The funny thing is ...
Not “ha-ha” funny, but sad and ironic funny, which is about the only funny we get nowadays.
Anyway, as I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted, by myself, the funny thing is, if Americans actually cared about their freedom, they wouldn’t manifest that care by throwing these you-can’t-make-me, blue-in-the-face toddler fits over convenience store policies requiring masks.
Rather than refuse to wear masks, as the extra contagious Delta variant rips across the country, they would insist on wearing masks in public, not merely to ward off infection, but to escape the net of cyber surveillance tightening around the public every day. They would wear masks now, and keep on wearing them should COVID-19 ever recede, an increasingly remote possibility approaching “when pigs fly.”
Masks not only screen out viruses, but also add a fig leaf of anonymity that might be helpful soon. This week, the Illinois State Police, joined by the city and state transportation departments, announced they will install cameras to read the license plates of every car on the highways, in the face of a surge of expressway shootings. The idea is: it’s enough of a hassle to drive the Dan Ryan from Point A to Point B without also having to worry about another motorist shooting you and getting away scot-free.
Will it help? More cameras doesn’t seem to be translating into more safety, just less privacy. Add highway license plate cameras to the police, business and municipality security cameras already in operation, plus private residence doorbell cameras. Sooner or later those cameras will all be hooked up to a central location. Mix in face-recognition technology, and we’re nearing, if not already at, the point where you can’t scratch your ear in public without risk of the moment ending up on a flatscreen monitor in some basement control room with your name flashing underneath. Someday, you’ll rub your lower back on the ‘L’ platform and your Twitter feed will start recommending Bengay.
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