So I was thinking…

This whole deal about Sarah Palin insisting that no one tape, video or otherwise record any of her speeches – and going so far as to order her security team for the upcoming CSU [California State University] dinner to check guests as they enter for cameras, phones etc. These are all people who have paid $250 a plate to attend this shindig. They’ll all be glammed up so… how will this work, exactly?

At most airports, you come fully prepared to go through metal detectors. You try not to wear or be carrying too many things which might set off loud bells and make the nice uniformed folks carrying guns too nervous. Small parcels or bags go through an x-ray conveyor, while you toss keys and other jewelry into a plastic tub which is examined, then given to you on the other side.

On a smaller scale, here in Australia, when you go through a check-out line in most stores, you are asked to open your bag (above a certain size) to show you’ve not got something tucked inside for which you’ve not paid. It’s a redundant policy though, once you realize a person’s very next step is straight through a gizmo that detects if there are any unpaid items in said person’s possession, instantly whirring and clanging and often flashing coloured lights declaring a thief has just been caught.

At sporting events which don’t allow you to take your own food or drink onto the premises, you only need to show you’re not carrying any container big enough to conceal food or drinks, and you’re waved through a door with the briefest of eyeballing examination.

Then there are the metal-detecting wands which have a person standing in place, arms stretched to the side, scarecrow fashion, while a nice gentleman (you hope he’s a gentleman) passes the wand across your body, first one side and then the other.

So I’m trying to work out how the security personnel at a college fund-raising dinner will check for the Palin-defined contraband;  phones, tape recorders, cameras, video equipment – wait – video equipment – have these people never seen a common James Bond movie? Do they not know recording-slash-video equipment can be as small and compact as a pearl earring? Have they never heard of a lipstick cam? How on earth are they going to check for all these gadgets?

Ok, the first picture I have in my head is this really long single-file line of couples, all dressed in eveningwear leading up to the doorway of the event. Two security personnel flank the door, stopping each couple as they approach, asking if they have any photo-taking, audio-recording devices on them.  The guests nod no and they are allowed inside. Hmm. That won’t work.  People lie. Especially people who want to illegally photograph and record things. The women will just have to open their handbags for inspection, while the men empty their pockets and… Hmm. No, that won’t work either.

Ok next picture is the same single-file line of elegantly dressed men and women leading up to the doorway, flanked by two security personnel, but this time they stand on either side of a metal-detecting arch – wait – this is a gala event. Men and women alike will be wearing expensive jewelry. Metal detectors won’t be practical. Can you just see Mrs. Sorority Heights stopping to remove her $10,000 diamond and ruby earrings, necklace and bracelet and tossing them into an “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” tub? I think not.

Can you even expect men and women dressed up for an expensive night out to stand with their arms splayed while someone runs a wand around them? That can’t possibly be the plan. I’m not even sure it would be legal.

I’m also beginning to think that Sarah Palin’s ‘rules of engagement’ more closely resemble the waving of a red flag in front of a bull. The challenge has been made. The gauntlet dropped. Someone out there will be stopping at their local electronics store on their way to this soiree to purchase the perfect accessory for a black suit. Something that will slip neatly into the fold of a silk handkerchief nestled in a top pocket perhaps. Or a nice brooch, passing for a family heirloom, outfitted with a lens and microphone.

On the other hand, maybe a frat house will take up a collection and spring for one of those hi-tech microphones that pick up conversations a block away and sit across the street in a van covered with bumper stickers that say things collegy things like “Honk if you’re horny!” or “My credit is so bad they won’t even take my cash!” or “If it’s true you are what you eat – I could be you by morning…”

But my personal favourite gadget for accessorizing a glamorous cocktail ensemble is the small, sequined evening bag, placed discretely on a table, clasp aimed at the podium, and volume, unnoticed, on full.

If someone truly wants to record one of Sarah’s dinner speeches, there will be no preventing it. They proved that in Canada. And the US has way more Radio Shacks.

How’s that hopey-paranoid thing workin’ out for ya now Sarah?

To comment on this post, please scroll up to the title Speak Up! My Lapel Can’t hear You and click on the word comments just beneath. Thanks, OzMud

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