Please note that the poems and essays on this site are copyright and may not be reproduced without the author's permission.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Area Under Surveillance


84820021: photo by David Thomas (DavidTAndersonPhotography), 28 August 2013

Six months now since the accident-
al discovery we're being monitored
every minute by blind robot clowns
  so... safer?  Are we having fun yet?  

We Sell Guns (Boston, Massachusetts): photo by Jim Rohan (LowerDarnley), 31 March 2013

Masticophis taeniatus: photo by Josef Uyeda (Pseudacris), 21 June 2010


ACravan said...

I feel unsafe and it’s been a long time, unfortunately, since I’ve really had any fun. I would like to believe that this is temporary, a phase, but I’m worried that it isn’t. I know that a lot of things were said after the passage of the Patriot Act about diminishing freedoms and abridged rights of free speech, but I didn’t notice anything salient in that regard affecting the population at large or me personally. I do now, however, and apart from this space and on my own blog, I pretty much keep my thoughts to myself in order not to be disagreeable or possibly be noticed or reported. Out of step as I am, I no longer step out. All three photos are amazing, but I especially like the second one with the “Island Life” sign on the left-hand side juxtaposed against the large gun show billboard. The funny thing is that most people driving by it wouldn’t notice it or, if they did, wouldn’t remember it. There’s too much information out there and people pitch their tents and enclose and cocoon themselves in a million different ways.

TC said...

Curtis, the Island Life sign does its share of the work (doubletake-wise) in making that such a very haunting image. There is the echo of the Grace Jones album, and heaven knows what else. The silver bullet left by the masked invader under the surrealistic pillow in the sleepover tent at the USA gun show will find its target in somebody's nightmare. But this whole subject is of course untouchable. The nonchalant traffic in arms discovered at gun shows on an "undercover tour" by Colin Goddard, a student shot four times at Virginia Tech, is an eye opener.

Ed Baker said...

I, for one, usually and absolutely, don't say ex
what is on (in?) my mind


more guns were purchased over the past
few days the ever before....

I guess those buying guns and ammo are so doing
"to protect us from our government" ?


time to watch a Red Ryder/Little Beaver movie

Hazen said...

Those pictures say it all. Snakes in the sky! According to the morning paper, Virginia is set to break the record for in-state firearem sales this year. It’s easier to buy guns in America than good health care.

Nora said...

That whipsnake is the friendliest thing up there.

I read yesterday that only 1% of Snowden's leaks have so far been released. Is it strange that I always assume I'm being watched nowadays? And that I still Google things like "mysterious butt pain" at five a.m., knowing full well it could go on my permanent record? (Don't worry G-men, my bottom is fine.)

awyn said...

I began noticing Lockheed Martin visiting my blog, several times a day, every day for about two months - only it was not a person, it was a bot. So I looked up the IP, did some research and found out LM uses a software known as "Wisdom":

From their website: "LM Wisdom is a predictive analytics and big data technology tool that monitors and analyzes rapidly changing open source intelligence data (newspaper feeds and social media content for example). This type of content has the power to incite organized movements, riots and sway political outcomes. LM Wisdom turns this data into actionable intelligence for our customers."

They seemed particularly interested in a post I did once a long while ago re: "Stand Up for Tibet". I emailed a friend to say I was thinking of writing on my blog about it, and whaddyaknow, the next day Lockheed Martin stopped visiting. Quel coinkydink! Curiouser and curiouser....

mistah charley, ph.d. said...

maybe that LM Wisdom really works like they say but it didn't stop those boston marathon guys

i assume there's a file of everything i write and every website i visit

i incline to the opinion that all this info is being collected for its potential use as blackmail

may all potentially sentient beings be well, happy, and at peace

TC said...

I incline to the opinion that Mistah Charlie has got it right. The destruction of civil liberties didn't really take that long -- more like one of those "half" or "baby" marathons. And I don't even like to think about the maelstrom awaiting us at the finish line.

Annie, the unwanted intruders runneth over at my place but there's always room at the party, so next time your little robot friends from LM drop by, send 'em on over for some bar-b-q and beer with the daft old folks and maybe even a little crazy fun on the python browser forced-feeding-tube shoot-the-chute.

(Hmm, better make that whipsnake browser -- easier on the keyword surveyor bots, wouldn't want to get 'em confused before they've digested that healthy breakfast of ten billion killerbytes of useless "intelligence" -- just add a tall glass of milk and a sharp extortion strategy.)

Well, Nora, all I can say is when the storm troopers arrive to round up the authentic butt pain victims and herd them into the boxcars, I'll be missing you.

The matter of what is one's own private business seems hardly to be an issue anymore. Indeed there doesn't seem any longer to be such a thing as one's private business. Since early last summer, anyone who isn't worrying about this loss is very likely exploiting it.

The world gradually draws into
a global unit, knitted
together by the networks stitched
into everyone's private
There is increasingly the threat
of an objective penalty
for being excluded
from the game,
from these networked arrangements.

At the same time
seeing these arrangements
clearly and objectively from the inside
is impossible.
Only by being cut adrift,
on the outside,
does one begin
to make out the workings
of the game --
to make out that it is a game
and not a "natural" state of things.


But it seems there remains a bit of the devil in every human animal, even the most miserably cowed, a strange small still voice which, when faced with the overwhelming control mechanisms which demand one to shut up for one's own good, chafes at the bit, just a bit...


Ed Baker said...

much much and far beyond
muchness for
your link to
3 David Miller's stuff... (The Fall 'Frightened' ... flashing images coherenting my youth 9 which I am seemingly still using ... sort-of)

more from / by David (and his 'others) here:

there are some few still 'out-and-about'
scrabbling their lonely way and doing

Wooden Boy said...

The break in the first line is just right.

Our resistance could only ever appear as an accident, an administrative glitch.

TC said...

Yes, that's true, maybe it was all an accident. The Man Who Told Us the Truth started out as just another smartbot in the administered intelligence world. One imagines the system accidentally failing to hoover up some bit of ts own metastasizing malignancy, maybe nothing more than a routine additional straw -- which, for Our Man, then turned out to be the last straw. History works in the oddest ways.

Far more a matter of accident than of any imaginable purpose.

Not that all the imaginable and real purposes aren't problematic enough as 'tis.