We’ve noted in the past just how silly Major League Baseball’s mandate that teams put metal detectors outside of every ballparkis. It’s annoying for one thing and, more importantly, totally useless and empty security theater. More broadly, it’s a cynical and defeatist solution in search of a problem. But hey, welcome to 21st Century America.
Not all things from 21st Century America are dumb, though! We have technology now! We have biometric scanners that streamline security and which will one day dispense with the need for awkward, inconvenient trips through old bad security measures! This story from Vice Sports tells us all about our Brave New World, as evidenced by the fingerprint scanners at Yankee Stadium, brought to you by the folks at CLEAR:
For a sports fan concerned about convenience and safety, there are two ways of looking at this. One is that MLB teams are partnering with a private company to get us all to sign over our personal data and fingerprints in the cause of a system that doesn’t do squat to make anyone the slightest bit safer. The other, given that it’s all security theater anyway, is that MLB teams have realized that the metal detector mandate has made getting into games a disaster, and are now looking for an escape route. If fingerprint scanners are the magic beans that let them pretend they’re being vigilant, then hell, fingerprint scanners it is.
Oh. Maybe the our world isn’t so brave and new after all, huh? It’s almost as if such a label is ironic or something.
Go read Vice’s story for a good explanation of why this is so profoundly dumb and why, again, it is just optics. Then go back and count how many acts of metal-detector-or-biometric-scanning-preventable violence have occurred at MLB games per million fans over the past century or so. Hell, make it per ten million. Make it per 100. Measure it any way you want. And then realize just how silly Major League Baseball is being about all of this.