New Times,
New Thinking.

  1. Culture
7 April 2008

Flying with porn

How many people take condoms and pornography in their hand luggage? Please get in touch...

By Richard Herring

I have been enjoying reading about these alleged would-be aeroplane bombers, apparently intent on taking down aircraft with Lucozade. Even though they didn’t manage that, they have caused something much worse, which is to make our journey through airport security more arduous. God damn those Oasis drinking lunatics.

But the detail that interested me was that the diary that perhaps details their plan suggested that the bombers had porn mags and condoms in their carry on luggage as a distraction. It wasn’t clear if the idea was to bamboozle the security men into thinking that the men could no way be extreme Muslims if they had porn mags and condoms, or whether they hoped that the security men might actually enamoured by the pictures of bare ladies that they wouldn’t really bother looking through the bags too carefully, preferring just to ogle the naked women and perhaps nudging their colleagues and saying “Phwoar!”

I am guessing it was the former that the maybe-terrorists were aiming for. But what were they thinking? Surely it’s quite unusual for people to carry porn mags in their hand luggage, partly because they know that the bags are going to be searched and also because it’s quite unlikely that anyone would want to read a porn mag on a plane. It’s a bit public surely. Even if you wanted to join the one man mile high club in the loo, it would be an annoyance to other passengers and still quite hard to smuggle your jazz mag in there without people knowing what you’re doing. Surely having porn mags in your hand luggage is more likely to make you seem suspicious than distract attention away from you. I don’t know. I don’t work at airport security. Maybe you do. In which case please get in touch and let me know what proportion of passengers bring pornography on to planes. If it turns out to be one in three then I think maybe the plan had a point. But if it is closer to one in a million as I suspect, then all they are doing is drawing attention to themselves. They might as well be wearing big signs round their neck saying, “Don’t worry, we’re not fundamentalist terrorists. In fact we hate Islam. No bombs in here. Look the Lucozade is sealed at the top, so no need to look at it closely.”

I think given that bombers are prepared to blow up planes and kill innocent people and children that it would be a gullible security guard who would think that the possession of pornography would preclude someone from suspicion.

I wonder if these alleged fundamentalists think that the Western World is so corrupt that porn mags and condoms are in the hand luggage of all male travelers. What I like about it is that it suggests hope, plus a back up plan. I’m taking some condoms on to the plane in case I get lucky – you never know – but just in case I don’t, at least I have a bongo mag to keep me occupied. I just hope I don’t meet a woman who wants to have sex with me after I’ve popped into the loo with the porn.

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

I think without the porn mags and condoms that things could have been very different. And I am surprised that in the crackdown after the discovery that porn mags weren’t added on to the list of things that weren’t allowed on board. But maybe the Western World is that corrupt and the powers that be realised that confiscating porn mags would just be too time consuming and no plane would ever leave the ground again.

Content from our partners
Peatlands are nature's unsung climate warriors
How the apprenticeship levy helps small businesses to transform their workforce
How to reform the apprenticeship levy