Friday, February 27, 2009

Big Brother Goes Hard.…Drive, That Is.

We knew the bill would be a whopper when The Big BOPR (see definition below) finally did the math and prepared to pass the collection basket. The White House reckoning from above will now require every taxpayer to toss more than $12,000 into that collection basket when it’s passed down the aisle.

Forwarding the final bill to X-P “W” (see definition below) in Crawford, TX was certainly a tempting dream sequence; however, we’ve been slapped hard with the reality that personal accountability by those in positions of power has heretofore been virtually non-existent. So instead of sending X-P “W” an invoice, we’ve elected to send him a thank you note for plunging a final thrust straight into the heart of the Old Guard.

Seems X-P didn’t stay on the ranch for long anyway. He and Laura decided to call Dallas home, and the media made sure everyone knew they’d purchased a humble estate in the well-heeled suburb of Preston Hollow. Understandably George felt it important to be close to Laura’s alma mater where his think tank and presidential library are to be housed.

A few simple keystrokes on whitepages.com gave us instant access to (what used to be considered) highly personal information cross-linked within the public internet domain, and made finding George and Laura’s new home mailing address and phone number effortless. The ease with which we successfully obtained the Bush’s information was both gratifying and alarming at the same time.

There are two sides to every coin, and when the pendulum swings to the extreme in one direction, it’ll always swing back to the opposite extreme before ultimately finding its balance.

The Old Guard’s excessively secretive ways are being steadily replaced with the public’s demand for transparency in all things, even at the expense of dignity and self-respect. The popular trend toward voyeurisitic fascination, and even obsession, with the private life business of others is indisputable when considering the innumerable reality TV shows dominating network programming on a daily basis throughout the world.

A look in the rear view mirror showed us Steve Martin screaming “the phone book’s here!” in the movie “The Jerk”. It was a reminder of when everyone’s phone number was automatically listed in the large white pages telephone book and if someone wanted their phone number unlisted, it was. Full stop.

Today's Peeping-Tom movement toward complete private sector transparency (some would call that an oxymoron) basically puts every man, woman and child under 24/7 surveillance and makes it essentially impossible to preserve any modicum of personal privacy. We can't help but wonder how much we really need to know about each other’s private lives and what would constitute crossing the line of just too much information in current society.

As our personal and private data flows freely across the world wide web under the guise of freedom of information, social networking websites and the techno pros within large data repositories for identity theft are systematically archiving and cultivating that flow for future use.

The paranoia expressed in previous decades revolving around the watchful eyes of Big Brother rings hollow as we now find society simply handing it all over willingly, without hesitation or limitation. Do we really have control over our identities and private lives anymore?

For another way to pass the buck, see our ‘Dream Sequence’ November 30, 2008 posting "World Forwards Final Bill to ‘W’ in Crawford, TX".

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