Wednesday, April 08, 2009

We Are All Seen

Seen we are, we city-folks, seen on cameras here and there, a quilt of videos that history will warehouse. Ever cheaper the cost of the eyes that see us, ever cheaper the cost of storage.

Even now, as I complain and argue over the phone with a recalcitrant billing clerk, I find myself wishing that those who probably monitor my calls could send them true and clear to those whose job it is to bring law into our lives. If the government's listeners ever think to monitor the phones of Medicare billing clerks at clinics, they will discover endless job security.

Are there listeners? Oh, yes!

Computerized, of course. It's just so easy and it takes no effort. Bush did it. Obama has not stopped it. Madmen now call for armed overthrow, motivating its retention.

Having a listener on my phone is like having junk mail and a credit card balance. It gives me comfort that I'm not alone. Living things need company. That's why solitary confinement is torture. That's why I welcome the listener and the watcher. To the extent that I own my own government, they empower me. To the extent I fail in this, they enslave me.

So I must know in my heart that I own my own government. Until that day is sure, I must be an actor. I must give the watcher what he expects to see, give the listener words he can be sure he understands. No need to draw attention here. So it is for all of us. No need for attention here. We are all on stage.

We are history.

Whatever happened to "personal space"?

How can one who is always being an actor see God?

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