What's the outrage du jour? It's today's outrage.

I like to be in the loop, and I like to fit in, so I need to know: Is this whole airport body-scanner/pat-down thing the thing we are caring about this week? I mean, this thing got pretty big leading up to Thanksgiving: folks talkin' bout voicing their displeasure by opting out of the intrusive and personally humiliating scanner screening, and opting into what I've heard is an even more intrusive and horrifying full law-enforcement pat-down. Why opt for the worse option? Well, because it is slower, and (ostensibly) a bigger pain in the ass for the TSA, thereby causing huge delays, thereby embarrassing them (the TSA) and really getting the message across. Really, though, it seems like it's a bigger pain in the ass for the people behind you in line that just want to get where they're going, which seems to be the reason why the protest kind of fizzled. Rightfully so- I think it would have punished the TSA much in the way that refusing to do your homework and failing that class punished the teacher you hated so much. I just don't think it makes the person you want to make pay, pay.

So, Thanksgiving disaster averted, but Christmas looms.

Quick catch-up, if you need it: New scanners show ghosted nude image of traveller to some officer at remote screen in on-site closed room. Images are not stored, nor are they capable of being transmitted (says TSA). Don't wanna play that game? You gotta get frisked like Chevy Chase in Fletch. Oh, and there's a little radiation involved in first method, but not much. Less than in a McRib. Third option is driving to your holiday destination.

The reason people are opting out of the scan is not the radiation, but the thought of a stranger seeing a naked image of them. Also, people don't like the possibility of the image being associated with their true identity and being leaked on the internet, I guess. Knowing what I know about diminishing returns, I imagine that the screeners checked out the genitals on maybe the first five images, then got bored (or worse) and started doing their job.

As for the leaking of images, who would do that? and why? unless Scarlett Johansson and hubby Ryan Reynolds are travelling together. Disputed, though, is how much of a nude "picture" the picture is. I propose this test: send the aforementioned couple through a scanner monitored by male 40 y.o. screener. If image of Johansson (straight screener) or Reynolds (gay) provokes erection, then images are probably intrusively detailed.

I bet if I thought about it- I mean really read up on it and put some serious cognitive energy behind it, I might be outraged, too. I might think it is un-American and a violation of the Constitution, which is so in right now. But my gut instinct? Well, I guess I don't care that much. I doubt I would like the pat-down, but I doubt it would ever come to that, because I doubt I would ever care enough to opt out of the body scan. I've had one. I mean, I have dealt with airport security for years, and I just accept it now as a pain in the ass; but I get the point. Sure, I'd like to walk onto a plane as nonchalantly as one gets on a bus or train, but that ain't happening. Had the terrorists roadjacked the overnight 'Hound from Columbus to Memphis and crashed it into a Waffle House, then maybe the whole thing would be reversed, and flying wouldn't be the hassle it is.

But they didn't, so it's not, so it is. Hey, I don't like the metal detector. I don't like worrying about if I have a wine-opener in my bag, or my keys in my pocket, and now I have to take off my fucking shoes. What I really hate is when they go through your bag- that bothers me more than a thorough pat-down would, but maybe that's because I am in pretty good shape but am a very messy packer.

But, like I said, I guess I just don't think about it that much. Or hadn't until now, when I heard voices out of this tinny uproar telling me how much I should care about this violation of my rights. How I should be outraged too, and if I'm not, then I'm a part of the complacent problem.

My response to that is this: I think about what they are doing to me in the airport as much as we collectively think about the implications of gassing up our cars. Or as much as we think about whether or not we should eat meat. Or downloading music illegally. Or maybe as much as we think about shopping online to get the cheapest whatever from wherever while our neighbors' businesses go belly-up. Or maybe about as much as flinging an empty water bottle into the trash.

See, because pretending to care takes nothing, and really caring is an energy- and sometimes joy-sucking slippery slope. It takes thought. It is infinitely harder to actually care, because that requires self-awareness and action, and meaningful action hurts.

THANKS FOR THE BIRTHDAY WISHES!!! I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!! YAY! updates the birthday girl on Facebook. I wonder what meant more: the hundreds of Happy Birthday!s from acquaintances who were reminded of her birthday by a machine, or the hand-written and stamped card from Grandma that got there two days early. Who showed that they cared?

The United States has been illegally wiretapping its own citizens regularly since 9-11. This is old news. Tax dollars subsidizing companies whose executives make in a day what most of those taxpayers make in a year? Common knowledge. We fought a war in Iraq based on false pretenses, and thousands of people have died there. Scores of thousands, really, if you count Iraqis as people.

So if you don't like all this airport stuff, fine. I respect that. But if you want to care, I hope you started earlier, and you better not stop now. Because every day things happen to be enraged about, to care about, and to cry about, and we just look silly when we don't notice until a strange hand grazes the underwire of our own personal bra.