Category Archives: 1984

Your Daily Hot Air

Paranoia

It always happens in these cases of pack journalism.

We learn far more than we ever need to know about trivial things and far less about the important stuff.

Case in point: We now know that Edward Snowden‘s girlfriend calls herself a “pole-dancing superhero” and that she’s a compulsive selfie. We’ve also discovered that she’s a blogger who uses ultra-flowery language that would embarrass an emotionally overwrought high school sophomore.

Mills

Lindsay Mills

For instance, the girlfriend, Lindsay Mills, wrote the other day, “My world has opened and closed all at once. Leaving me lost at sea without a compass…. Surely there will be villainous pirates, distracting mermaids, and tides of change in this new open water chapter of my journey.”

Yikes! No wonder Snowden took it on the lam halfway around the world.

Disney Mermaids

Dangerous Disney Characters

The inspiration behind this ejaculation of purple prose is the furor surrounding Snowden’s revelation that it was he who blew the whistle on the US National Security Agency’s data harvesting programs that are either:

  • The realization of our worst nightmares that George Orwell’s fictional “1984” has become fact

or

  • No big deal.

Funny thing is, even Snowden’s name seems to have sprung from the keyboard of a bodice-ripping romance novelist. And then Edward kissed me, his masculine yet gentle lips brushing against mine, his strong yet sensitive arms holding me close, then letting me go long before I wished for freedom from them. He stroked my tear-stained cheek and said ‘Farewell, my darling.’ With nary another word, he picked up his valise and walked out of my life forever.

BTW: Mills actually employed one of those lacrimose images when she told the world that she was typing on a “tear-stained keyboard” in the wake of Edward’s escape from the federal government’s spooks this month.

Book Cover

Well, hell, there are millions of emo-junkie bloggers and poets in this world and I don’t mean to belittle them and Lindsay Mills (well, not too much) but there’s only one Edward Snowden. We still know far too little about him and, far more importantly, we know next to nothing about the clandestine operations he has revealed.

And that’s precisely why I haven’t yet figured out whether I should be up in arms about this whole affair or just chalk it all up to the Republicans once again trying to sully the image of our first foreign-born, communist president.

One voice in my head sez that I don’t like the idea of fed spooks listening in on each and every one of my communications, up to and including the voices in my head. The overriding concern of guys in power is to stay in power and they’ll use every sneaky trick in the book to remain there. If that means my Constitutional right to privacy isn’t worth the parchment it’s written on, then that’s the way it’s going to be.

On the other hand, what kind of rational observer can expect to keep her or his electronic transmissions a secret in this day and age of Google and Facebook where, for instance, we can learn instantaneously the progress of the bowel functions of public officials who’ve undergone recent appendectomies. Look, Walmart, PepsiCo, and ConAgra know more about you and me than any army of government moles and plants could ever find out.

Spy vs. Spy/Mad Magazine

Everybody’s Doing It

Here are the two extremes of reaction to PRISM and other hijinks committed by the secret agents of the United States of America:

  • At this very moment, a government spy is listening in on my call to my doctor’s office to schedule an appointment regarding my ingrown toenail
  • The democratically-elected officials of this great land would never, ever violate my sacred rights.

Holders of either stance are delusional.

Some 310 million people live in this holy land. They send more than 10 billion text messages daily. The number of phone calls we make each day also numbers in the billions. It would take at least 310 million spies to monitor our daily typed or verbal chats with Aunt Debbie, the gas company, and the chick who works in the cubicle down the hall whom we’re convinced is hot for us.

So, yeah, the feds aren’t listening analog-ically (now there’s a tortured coinage for you) but, apparently, they’ve developed sinister logarithms that can cull the bad guys out from among us, simply by highlighting key words and phrases. Then an individual can be assigned to listen to a potential terrorist’s rants and raves for a few weeks or months.

I call them sinister because, conceivably, a naïf such as I could inadvertently type the word-combo angry, explosive, god, and federal building in the same message and be put on a terrorist watch list. Then the bastards would be able to learn all about my ingrown toenail.

Product

Incontrovertible Evidence

To that end, my radical lawyer pal Jerry Boyle has passed along a helpful faux message we all can type, in part or in toto, into our smart phones or on Facebook, just to mess with The Man. Here it is:

Hey! How’s it going? I’m all right.

My job is so shitty I wish could overthrow my boss. It’s like this oppressive regime where only true believers in his management techniques will stay around. I work marathon-length hours and he’s made all these changes that have made it the worst architecture firm to work at in Manhattan. Like he moved the office to the Financial District and fired my assistant. She was the only one who knew where the blueprints were! I need access to those blueprints to complete my job! F my life, right? And he keeps trying to start all these new initiatives to boost revenue, but seriously we just need to stick to what we do best. There’s only one true profit center. I seriously feel ready to go on strike at any second.

I just read this article about how these free radical particles can cause the downfall of good health and accelerate aging. These could actually cause death to millions of Americans. If these particles are flying around undetected everywhere, does that mean we’re all radicalized?

Have you seen the second season of Breaking Bad? I just finished it. I couldn’t believe that episode where they poison the guy with ricin! That was the bomb! I won’t say any more because I don’t want to reveal the earth-shattering events to come.

Oh! So I’ve been planning a big trip for the summer. I’m thinking of visiting all of the most famous suspension bridges in the United States. So probably like the Golden Gate Bridge, The Brooklyn Bridge, and the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. I’m gonna bring my younger brother and I know he’ll want to go to bars, so I’m thinking of getting him a fake drivers license, but I hope that doesn’t blow up in my face.

Okay, I gotta run! I’m late for flight school. I missed the last class where we learn how to land, so I really can’t miss another one. Talk to you later!

Heehee! It’s chock-full of just about every alarm-bell word or concept that might give any good NSA desk jockey a case of raging priapism. Let’s all do it! Then we’ll all be a nation of suspects. As is the case with any label, if everyone’s a suspect, no one’s a suspect.

Secret Agent Man

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“There’s nothing like eavesdropping to show you that the world outside your head is different from the world inside your head.” — Thornton Wilder

FRUSTRATING THOSE GOOGLE SPIES

Here’s a follow-up on a report from NPR’s Morning Edition. Reporter Steve Henn explained how to thwart Google’s mechanism for keeping track of your website search history.

This is important to people who believe our wired society is turning into a Big Brother nightmare. These folks don’t want some faceless, soulless corporation knowing what kind of winter boots they like to buy online or which political candidate’s blog they follow. It’s of even more pressing urgency to those who surf websites like, oh, say, www.hairydivas.com.

Yes, This Site Does Exist

(Now, I haven’t linked to the above-mentioned site not only because it’s NSFW but even if you were tempted to cruise it at home, you wouldn’t want to have this up on your screen if, by some weird turn of fortune, you up and collapsed of a heart attack and left this vale of tears. Can you imagine your loved ones and paramedics knowing that this was your last act on Earth? Suffice it to say this site is dedicated to comely women who proudly display extraordinarily lush growth in their tropical locales.)

Anyway, here’s how to stop corporate eavesdropping and avoid afterlife humiliation.

Go to Google itself. Type in the words google dashboard.

The top result should read Dashboard – Google. Click on it.

Sign in using your gmail password.

Your Google Accounts page will turn up.

Okay so far? Click on Manage account.

This page should turn up:

Scroll down to the section called Services.

Click on Go to web history. This should be displayed.

Now click on Remove all Web History. You’ll be asked Are you sure you want to clear your entire web history? Your web history will also be paused. Click OK.

That’s it. You’re finished. This should appear on your screen.

Now you’re safe to purchase online any brand of winter boot you desire without some market research weasel from Google knowing about it. And you can go to hairydivas.com. Just make sure your heart is in good shape.

THE SANTORUM BOGEYMAN

Lots of my Democratic friends were pulling for Rick Santorum to upset Mitt Romney in yesterday’s Michigan primary. I’d even heard that some Michigan Dems had registered as Republicans so they could cast a vote for the man who would bring us back to the good old days of the Inquisition.

Their reasoning? Santorum would be walloped in November by Barack Obama whereas Mitt Romney has a chance against the incumbent.

Very clever, no?

No.

I Wonder What Rick’s Measuring

This is why I’m thrilled to pieces that Romney edged Santorum in Michigan yesterday. What if by some bizarre chance Santorum was elected president of this holy land?

It would indeed become a holy land — and not in the ironic, jokey sense that I use the term. Santorum clearly desires a theocracy here.

That’s not a risk I’d be comfortable taking no matter how clever some people’s voter strategy is.

THE PRICE OF JUSTICE

So, Lauren Spierer’s parents have upped the reward for information on the whereabouts of their missing daughter to a quarter of a million dollars.

This acknowledges the possibility that someone, somewhere knows what has happened to the IU student and has not spoken up yet only because the money wasn’t good enough.

Wow. Imagine that. What kind of ghoul do you have to be to deny these poor souls closure because $100,000 just isn’t good enough for you?

Considering the likelihood that Lauren Spierer, who went missing on June 3rd, has met a horrible end, that would make for a total of two ghouls in this case so far.

SEX CRIME — 1984

Both Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart comprised Eurythmics. In truth, though, Eurythmics was all about Annie Lennox.

I’ve never seen the 1984 film, “Nineteen Eighty-Four.” The book was depressing enough, albeit brilliant literature. I couldn’t imagine sitting through the nearly two-hour exploration of a world that is terrifyingly possible. At least with the book, if the mood became too oppressive, I could put it down.

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