Increasing numbers of ‘terror suspects’ are being arrested on the basis of online and CCTV surveillance data. Authorities claim they act in the public interest, but does this intense surveillance keep us safer?
Update: I posted this yesterday. This morning I woke up still waist-deep in a dream. I’ve been dreaming more vividly in the last year or so than I think I ever have before in my life, and loving every second of it — actively looking forward to dreaming when I go to bed — in no small part because of the uncharacteristically (for me) frequent and rousing sexy dreamtimes.
But this dream this morning wasn’t just very sexy, at least in the third act. Though it early-on involved a lot of semirandom JamesBonding, with action sequences and exotic locales and ladies aplenty, the final segment of went like so: it had Been Revealed To Me By Those In The Know that Facebook and other social media sites that encourage you to frame and tag faces in photos with people’s names were feeding that data into government databases. You know, For Nefarious Purposes.
To the rescue! Sadly, swinging into action to right this wrong didn’t end up being all that exciting, though. Sitting in front of a computer is something I do too much of when I’m awake. In the dream, I heroically reopened my long-dormant Facebook account and started tagging faces with random, amusing-to-me names. The high point, just before I woke up, was tagging a picture of Stephen Harper with the name Whoopi Goldberg.
YOU EXIST. BE AS SELF INDULGENT AS YOU CAN. DON’T THINK TOO MUCH. BAD SITUATIONS ARE EASY TO CHANGE AND IF THIS ISN’T TRUE FOR YOU, DON’T GET LOSER GERMS ON THIS SIGN. MY EVERY THOUGHT IS SO DEEP. IF YOU ARE YOUNG, ATTRACTIVE AND PRIVILEGED, LOVE IS EASY. NO FATTIES, NO OLDSTERS, NO HOBOS. NOTHING IS COMPLICATED WHEN YOU CAN BUY WHAT YOU WANT. DIFFERENT TYPE SIZES CAN MAKE APHORISMS PROFOUND. EAT RAINBOWS, SHIT STARS. ASK THE NEXT PERSON YOU SEE HOW DESPERATE THEY ARE, AND SHARE YOUR DESIRE TO HUNT THEM FOR SPORT. TRAVEL OFTEN; TOURISM IS AN ADEQUATE SUBSTITUTE FOR DEPTH. IF YOU ARE UNHAPPY, IT’S PROBABLY BECAUSE YOU MISSED YOUR CHANCE AT AWESOME. LIFE IS BEING BORN ON THIRD BASE AND ACTING LIKE HITTING A TRIPLE IS SIMPLE. HANG ON TO THOSE DREAMS, IT MAKES IT EASIER TO SELL YOU. LIFE IS SHORT AND BRUTAL IF YOU CAN’T AFFORD TO LIVE A WINSOME CLICHE. WELCOME TO HELL.
It was maybe 11pm, deep into a Northern BC January Saturday night. We were both falling-down drunk, and we were 17 years old. We were sitting on crusty snow, leaning back against the side of somebody’s car, gazing up into the snowflakes falling gently out of the pitch-black sky. Everything was muffled and peaceful in the way it gets when the snow falls after dark. Clean, cold, quiet, even though we could hear the distant thump of Hell’s Bells coming from the basement party we’d left a few minutes ago. Lazy Christmas lights were still twinkling here and there. Fifteen minutes earlier, she’d asked me to hold her hair back while she puked into the toilet, something that in my hometown was tantamount to asking a guy to go steady. After, she’d asked me to walk her home. I wasn’t anywhere near sober, but she was plastered, and her parents’ house was a good 3 blocks away. I was in love with her. I had been for years. I’d never told her.