The uneven line twixt right and wrong – foto by Smith
I played a Youtube video and an ad appeared offering me lawyers to handle a bad hip replacement. Just exactly how does Youtube know I got a hip replacement four months ago?
I click on a restricted movie trailer ad which asks when I was born and I lie and it tells me sorry, no such person exists in your zip code with that birth date. How does a movie mogul know my address and age without me telling them my name?
Think about it – they know who you are, where you live, your sex and age, most your interests and friends, and pretty much everything you’ve purchased lately . . . and they know it IMMEDIATELY. They don’t have to go search a data base after you type in your birth date because as soon as you sign on, they tag you, link to your database entry, follow you every click you make on every page you view — all in real time. And they do this simultaneously with millions, perhaps billions of people EVERY SINGLE SECOND OF THE DAY WITH ALL OF US AT THE SAME TIME.
The commercial hardware and interconnected linkage required boggles my mind but what really blows me away is the software programming involved — first, how do they know it’s me when I sign on? Isn’t that invasion of privacy? I mean, I know they can track my IP address which according to the internet “can often be used to identify the region or country from which a computer is connecting to the Internet. An IP address can sometimes be used to show the user’s general location.” But we have two computers here on one cable port — just how do the hip replacement advertisers know it’s me and not my wife signing on?
There are a lot of laws protecting our privacy, and I don’t believe the computer people or the bankers or the ad agencies or any government agency is obeying a single one of them. They know who you are, your health-medical-financial-purchasing history, and probably what time you get up and how long it takes you to brush your teeth. And if you blog, they keep a record of keywords in case you’re either a potential future customer or terrorist. In a 1994 interview, Mark Weber asked me, “*Do the walls have ears?” “Not as many as the TV and the telephone. If you come to THEIR attention, you’re dead meat.” I replied.
Our Government and our Corporations are pretty much one and the same thing — law-breaking, spying, thieving, bullying thugs in bed together licking each other in ecstasy as they roll abound in the illegal data they’ve siphoned from us in their never ending hope of sucking up all our money and killing every single anti-authoritarian thought we might have.
These people are not nice, not moral, do not have any interest in our best interests, care for nothing but the stench of raw unbridled power and the stink of mooooooore money, too much money, money on top of money, money fluxing money most foul, and all the useless shallow surface stuff it can buy.
Of course bottom line this 1984 Big Brother and BIGGER CORPORATIONS world we live in is not going to go away or get better or ever become a lawful endeavor because the genie cannot be put back in the bottle. The only hope for folk now is to be born out of a hospital and spend the rest of their life off the grid — no registering for school, electricity, voting, credit cards, insurance, magazine subscriptions – no IRS or Medicare or Social Security . . . and even if you can pull that off, they’re still going to capture your face in their data base with their biometric and face-capturing software via the millions of surveillance and secret cameras hung everywhere in stores, banks, on streets, etc. . . . and once your face is theirs and they see no official government tags attached, they’ll slap you in a special interest file and track you down and eat you just for practice.
Welcome to the new world, much stickier wicket than the old world.
On a lighter note, what do we the consumer people know? My cell fone just rang. I replied with a cheery Hello. Long pause until a polite middle-aged woman said cautiously, “Is this K-Mart?” “No,” I replied, laughing joyously, “it’s not.” She apologized sweetly and I left her with a chuckling “No problem.” Then I sat and laughed, glad I wasn’t K-mart, glad she was so nice, glad I was gentle, and hopeful my morning laughter NOT at her expense rides with her throughout the rest of the day making her just a wee bit happier . . . because if that happens, my joyous laughter raising her sprits could spread a little extra lightness to whomever she interacts with the rest of the day. After all, we’re all ripples on the cosmic pool.
The Corporate Mean
The promised land of milk and honey
Hides the men of scars and shame
Who came they say to slay their dragon
Yet slayed to stay the same
Sleep creeps like Jason’s wool
Down shelf enchanted eyes
Devolved from Mammon’s muse
These self selected wise
Inside their phantom rooms
In fairy tale castles
Devoid of viable dooms
As integrated assholes
— Smith, 1974
Performance ratings – foto by Smith