Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Let's talk about surveillance

When I read "Fahrenheit 451" and "1984" in the 1980s they read as cautionary conspiracy theories.

Picking my daughter up from school now, she says "In 1984, it's like the NSA and the screens are our phones. They can hear and see everything we do."

"Yes." I hear myself saying it and I wonder how I let this happen.

On 9/11 she was 3. We were on our way home from a preschool open house at the Y, driving up into the gorgeous western Massachusetts hills on a sunny morning when I switched on the radio and heard the first tower was coming down.

I looked in the review mirror at this pigtailed little creature.
We will never be the same, I thought. Her world is different than the world I grew up in.

Some things must be said now more clearly than before. Our responsibility for our government has not diminished. In fact, we bear an ever increasing duty to steer it.

Our imaginative force and the duty to express it demand more of us.

Constant surveillance is not just. It is wrong. Living in a society governed by fear is wrong. It abdicates power to so few, and infantilizes the free intellect and rights of the people.

Our literature holds fast. Our kids aren't stupid. But freedom now, we must regularly stretch and exercise like a muscle or it's gone.

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