaking them for premonitions. I already white-knuckled parts of the lonely flight to and from my fieldwork, even though I knew it was silly to worry. Somehow, it just makes such a difference when it's directed at the things you use. I know it's just letting them win to change my behavior (and what the heck could I do, anyway?), but I'm just so scared.

I hate this. I hate that anyone could be such an asshole as to target entire planes full of good people going about their own lives, people with families, people with dreams.

Suddenly, I'm beginning to empathize with the Cold War generation. Could one of you please tell me how you got through this? Because I'm having trouble feeling okay with the state of the world.

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