|Image by Max Ernst|
And Now for a Few Notes on Watching the Watchers
The other day I was in this coffee house,
which I won't tell you the name of,
and there was this old
guy in there who had the look.
An older gent, who looked at me blankly
as if he hated me from behind these dark sunglasses.
It was kinda creepy.
The only way I can describe it is it reminded me
of the stoic baseball manager stare.
Then I noticed the person I was looking at
was merely a reflection of myself.
I was staring at myself.
I had the stoic manager stare.
People stare from behind dark sunglasses a lot,
and one supposes it might be because they are
Or it could just be a fashion thing.
Nobody smiles in public anymore,
or so it seems,
That's most likely because the times are so hard,
and perhaps many people who stare blankly
with the stoic baseball manager stare
because they didn't like baseball,
or, simply don't have jobs,
just lost their homes in some financial,
climate-related disaster or all of the above.
Or they are voyeurs.
But most of all, staring is rude.
It's a kind of surveillance.
A really, really crude kind of surveillance,
but surveillance nonetheless.
It needs to be turned into something more productive.
People need jobs.
Cuts down on staring time.
But staring skills could be better employed.
You could, for example,
right now (operators are standing by) apply
for training as a remote flyer of drones.
That's staring on steroids.
Since the best and brightest of our generation
have determined surveillance society
is good for the economy,
and the encouragement of drone technology
is all of the wave, let us consider where the jobs are
... staring at a screen for drone technology.
First and foremost: It's the best short-cut
there is in the motion picture industry.
I know this because of my own experience
in film and television and motion pictures.
Fortunately, even as I write this,
my life story is pieced together
as some odd duck shot on the public
patois of surveillance society for posterity's sake.
We are all pieced together this way.
Or, we can be reconstructed that way.
We all have a legacy in film to be pieced together.
To produce a full movie,
all you need are the necessary security clearances
to obtain this productivity en masse.
For example, I have appeared in such films as "My Left Foot by the Laundromat," "Photo Radar," "Coffee and Cigarettes by the Convenience Store," a very Jim Jarmusch-style series of daily
sequences, and "Leaving Las Vegas with Less Money in My Pocket Than When I First Arrived."
Numerous bank, library and national monument documentaries.
I have been a star walking
down the street and driving up and down
what seems like every road in America.
You get the picture.
All of these films about myself are in pre-production
since nothing bad happened in them.
Unfortunately, great stories need conflict. I went to the Twin Towers a few years before 9/11, but that
film, "What the Bleep Do I Know About the Location of the Restroom," also is lost to the dustbin of
history. Another short film,"Cleanup on Aisle Three" has some comedic value, but short films don't
appear as fodder for theater matinees anymore.
Anyhow, I lack much conflict in film. Terrorists get all of the play these days and I'm not a big fan of
the genre. News media outlets, purveyors of such films, with tight controls on the hype, distribution,
serializations and so forth, like them. They get big repeat business. Horror films and fear-based stuff
is big business. Bigger than sex, in terms of theme, I suspect. However, as a long-time film critic, I
find this trend most unfortunate.
Still, it's a booming field, especially if we consider the future prospects of drones. Oh sure, the
blessings of such technological miracles come at the expense of the sanity of many individuals, but
look at the bright side. If every inch of the earth, every town, city square, park or, hell, blade of grass,
were under drone surveillance, it would force job creators to hire millions, perhaps even billions of
people to process the information.
It's good for lawyers, too. A whole new field of privacy law would need to be considered: personal air space. Could take a century to adjudicate. After all, the U.S. Supreme Court hasn't even been able to update the 1872 mining law allowing individuals and corporations to plunder federal property for
valuable minerals, despite the ecological damage to such lands beneath our feet.
I'll bet personal air space isn't even being considered.
I have my own mind on a film called "Bang the Drum Slowly in Personal Air Space."
It combines baseball and horror into one big basket.
It starts out when one of these airborne, dragonfly-esque,
nanotech devices comes toward me
and I swat it with a baseball bat.
I will do it mercilessly,