Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Fly the friendly skies!

--Soon, Cat Stevens may not be the only person who needs to worry about being flagged as a potential terrorist. The government has ordered airlines to begin handing over their passenger information so that testing may begin on a new terrorist-screening system. The new system, called Secure Flight, replaces CAPPS II, which imploded under the weight of "mission creep". Critics say that there is little difference between Secure Flight and CAPPS, other than the new system no longer screens for outstanding non-terrorism-related warrents. The new system will attempt to verify passengers' identities by comparing airline-provided data with that found in commercial databases (your bank, phone company, mortage company, your grocery store if you use one of those little bar-coded "savings" cards, etc.).

--The projectionist at the Towers screening room would like us to bring to your attention the passing of camp-film legend Russ Meyer. Meyer, 82, directed the trash-classics Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens, Super-Vixens, and Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! All of his films featured freakishly-busty women and deviant behavior. In this reporter's opinion, Meyer deserves credit as the stylistic predecessor of and inspiration for today's camp-film patriarch John Waters.


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