The Polite Big Brother?

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The panopticonic eye looms over the streetscape, simultaneously recording and judging the every move of the unfazed masses. Thecamera stands like a moral voyeur ready to pounce on the first sign of civil disobedience. The tagline ‘we’re watching out for you’ plastered across posters and signs. The strategically placed ‘out for’ carefully injected to pacify the historically-forgetful public. Are we to feel placated by the false sense of security? Relieved by Big Brother’s more gentle politically correct rejuvenation? Or do we simply have more pressing issues then our lost sense of privacy?

More recently, like in Stalin’s Russia, the guileful Big Brother has its inherent limitations. It can’t read body-language or learn what people’s thoughts are. Therefore the masses need to be noosed in to assist in their own imprisonment. Has Stockholm syndrome reached the latter stages? Or am I being melodramatic? The concept of children betraying their parents is too unethical – for the moment at least. Instead Big Brother attempts to lure you with misguided moral obligations to sell out the person who didn’t pay their train ticket or scammed an extra £50 on benefits. Is it going to benefit you? Is it going to lower prices or taxes? Are we really gullible enough to believe that? Or is it to shield our vision from the cream-bloated-fat-cats. So they can skim ever-larger white scoops with grubby paws while they pollute the depleted puddle that the masses must sip from?

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Even today, the tabloids spout claims of councils spending millions on hiring private eyes to track private citizens. Though they speak with sensationalist conviction, we know that all they are met with disillusioned impotence. What’s really left for the public to do? Hope unflinchingly that our best interests really are at the heart of the society of control?

‘Public’ space has become something of an archaic notion in modern day Britain. Though the name still remains the same, the meaning has been contorted and mangled to suit the few. We are no longer free to use the space as we would have seen fit. And this is due to what? Is it due to unsubstantiated statements of safer streets or crime prevention? Even if we do take this somewhat naïve view that it’s in our best interests. Then is it really worth our freedom and privacy? History is filled with people that have said ‘no’. What would the jaded and fearful masses say today?

‘Who fucking cares?’ would be my guess.

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