We have now witnessed at this midsummer moment an historic moment. This is not the record flooding in Canada, that’s par for the course these days. Not the Super Moon (trademark Weatherchannel.com). Not the ruling on this or that social matter that in the longer run of survival, economy, and the line of civilization viewed in centennials rather than from the vantage point of browser speed, nor the many false “firsts” propped up by the media over the past decade or more are nothing more than minor blips. What is truly historic is the case of Mr. Snowden. True, we had Private Bradley a few years ago, the UK had Dr. David Kelly, and a few others. However his leaks got Manning tortured and tossed into a box. Dr. David Kelly died and that was good enough for the public to forget him. It all fit the narrative of crime and punishment. We have Wikileaks Man out there too, but his narcissistic image and grand mannerisms and fabulous hair have made his case a personality contest – the press are able to tell a solid story of a brat trying to cause trouble. Oh yeah, look at that kookie white hair spilling out all our classified cables and such, my my his is hiding in the embassy of such-and-such he really ought to come out and clear his name in court… Anyway, he is a Homeschooler, a foreigner, and a fancy boy, so nothing we need fear. We have been told very simple stories that allow us to keep going on as we had, the leaking of this or that being a mere hesitation in the workings of the machinery of state.
However, we now have a more or less average American, a tool from our corporatist state’s tool box, coming out and spilling dirty secrets – that is, secret from official life since many a blogger had already been calling this out for years – and then doing so from a safe country…. The People’s Republic of China. Well, actually Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous region, one country two systems(sm), a place of business formerly of British rule and now in the hands of Party Officials. Mr. Snowden seems to be doing it from Russian Federation. He apparently took a flight have taken a flight to Moscow (which is strange, it took me weeks and hundreds of dollars for me to enter Russia). Maybe he is cooling his heels in the airport in Moscow. Maybe he has already fled to safety somewhere else. The Department of State is furious. They still have the Metalica tapes they used to deprive Manning of sleep queued up and ready to go. And here, we have been exposed as the nation we have become in all this spectacle. Officials whine about cooperation and extradition, but the world has changed.
We have lost a position in the world that will be difficult to regain. The respect of the people of so many other nations, the popular understanding of the United States can only diminish. Our system, our people, our government was the destination from tyranny and oppression, but now it seems the reverse. That our citizens flee our government and in the age of media saturation, this is a shot heard around the world. While our government is not [yet] Iran, (anywhere in Africa take your pick), the People’s Republic of China, or other systems of totalitarianism and corruption, this looks bad when an American flees our nation to a current adversary (PRC), then to our Cold War foe, and from there perhaps to the Third World corruption of Latin America to claim political asylum. Yes, each nation involved is looking to set a black eye in the face of the United States, but did we have to write them such an easy playbook, did we have to hand them the story that we can no longer be that nation of free peoples, good government, and a rule of laws, and have become a nation fast plunging into the closed society of internal spies and secret police, secret courts and detention centers, arbitrary laws, and a rigid economic system where more and more are born, live, and die in their station than ever before?
We have done this damage to ourselves by building this system, not be exposing it. The irony of one current and one former communist country assisting is not lost on the world, neither is the fact that Ecuador, should this be his final destination, seems to be collecting dissident Americans like Pokemon cards. Got to collect them all.
And all this so that several agencies can collect data on Americans and other foreigners all of which .000000009999999% is useless trash, cat photos, Big Naturals, lol jokes, emails about work, text messages about brunch, blogs, this blog, Instagrahm photos of beaches, vacations, and events all with that filter that makes it look like it was taken between 1968 – 1978, graphjam graphs about how often you need to pee in certain environments (airplane right before take off – 100% of the time), etc, et cetera, &c.. All of which is to say, another government boondoggle. A pork project for the for-profit security companies that have run out of things to sell us, the government, and one another and have now turned to make huge profits from selling fear to agencies, departments of state, and policy makers. A make work project with dark implications for our society, dolorous impact on our freedoms, a crippling blow to the prestige of our nation outside our estate and a conflagration of all tenets and intentions current and in the future for our Constitution and Bill of Rights.
It is to Uncle Googles to place yet another petition online. Sign this anti-snoop thingy, it will change stuff. Why does this sound like the impact made by Chinese peasants when they petition their local Party Bosses? Something that won’t change current or future projects and directions, but will get you on the quick list for potential spies, internal wreckers, counter-revolutionaries, and Hooligans and since I signed this damn thing I guess I will have to wait for the knock at my digital door or whatever will come now that I have committed myself to eternal digital “paper.” Or, perhaps they’ll lose this trace of my resistance, since the security apparatus seems to be also collecting the pictures of the man saving his cat (Momo) from the flood in Alberta. And the thousands of other electronic petitions that we “sign” each week.
The other day I was watching a certain news program and there was such-and-such a professor or expert, consultant or a bourgeois specialist who writes about the economy and the direction of our nation. Some may be shocked that this man can still criticize the nation, capitalism, the financial system and get away with it. Some may also point that we enjoy freedom since this august head is able to ponder publicly political perpetuations that are highly critical and walk about from his office where he grades student papers to the lecture hall, to the confines of his publisher’s headquarters where he argues about the bond of paper milled for his next work all without fear. However, we can consider that this man, and other men and women and thinkers and talkers and writers and bloggers (this author included) are given ample forum and simple pathways to discuss because we have no known impact on the system and hence, pose no real threat to the Powers That Be. Only a weak and wounded system persecutes minor journalists and community garden organizers. A strong system can ignore a great many comedians and professors by the score. They are effete kaffeklatches and their activities may keep a great many off the streets and frantically typing away another mind numbing missive describing to the Sheeple how we’re screwed or formulating another book on this-or-that social ill that could be solved by a civil society or fewer dollars spent on war. Rather than taking to the streets. Like Occupy Wall Street. Blocking buildings and preventing normal business. Occupying the minds of a growing public with event after event, so that the apparatus of the state is so busy it doesn’t have time to see if I searched for a Hello Kitty dildo in 1998 or used Yahoo.com to find a naked picture of K- just a few hours after she OD’ed so I could spider them.
If professor J– and comedian V- posed such a threat, they’d be off the air or bounced out of academe in moments.
It is a rather piss poor realization, that most of us blahblahblahers don’t even matter enough to get a visit from the secret police. That we don’t have files somewhere on us as they gathered in the Red Scare days. That our files are just the same size and stored in the same place as your files, or your aunt’s files, or the groomer at doggie day care working her way through community college. That even at my pithiest mote or broadest accusation, this blogger has about as much impact as the thirty e-petitions I have signed in the past few months to save whales, prevent pipelines, restore American jobs, or whatever… If you want to really see the ugly head of our neo-state, really stick it to them. Protest in public places in ways that confound. Reveal secrets of corporatist soda formulas or how much sugar and bug shit is in baby food. Pierce the veil of the corporatist government and tell We The People what they’re up to. Then you will well know that our Stasi are just as thuggish as any and this land has come under the spell of some strange and foreign power. The power of fear.