11 June 2016


Surveillance… Leadership… Controllers… Rulers… Dictators…

I just watched a documentary film about spying. It focused on the convoluted world of modern technology. So certain ideas are now at the top of my mind.

Say that a tyrant forbids his people from eating any food other than PICKLES. Then this tyrant monitors every last one of his citizens’ social devices until he finds a private communique from a lad named Bryan. The intended recipient of this communique from Bryan is his sweetheart, codenamed ‘kissy goose’; and its contents are as follows:

Dear kissy goose, I am just now reading Mad magazine’s wordless comic strip Spy vs. Spy and eating NO PICKLES but only carrots like Bugs Bunny… Miss you!! Love you!! xoxo (Also please note that directly below, I have attached a quotation from an encyclopedia, to refresh your mind about the identity of our esteemed colleague.)

The cartoon character Bugs Bunny is an anthropomorphic gray rabbit who is famous for his flippant, insouciant personality. His voice and accent are reminiscent of the actor Humphrey Bogart. With the stance of a trickster, Bugs’ catchphrase “What’s up, doc?” is often spoken while chewing on a carrot.

Thus the tyrant, via the miracles of modern technology, is able to intercept Bryan’s love letter to his sweetheart and thereby unveil the tawdry particulars of his diet.

Yesterday I saw an egret perched on the aluminum balustrade of a pier at the end of a lake. This scene struck me as comical, because I’m accustomed to seeing these birds lurking among the tall weeds of the marsh: I mean the natural marsh by the side of the freeway—whereas this lake was manmade. The artificiality of the environment made the creature look funny. But I suppose water is water; and an aluminum shaft is as fine a standpoint as any other protuberance, to a hunter. But I mention this sight because it made me realize that, in its own unique way, the egret is an agent of espionage. It views the fish without the fish’s knowledge or express consent. So all hunters have something in common with spies, it would appear. However, looks can be deceiving…

And it made me smile to hear that certain governments of our globe collect so much information about their citizens (on the sly, using advanced machinery) that they cannot even manage to skim through all the data that they’ve intercepted, let alone organize it. Only after a bad event occurs – for instance, if some kid steals a pack of gum from a candy store – then teams of bureaucrats and administrators go scouring through the Official Surveillance Archives to discover, with perfect hindsight, how this crime was masterminded.

(I’m sure I should take my own privacy more seriously, but I have to admit: I’m tickled by the thought that perhaps some special agent out there has been assigned the task of reading all my blog posts.)

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