Saturday, October 17, 2009

I'll Be Watching You

Perhaps some see the cameras not as an intrusion but as a means of catching their performance. I suppose that in the insulated world of self-indulgence it's hard to understand the implications of constant and pervasive observation.
-Ignatz Mucklefutz

Following up on Surveillance in Sylva, here's this from the police:

The following comment was attached to the YouTube version of this song. I think it ties in to this discussion of the mixed attitudes about freedom and security, privacy and exposure, individuality and conformity, submission and resistance, self and other...

It's about stalking. "Sting said he was disconcerted by how many people think the song is more positive than it is. He insists it's about unrequited love (the song was written at the time he and his then wife divorced) about the obsession with the lost lover, the jealousy and surveillance that followed. When asked why he appears angry in the music video Sting told BBC Radio2 "I think the song is very, very sinister and ugly and people have misinterpreted it as being a gentle, little love song."

And here's a good link for you...AXIS (of evil) MEDIA (mind) CONTROL CAMERA view of downtown Sylva:

World War II USA Military Propaganda Poster

I think I know who "he" is. Say "cheese," soldier.

And more from Professor Mucklefutz:

I was listening to an author on NPR last week discuss his book about how the joys of childhood, especially the joys of lone adventure have been stolen by our repressive need for safety and security.

When I was kid I left the house in the morning with the only restriction being an appearance at mealtimes. I wandered the woods without kneepads or helmets or structured play. The year I lived with my granny in the big city really wasn't much different. I went to the ballfield or took the trolley into the center of the city.

I got to explore and use my imagination.

Today we fear all manner of bad consequences and I suppose there are good reasons for that although I'm not sure there are any more molesters or bad people now than there were then.

From our earliest moments we are taught that structure and order will eliminate bad consequences. So now we believe we are somehow entitled to evermore perfect outcomes. This idea pervades our society and takes many forms in both conservative and liberal ideologies.

The imposition of Big Brother may have been imposed but the idea that we should accept that started with an acceptance of the tradeoff of freedom for the security of perfect outcomes.

Gulahiyi, you're probably right that today's youth will accept the intrusion without question or qualm. I was talking to a teacher from our high school today and she said that the latest fad was young women who use their camera phones to take pictures of their own naughty bits and then sell views to the boys.

Now, I'm no prude, in my younger days I tried like many of my cohorts to sneak a peak in the girls' locker room. This strikes me as the normal curiosity of youth. But this newest thing seems miles, not degrees beyond that.

I wonder, is the resistance to health care reform by some merely the acknowledgement that the rest of the world is populated not by fellow human beings but merely actors in our own personal movies? If I am so self-referential as to think this way then why should I care about the quality of someone else's life?

Perhaps some see the cameras not as an intrusion but as a means of catching their performance. I suppose that in the insulated world of self-indulgence it's hard to understand the implications of constant and pervasive observation.


Anonymous said...

And somewhere someone is angry with Sting and me even argue with him for explaining the essential meaning of his art in a way that conflicts with their interpretation.
We have become so self-referential, so inured to the idea that our own perceptions are not only perfectly accurate but reality itself that we no longer can think from any point of view but our own. This means we learn nothing, see nothing, hear nothing that does not reinforce our own world view - a life without depth or character.
A few months ago you had a post of a bird's nest with eggs in it that was on the ground in the garden. To me it spoke of the tenuous beauty of life - would a snake or a coon find the nest or would the birds survive? Life without this constant tension of variable outcome is not life but a staged event.
Those who would see the placement of cameras in public spaces as nothing more than prudent attempts at providing security, those who are not troubled by the constant intrusion and observation or the growing predilection to stage manage all outcomes, seem to me to be willing to trade life itself for a kind of comfortable netherworld devoid of any challenging emotion or feeling or thought.

GULAHIYI said...

That reminds me...

A few years ago, I saw where someone used "Every Breath You Take" for music at a wedding.

I was utterly amazed.

I wonder if their inevitable divorce was a smooth one. Then again, maybe they're still blissfully together.