Big Brother is Watching You

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 16th, 2013

Week in Review

I have a friend that once worked in construction.  A small company.  They did a job at a gay bar on an industrial street.  It was the only place opened late night/early morning for a mile or so in either direction.  It was an old part of town.  The street lighting wasn’t that good.  Which made their parking lot very dark.  So being a good business owner concerned about the safety of his cliental he installed security lighting in the parking lot.  To make it bright and safe at night.  Once the job was done and the owner saw it at night he was very pleased.  And the very next day he called my friend’s company to come back that day to shut these lights off.

Funny thing about a gay bar.  About this particular gay bar.  It just wasn’t a place where people came for drinks and camaraderie.  Not this bar in the middle of nowhere with a pitch-black parking lot.  Where the gay clientele went there to meet other gay men.  And if they hit it off they went to the darkened parking.  And did things they couldn’t do in a well-lit parking lot.  Men who were testing the water outside of the closet.  Others who remained in the closet for work or personal reasons and felt safe letting their guard down in such private location.  Perhaps even people who were just questioning their sexuality.  Who didn’t want family, friends, coworkers or neighbors to know.  At least not yet.  For these reasons and possibly numerous others men went to this gay bar.  Because no one could see their car in that parking lot.  Or what they might be doing in that parking lot.  So if something as innocuous as parking lot lighting could spook the clientele  imagine what this could do (see Pubs to escape demand to install CCTV if trouble-free posted 6/14/2013 on BBC News UK Politics).

Pubs in England and Wales with no history of trouble will no longer be forced by local authorities to install CCTV systems, the government has said…

In many parts of the country, pub landlords have been told they must install CCTV, which can cost several thousand pounds, to monitor entrances and exits or face losing their licence…

Community Pubs Minister Brandon Lewis said: “CCTV has a role to play in stopping and deterring crime in anti-social behaviour hotspots.

Not too long ago a college student committed suicide.  Because his roommate filmed a sexual encounter he had with a friend and uploaded it to the web.  This person had not yet come out of the closet.  His world changed after that prank.  So much so that he couldn’t bear to live after it.

People expect privacy.  Whether they’re going to a gay bar, are having sex in their dorm room or going through the airport only to have their most personal belongings tossed about in public.  They don’t want to worry that their every movement may be watched and recorded.  Proponents of public safety will say if you’re not doing anything illegal then you have nothing to hide.  But there are a lot of things that we do that aren’t illegal but could be very embarrassing.  A night out with the girls can get a little rowdy.  But most things we do can pass into anonymity.  Which is why people can relax and let their hair down.  Let off some steam after a stressful week.  But if we fear our every movement ends up on a surveillance tape somewhere we will stop relaxing.  Stop letting our hair down.  And stop letting off steam after a stressful week.  As we feel the cold stare of Big Brother ever present over our shoulder.  Living in fear that someone somewhere may see us NOT acting like everyone else.

This is where we’re heading.  To the dull gray world of Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.  Where there is no happiness but only fear.  Fear of the state.  Fear of Big Brother watching our every movement.  Fear of getting caught doing something that the state doesn’t approve of.

Is this the world we want to live in?


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