Steve Peters

Experience Design

The TSA Circus Soundtrack Kit

Many of you have heard about the upcoming Opt Out Day on November 24th to protest the latest draconian TSA "security" methods. I won't go into all of the details, but you can find out more at sites like We Won't Fly, Opt Out DayThe TSA Choice, Shut Down the Airports and Fly With Dignity. Unfortunately, I won't be flying that day, but I've endured the TSA's security theater on too many occasions and have decided to do something about it, to provide a tool for those who will take part in Wednesday's Opt-Out Day and beyond...

The TSA Circus Soundtrack Kit!

The TSA Circus Soundtrack Kit consists of two music tracks of Circus Music for you to play on your happy trip through a TSA checkpoint. Nothing sets a mood like music!

TSA Circus Soundtrack (with barker): To use at TSA checkpoints with backscatter machines. TSA Circus Soundtrack (music only): For general use at any TSA checkpoint.

Instructions

So, here's what you do:

  1. Download TSACircus.zip
  2. Load these audio files onto your phone, mp3 player or portable boom-box of choice. Anything with speakers.
  3. Cue up your chosen track (there are two: a safe one and a risky one - more on that later).
  4. Set your player to loop this one track, if you can.
  5. When you get to the TSA checkpoint, turn up the volume and press PLAY. Then close the player up in whatever backpack etc. you have with you, and lay it on the belt to go on its X-ray journey, merrily playing circus music the entire time.

Regardless of what you decide to do next (metal detector, backscatter or pat-down), you'll have a soundtrack to the experience that can be shared with everyone around you, exposing the TSA checkpoint for the circus that it is.

A few caveats. I don't think it's illegal to play music at a TSA checkpoint, but I have no idea how these people will respond. Included in the zip are two files: One with just music, and one with a carnival barker explaining about the Opt Out option in a....unique way. Obviously, the one with the barker will most likely illicit a stronger response, so choose carefully.

I'm merely providing these files as a service, to help get attention and raise awareness. I'm not advocating doing anything illegal, merely facilitating Free Speech. Use these however you see fit, even after Opt Out Day, but use them wisely and take responsibility for your actions. I plan on playing mine the next time I fly in December.

To help you decide which file to use, here's a transcript of what the barker says in the recording:

"STEP RIGHT UP LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, CHILDREN OF ALL AGES, FOR THE PRICE OF ONLY ONE THIN BOARDING PASS, DARE TO EXPERIENCE FOR YOURSELF THE ONE, THE ONLY, THE WORLD'S LARGEST INSTANCE OF GOVERNMENT-SANCTIONED VIOLATION OF YOUR 4TH AMENDMENT RIGHTS, ALL IN THE NAME OF YOUR SAFETY. IT WALKS, IT TALKS, IT PUTS ITS HANDS DOWN YOUR PANTS, IT'S THE TSA! WITNESS THEIR BRAND-NEW MIRACLE MACHINE THAT BATHES YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN IN RADIATION AND REMOVES EVERY SHRED OF CLOTHING FROM YOUR BODY FOR ALL TO SEE, LAYING YOU BARE AS THE DAY YOU WERE BORN! AMAZING!!! TOO SHY FOR THE NEWFANGLED X-RAY MACHINE? THAT'S ALL RIGHT MY FRIENDS, YOU CAN OPT OUT, BUT BE FOREWARNED. IF YOU DO, THE RESULT WILL BE AN INTIMATE ENCOUNTER WITH A STRANGER THE LIKES OF WHICH NEITHER OF YOU WILL EVER FORGET. NEVERTHELESS, WE SUGGEST THAT YOU OPT OUT! OPT OUT WHEN ASKED TO STEP THROUGH THE MIRACLE MACHINE OF MAYHEM!  JUST SAY "I OPT OUT" TO AVOID THE MACHINE AND GET A PAT-DOWN INSTEAD. YOU'LL BE GLAD YOU DID!"

Personally, even if we can get just the circus music playing at TSA checkpoints across the country, I'll have considered this a win. You're free to use and distribute these files everywhere, and please document your actions if you can (YouTube, etc.). Use the tag #wontfly #thetsachoice and #tsacircus to help us all keep track.

Oh, and you don't have to actually be flying to use these. Nothing stopping you from just standing at the head of the line, music playing loudly, right? :)

I think we really can help make a difference. Here's hoping. :)

ETA: Added embedded audio to preview the music.