Events continue to interrupt my attempts at an ostrich-like existence sitting inside and reading or listening to records. Maybe I should just stick to the book when I decide my stomach hurts because it requires a sandwich, not because I’ve been drinking coffee for several hours and not burning any of it off, but the usual practice is to watch a little television for the ten minutes or so I dedicate towards nourishment. Now, I’ve been off the grid and out of the loop for a good while now which causes a strange sense of deprivation to descend during these five minute intervals of cultural barrage. I’ve usually been the one that was up on the news, read the paper, watched the reports and even if I didn’t have anything insightful or interesting to add I could at least keep up with the conversation. Now I feel

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pretty lucky when I catch Jeopardy and pretty stupid when I get things wrong. I still try and catch my English broadcasts of DW-TV and earlier I was even around for the News Hour on PBS but typically these only serve to show the extant of my ignorance as to what the fuck is going on around here. I’d heard somehow about the NSA data-mining a while back and it didn’t really strike much of a chord emotionally or anything. I mean, what else did you expect, free ice-cream? It helps, of course, that I’m hardly anyone’s idea of a terrorist and if my scant phone conversations warrant any attention by way of keywords it’s only me and my friend down in Phoenix talking about how he works for the Taliban which really just means the coffee shop run by a couple Egyptian guys. I’m not prone to long distance calls, let alone international ones, so the Taliban thing probably just floats around in a tank full of ones and zeros. That’s not the point– I’m supposed to care about things even when they’ve got fuck all to do with me. Racial profiling? Bad shit, even if it’s never going to be an issue for me personally because I’m as white looking as an Alabama Protestant. Immigration reform? I’m not immigrating anywhere but I’ve still my little opinions about the matter. So when the US government is collecting phone conversations (indescriminantly or not) I’m supposed to be incensed and I am when I remember that I’m supposed to be incensed. That’s all well and good and now a bunch of middle-class college kids are fighting the man and eventually the spooks can go back to spying on people without it being a topic of discussion just like it’s always been. What irritates me more than the fact that people have to file suits against the government to have the matter out in the open is that I learned of that while reading MRR on the pot. So I sit and eat this rissoto I’ve just spent an hour and then some making flavorless on the stove and the news has a newzbite about ATT, the company paired with the NSA in the data-mining lunacy, selling actual phone calls to major companies like my bank to have the data, eh, mined for (I assume) marketing purposes. Let’s imagine that ATT is a single entity as is the NSA and big bad Mr. NSA comes and asks a favor. ATT’s a little nervous about it because ATT knows full well this is not gonna make ATT a very popular kid on the block. Big bad Mr. NSA could probably beat the shit out of ATT and get whatever he wants but being a class act who happens to wish to remain nameless instead introduces ATT to some other single entities like BofA, Merril-Lynch or whoever the fuck and suggests everyone make a deal. Did that make sense? I don’t have time to edit or check facts or even really thing at the library here but it makes me a little suspicious that the NSA coerced ATT by promising that the collected data could be sold to other companies for more American activities like calling me about my fucking mortgage. I suppose Safeway kinda does the same thing when I use my mom’s club card to get fifteen sense off that brick of cheese and that jar of pickles but they’ve never bothered calling about anything. Some people don’t trust the government and invest their faith in free market business while others don’t trust free market business and invest faith in the government while most people, I would hope, can’t really tell the difference and spend their days reading and listening

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to records in hopes of avoiding having to deal with either. So my little head has had its normally scheduled programming interrupted for a contextually raw news item and when I try to lock the world out by watching a movie I land in The China Syndrome which is a cute little chick-flick about a nuclear power plant, a nearly catastrophic event and how big money attempts to usher in shit under the noses of the feds and make bigger money at the risk of making Southern California even more uninhabitable than it already is. Despite some poorly made choices pandering to the action oriented appeal of such movies it was pretty good and I would recommend it if you ever wonder what it must have been like when Three Mile Island had a little melt-down imediately after theatrical release. Which also made me think about the book “Toxic Sludge is Good for You“, specifically the chapter about infiltration into anti-nuke groups by industry spies. The point I recall is that the government has to subsidize the insurance at plants because no one else will and that’s tax money. Then you pay for power and pray you don’t die, I guess. -Q&D

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