In the above article a woman gets in trouble with the police when she leaves her son in the car for five minutes on a cool day to go into the store. The police only know about this because someone with a camera phone, who clearly wishes they were in the KGB, informed them. The best part of the article is when another mother talks about the odds of a child being harmed left in the car for five minutes vs. driving to the store. People’s threat factors are way off these days. Also, just watch Mad Men to get an idea how our parents grew up. As Terry Gilliam says, “kids bounce.”
How many times has some virulent anti-gay figure turned out to be gay? Is the reason that we claimed to hate totalitarian Communism all those years, and I am referring to the Soviet kind for the moment, because we secretly loved it? Why do we need a secret police when citizens feel that it is their duty to inform on other citizens for things other than serious crimes?
One of the things that I find most disturbing about modern social interaction is how nothing is private anymore. It is one thing if someone wants to disclose their own information online, but we now no longer give people the choice most of the time. From the disgusting world of TMZ to friends checking you into places on facebook without them asking, it is just getting ridiculous. Are we Big Brother?
If there is a flip side positive to any of this it is when people use their electronic devices to speak truth to power and protect their fellow citizens. I am thinking especially of when people take videos of police abuse. If only more people would realize that we’re all in this thing together.
An interesting thing happened in the last week. Apparently someone posed as Morrissey and started a Twitter account. The thing that makes it interesting is many mainstream blogs and websites bought into the hoax. In this day and age of endless information it seems pretty easy to disseminate false information into the slipstream. Those that are in charge of the “news” don’t seem to verify as much as they once did. I know there have been times where I have believed something I read online for a day or two only to find out it was false later. A day or so after it happened Morrissey posted this on his official fan site true-to-you.net:
I would like to stress that I do not have either a Twitter or a Facebook account. I gather that a Twitter account has been opened in my name – as ‘It’s Morrissey’ – but it is NOT Morrissey. I do not know who has opened this recent Twitter account, but please be aware that it is bogus. That’s, of course, if you should remotely care.
Now if this was only happening in the world of entertainment journalism it would be bad enough, but we are constantly bombarded with bogus “news” and information that is not only bad reporting, but is often created by people that mean to keep us confused. There is a whole group of corporately funded right wing think tanks that try make people skeptical of climate change. They peddle their nonsense through friendly media outlets.
You must be vigilante when you try to figure out what is going on out there. The best thing to do is to try to find multiple sources that at least try to get it right and to check against each other on at least a semi-regular basis. It takes some time, but in a democracy, we as citizens have a duty to stay informed. Our misadventure in Iraq, which cost so many lives, would have never happened if more people had paid attention. As the philosopher George W. Bush once said, “Fool me – you can’t get fooled again.”
I am sitting in the studio looking over my instagram pictures. It looks like I go from one exciting, strange, or fun moment to the next. There is nothing there that demonstrates the dull mundane aspects that consume most of life. Like there is no photo of me tripping over my pajama leg while going up the stairs and taking the Lords name in vain. There is also no photo of me sitting on the couch yesterday like Jabba the Hut while my dog plays the role of Salacious Crumb, only getting up to eat.
I was thinking of these things and was going to write a long blog about how the digital world has erased those aspects of life that we don’t want people to see. Those things we shouldn’t and wouldnt want people to see. But after my trip to instagram I happened to scroll through facebook….