Check Your Chainsaw at the Door

Do you ever suffer from the creeping suspicion that maybe your government doesn’t set its priorities straight? Do you ever have the treasonous thought that maybe, just maybe, all the dead Iraqis and dead Americans and restrictive laws haven’t done diddly-squat to make us safer?

If not, maybe it’s time you did.

The ever-watchful drones protecting us at the Canada-U.S. border recently stopped one Gregory Despres who was coming into the States. Among the items he was carrying with him:

  • A homemade sword;
  • A hatchet;
  • A knife;
  • Brass knuckles
  • And a blood-stained chainsaw.

The customs officials fingerprinted him, confiscated his toys, and then let him through the border.

The next day, Canadian police found two of Despres’s neighbors, a 74-year-old man and his wife, dead in their home. She’d been stabbed to death; his head was in a pillowcase under the kitchen table.

To coin a phrase: What the FUCK????

It’s true that, as a spokesman for the Customs Department said, “Being bizarre is not a reason to keep somebody out of this country or lock them up,” but for four years now, we’ve lived in fear of outsiders. Vigilance must be our watchword, we’re told, and we’ve created an entirely new bureaucracy and passed invasive laws that are rationalized by nothing more than pointing at the remains of the World Trade Center. But I have confidence that anyone who wanted to do real harm to us could be a lot more subtle and discreet than to try to walk into the country with a bloody fucking chainsaw.

However, the Department of Homeland Security proves to be very efficient at protecting the fortunes of millionaire filmmakers. The FBI and Homeland Security teamed up in a massive operation requiring 10 search warrants to shut down a Bittorrent hub that was being used to trade illegal copies of Lucas’s new Star Wars movie. George Lucas may feel safer, but I don’t.


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