An Immodest ProposalAnyone who has been on the web in recent weeks cannot have failed to notice the considerable consternation caused by new security procedures implemented at certain US airports, occasioning offence, discomfort, and expense in perhaps not equal, but clearly considerable, measure. But an exposé of the issues reveals at once that this is all quite unnecessary, and might be avoided by one very simple means. The United States government simply has to bite the bullet, and become the first in the world to make mandatory on public transport, and perhaps in all public places, if not in the country as a whole, the practice of nudism. The case is clear and irrefutable. In these times of universal warfare and terrorist organizations so devious that the best intelligence organizations in the world cannot tell their governments whether a man with whom they are negotiating in a decade-old war is an enemy commander, a cunning spy, a grasping chancer, or nothing of the sort, it is clear that anybody or anything, anywhere, at any time, might seek to conceal upon his or her or its person all manner of equipment for nefarious purposes. The removal of all clothing from the equation would immediately and greatly reduce the risk of such obvious threats. It has been suggested that a similar effect might be achieved with the use of X-ray technology supplemented by a nationwide campaign of intimate touching; however, the latter is self-evidently distasteful, while there are significant health concerns surrounding the technology, it is only a matter of time before the enemy contrives weapons that even the most revelatory of technology cannot espy, and what is more, the technology requires time and effort, not to mention vast expenditure on infrastructure, equipment, and the training and employment of people to operate it. In these straightened financial times, this is clearly an extravagant and wasteful, not to mention entirely avoidable, expansion of big government, especially when the simple expedient of mandatory nudism would allow all passengers to be quickly and efficiently screened by staff with little training, at almost no cost in equipment and infrastructure, and without any delay in implementation from the largest international hub to the smallest rural airfield. Indeed, the benefits do not end there. With mandatory nudism, there would be less call for clothing, reducing at a stroke the baggage load on aircraft and the costs to carriers and passengers, not to mention the enormous environmental footprints of the textile industry; while the employment lost in the clothing trade could surely be made up for by the expansion of the climate-control, sun protection, beauty, body art, and similar sectors. And if all of this fails to convince the travelling public, one can always take advantage of consumer and celebrity culture to do the rest: for example, instead of T-shirts emblazoned with “porn star” logos, the fashionable young can be persuaded that they are now wearing the authentic costumes of their idols, as seen in the products of Larry Flynt, Hugh Hefner, and the kid next door with the webcam; or, for the slightly older and more nostalgic demographic, one can market the new transport experience as an homage to the work of Douglas Adams, since nudists like hitchhikers are well known to consider the towel an essential accesory wherever one goes; while the artistically inclined may be reminded that they are echoing the long and noble tradition of the nude in painting, sculpture, and more recently photography; and the sports-mad and health-conscious can be directed to the origins of the gymnasium and the ancient traditions of athletics. I do not mean to sound apocalyptic, but the time has come to expose false arguments, to strip away the veil of pretend security, and confront the naked truth. If we in the liberal democracies do not, our enemies will swiftly uncover new avenues of attack, and we shall all too soon be very seriously exposed. You know it makes sense. If, that is, American society’s nature is to be preserved.