Cutting the Cord

Up until I was about ten years old, I only watched television on a small circular black and white screen when visiting my grandparents. Daytime TV was East-Coast-Yesterday since the kinescopes were flown across the country for showing the next day in California. The early shows were as much as three hours long, hosted by Arlene Francis or Gary Moore. Nighttime TV was more local although often dominated by a full night of wrestling or boxing. Then there were the 15-minute shows—Korla Pandit, Liberace, Liltin’ Martha Tilton. My favorite being Time for Beany.

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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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