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08/31/2006 Archived Entry: "The pettiness of the control state"

FROM THAT SURVEILLANCE MAD-HATTERLAND OF BRITAIN come signs and oracles of our future. And scary though that future may be, it's also ... pathetic. No more should we envision Big Brother following us around with malign intent like something out of An Enemy of the State.

Turns out he's much more interested in the weight of our garbage (is there some actual reason this had to be done covertly?). Or whether we're late for school. (There aren't any humans to notice if little Nigel's not in class? What, pray tell, are the teachers up to?)

It's true as Tom Chartier hysterically Pronounces, that there's a paranoia gap between the U.S., which still utters occasional gasps of anti-surveillance protest, and the UK, whose huddled millions should probably all just go hide under a rock somewhere to avoid all those multifarious bogeymen that seem to terrorize them of late. (Rock-dwelling would be more sensible than the latest "for the children" surveillance program, which creates a handy database of kidlets for pedophiles to consult.) But not to worry, Tom. Today, Britain. Tomorrow, Our Glorious Homeland.

(Funny, though, what finally becomes a body's line in the sand. I've got a friend who's selling his house and moving away because his Mommy Municipality demands that he allow them to replace his old water meter with one that will not only report how much water his family uses each month, but also how much they use at any given time of day. He pays his taxes. He licenses his vehicles and himself. He probably even licenses his guns. But let Big Brother monitor his daily, even hourly, water usage? Nope, that's going too far. Well, whatever it takes. It doesn't so much matter what our line in the sand is -- as long as we all get one pretty damn soon.)

Posted by Claire @ 01:45 PM CST

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