A few blog posts ago, I promised to convey the reason why I had to embark on an involuntary Internet fast for two weeks. Here it is. At first my wife Jina told me the reason she’d deprived us of access to the ever-flowing gems that wind through the river of the global electronic community was to save money. I balked at first, snorted, huffed, and puffed with protuberant eyeballs, like a smoker who’d just wheezed up ten flights of stairs.
(Actually, at first I did and said nothing, accustomed as I am to a position of solemn defeat in the marriage. The righteous indignation didn’t kick in until ten days into the fast, when she told me she wasn’t planning to restore our wireless access.)
It turned out her self-imposed exile from the land of sedentary surfers had nothing to do with saving money, but was the result of her wellspring of paranoia about forces beyond her influence and control–namely, those taking place in her own brain. I’d like to say that Jina has a vivid imagination, but that would be an inaccurate statement, since the bugaboos that possess her are not of her own devising.
She’s afraid, you see, that the Freemasons are taking over the world (which is why she doesn’t want me buying coffee from a certain global chain, despite my biological need for caffeine). Not only that, but she’s obsessed–and that’s not too strong a word–with something called the Verichip, which she insists that the U. S. government intends to compel every U. S. citizen to have inserted subcutaneously in his or her wrist as a way to harness us all like remote-controlled hot rods.
Now, don’t ask me what surfing the Internet has to do with human-implanted computer chips that would give secretive government agencies God-like power over the populace, turning all of us Yankees into virtual marionettes. She backed up her assertion that we shouldn’t restore our Internet privileges by saying that Julian Assange said the govt. is spying on everyone in cyberspace.
Since I didn’t want to have the permanent impression of the edge of a frying pan in the side of my face, I didn’t point out that her mind is already controlled by outside forces, namely the goddamned church she gives so much time, money, and mental and spiritual energy to, a church that is made of mortal men and women, regardless of how much some of these sacred clowns may claim to know about the whims of Sir God Almighty, Esq.
On the other hand, as Woody Allen said, “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean people aren’t out to get you.”
You’ve probably read about the N. S. A.’s vast spy complex in Utah, Stellar Wind, which is still under construction but will be ready for action in September 2013. Slouch that I am, I’ve yet to read former CIA man James Bamford’s piece on it from March of this year on Wired Magazine’s website, but I took a glance at it yesterday, and it’s a doozy. I did watch an interview Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! gave to several people who’d been heckled by the feds for exercising their First Amendment rights, one of whom is a friend and colleague of the beleaguered Mr. Assange. That was at around the same time the article came out.
Anyway, in case you haven’t heard, Stellar Wind is in a building that’s one mile square. It will have the capacity to observe and store every American’s email exchanges, cell phone conversations, credit card data, book store purchases, etc.
Whereas the Verichip is, according to my wife, a Trojan Horse for Satan, and a harbinger of that passage in the Book of Revelations that alludes to the mark of the beast (666, for all you Omen fans, also the prefix of my former boss’s telephone number), at least the choice to have one inserted into your person is–for the time being (dramatic cello interlude, please)–voluntary. I doubt, however, a bunch of concerned U. S. citizens got on the horn to the N. S. A. and said, “You know, boys, I’m worried that we all have too much privacy. Do you think you could take what little we have left away from us?”
Arrested without a trial, spied on by drones the size of mosquitoes, followed by snoopy cameras wherever we go, eavesdropped on whenever we go on line–
Golly gee whizzaroonie, doncha feel safer already? What kind of a world do these people want us to live in anyway? A big shuddering ball of fear? Doesn’t sound like much fun to me. Throw away your cameras and guns and have a party, folks. Dr. Dionysus’ orders. Jesus said he’d bring some wine.