They’re Watching Us

Ariel Dorfman from an revised essay collected in Homeland Security Ate My Speech .. highly recommended.

As the 2001 Patriot Act proves …, if people are frightened enough, manipulated enough, fear-mongered enough, they are more than willing to abrogate their own freedom … in the name of personal and national security. And if there were to be another terrorist attack like the vile ones perpetrated on September 11th 2001, even more invasive surveillance would be eagerly authorized, indeed demanded. Think of what fanatics like them could do with such colossal executive muscle at their disposal. Though what’s unsettling is to grasp that prospective tyrants wouldn’t require new legislation, now as during so much American history, to rein in free expression

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The Letter Z

WZzf2Bwp15MR9RfO26Z9OERX8Fog8a_mediumA favorite phrase of Il Douchebag, which he often applies without any reasonable signification, is “like a dog.” While watching the fascist horror arising in Portland, Oregon, and wondering about where the kidnapped protestors might be taken for further interrogation and bodily harm, I was reminded of Franz Kafka’s The Trial. The link occurs in the final lines of Kafka’s great novel:

Where was the judge he’d never seen? Where was the high
court he’d never reached? He raised his hands and spread
out all his fingers.

But the hands of one man were right at K.’s throat,
while the other thrust the knife into his heart and
turned it there twice. With failing sight K. saw how
the men drew near his face, leaning cheek-to-cheek
to observe the verdict. “Like a dog!” he said; it seemed
as though the shame was to outlive him.

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