Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Joe Tierney doesn't get karma...


Hackers are the Internet equivalent of Richard Reid, the shoe-bomber who didn't manage to hurt anyone on his airplane but has been annoying travelers ever since. When I join the line of passengers taking off their shoes at the airport, I get little satisfaction in thinking that the man responsible for this ritual is sitting somewhere by himself in a prison cell, probably with his shoes on.

He ought to spend his days within smelling range of all those socks at the airport. In an exclusive poll I once conducted among fellow passengers, I found that 80 percent favored forcing Mr. Reid to sit next to the metal detector, helping small children put their sneakers back on.

The remaining 20 percent in the poll (meaning one guy) said that wasn't harsh enough. He advocated requiring Mr. Reid to change the Odor-Eaters insoles of runners at the end of the New York City Marathon.

One thing I like about Buddhism is its creativity in depicting bliss and torment; I think a Buddhist version of Richard Reid's karma would be Reid going through and endless procession of security barriers at airports, taking his shoes off, putting them back on as he fumbles with his luggage. Of course, Bush probably awaits a similar fate.

This is not a horrible sacrifice, actually, it's just the way it's done in America is rather unmerciful.

So maybe they could improve the situation by giving everyone who goes through security a small prize on the other end; a chocolate, or a trinket of some sort.

But really we should be trying to get people from avoiding such hellish existences.

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