Brickbat: Take a Bow


When jazz bassist Christian McBride arrived in Canada for a concert, he discovered his bow was missing from his luggage. It turns out the U.S. Transportation Security Administration had seen the bow when it searched his bags and confiscated it because agents believed, wrongly according to McBride, it contained ivory.

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  1. According to the article, this isn’t the first time this has happened. Go on, get outraged:

    In an interview with the New York Times, the orchestra’s executive director confirmed they had proof the bows did not contain any banned ivory, and yet the players were still fined for attempting to import ivory into the U.S. This is becoming a real risk to the performing arts in the U.S.

    Interestingly, after paying the fine the bows were returned, which may allude to the true aims of this new policy.

    Just in case you thought the situation couldn’t get any worse, the TSA, the same agency that effectively destroyed John Pattitucci’s double bass just two weeks ago, will raise the “security fees” they charge travelers from $2.50 per trip to $5.60 per segment in July.

    1. This is becoming a real risk to the performing arts in the U.S.

      I wonder if NPR will touch this. That would really set off the SWPL crowd.

      1. Longer explanation: It’s because of the lingering effects of Bush. With the right people in charge for long enough, and increased funding, everything will work out.

        Shorter explanation: Doublethink.

    2. “Interestingly, after paying the fine the bows were returned, which may allude to the true aims of this new policy.”

      No shit. Isn’t this what every government agency devolves to?

  2. Weren’t we once told that the TSA’s job was to look for weapons and explosives? Why do they even care about ivory, etc?

    1. I think you know the answer to that.

      Safety is an excuse for control.

    2. TSA is encroaching on US Customs territory. I think this problem will eventually sort itself out as the latter sends a “message” to the former.

      “I hit Krako, Krako hits Tepo, Tepo hits me. There’s too many bosses. We can’t get anything done. “

  3. In other news, since they are no longer concerned with securing modes of transportation, the agency is calling itself the Federal Department of FYTW.

    1. Bows are weapons. We’ve got a bow-hunting season here in New York every October.

      For some reason, though, every time I bow to the deer in my front yard, they don’t die.

      1. Try using your bow on a bass to get those low notes. But you’ll have to catch him first.

      2. No, you dumbass, you’re supposed to *tie* the bow around the deer’s neck!

  4. United (States) breaks basses.

  5. missing alt text:
    Ebony and Ivory.

    1. Ebony and Ivory obviously not living together in perfect harmony.

  6. Seems to me he brought this on to himself by being a musician.

  7. Speaking of the Transportation Stupidity Agency:


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