#1 By: Cory Doctorow, January 2nd, 2014 14:01
#2 By: Miramon, January 2nd, 2014 14:14
Better safe than sorry. Suppose it really had been bamboo? Can you imagine how the custom inspectors would feel, knowing they had admitted actual bamboo flutes into the country? Shakuhachi terror, man, it's for real.
#3 By: Stephen Schenck, January 2nd, 2014 14:24
Razgui says he had made all of the instruments using hard-to-find reeds
Maybe I'm splitting hairs, but hard-to-find != rare.
Diamonds are hard to find in the laborious sense, but they're not exactly "rare." Perhaps these reeds are hard to find simply because they're not native to Canada, rather than being some elusive endangered species that only grows on one hillside of one isolated mountain range.
#4 By: rider, January 2nd, 2014 14:33
And he put these incredibly rare items in checked luggage because?
#5 By: galaxies, January 2nd, 2014 14:43
...he's been doing it since at least 2002 without problems? [source: TFA]
#6 By: Miramon, January 2nd, 2014 14:46
Are you suggesting he should somehow have expected his musical instruments to be destroyed by customs as agricultural contraband?
#7 By: Sigmund, January 2nd, 2014 14:46
Maybe besides being a dangerous bamboo, the flute was also a dangerous weapon. You know, it could be used as a pipe bomb if filled with gunpowder.
#8 By: Steve Heath, January 2nd, 2014 14:49
And rather than recognize musical instruments and at least ask the owner, a tax paid moron just destroyed them. The ignorance is painful. People this stupid should be employed someplace where they can't cause harm.
#9 By: Alex , January 2nd, 2014 14:53
Well this blows! Err or not...
#10 By: WearySky, January 2nd, 2014 14:56
Just out of curiosity - if they were made out of bamboo (instead of "hard to find [unspecificied] reeds"), would the government employee have been justified in destroying them? Do we know if the reeds that they WERE made from are allowed to be imported into the States? The article is a little light on details.
#11 By: rider, January 2nd, 2014 14:57
You should expect any number of horrible things to happen to anything you check. If something is irreplaceable you don't let it out of your site.
That's just common sense.
#12 By: Sam Ley, January 2nd, 2014 15:00
That is victim-blaming. No one should expect to have their stuff destroyed by an ignorant person for no reason. We pay enormous amounts of tax money, airport fees and ticket charges, and it is totally reasonable to expect that your stuff won't be destroyed for no reason. Not to say that accidents don't happen, or force majeur if there is a flood or fire, but just "crushed and destroyed by idiot" isn't something you should have to expect.
#13 By: rider, January 2nd, 2014 15:00
I've held this revolver to my head and pulled the trigger fives times, nothing bad can possibly happen the sixth time.
#14 By: rider, January 2nd, 2014 15:01
No it's called the real world.
#15 By: Sam Ley, January 2nd, 2014 15:03
I get where your cynicism is coming from - I too make my packing choices on the assumption that the TSA and other departments are going to abuse it unreasonably. But just because that is the real world doesn't mean that people shouldn't be pissed off about it. Sounds like you think everything is fine the way it is, and no one should ever be upset about what the government does to fuck with them.
#16 By: rider, January 2nd, 2014 15:04
Again common sense that every musician should know. Don't check your instruments.
Just like you don't check your medication or medical devices.
#17 By: Tennessee Waltz, January 2nd, 2014 15:04
He is fortunate they (US Customs) did not subject him too cavity searches.
#18 By: rider, January 2nd, 2014 15:05
Not saying he shouldn't be pissed off. Saying it was a dumb move and one that should be avoided and if he had used a tiny bit of common sense he would still have his instruments.
#19 By: Rob, January 2nd, 2014 15:07
Did any of the flutes have 'this machine kills fascists" written on them?
That could explain it.
#20 By: Donovan Acree, January 2nd, 2014 15:10
From the US Customs and Border Patrol website
Is bamboo allowed to be imported to the US?
In general, bamboo that is not thoroughly dried and is therefore still capable of propagation is prohibited entry into the United States.
Bamboo that is thoroughly dried and split or cut lengthwise (rendering it incapable of propagation) will be inspected upon entry and released.
Unsplit dried bamboo canes/stakes/poles also are allowed entry into the United States after inspection: however, if the bamboo canes/stakes/poles are intended for garden or nursery use, the shipment must be fumigated (T404-d treatment extended to 24 hours) upon arrival at the U.S. port of entry.
Bamboo furniture, bamboo cloth, and other manufactured products made of bamboo do not require fumigation and will be released upon inspection.
His flutes were cut, dried, and incapable of propagation. The border patrol agent was clearly in the wrong.
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