Big Brother

Today was a good day. I saw my two close lady friends, cleaned up around my place and went to buy tickets for the upcoming concert being held by the Arrogant Worms. For those not classically educated, the Arrogant Worms are a comedic musical group who hail from Ontario. I first heard them in high school, and they have taken trips up to Whitehorse, though I have personally never seen them live before. So my girlfriends and I are going next weekend for an evening of giggles and folksy music with clever (enough) lyrics. I am looking forward to listening to the little kids shrieking. My little sister should enjoy it – she is seven and loves Mr. Bean. Just today I walked in on her watching the sequel to Johnny English, and her squeals sounded like an alarm found in an underground bunker. Happy shrieks, but shrieks nonetheless. Now let us multiply it, and put them all in a large room with great acoustics. Should be fun!

Two things that bothered me about my day however. They both occurred when I went to pick up the tickets. First off, I met a friend of my fathers. Robbie is an incredibly talented guitarist who moved up to the Yukon many years ago and never left. He toured with big bands but fell in love with the north. And man can he play guitar. He is so knowledgable, but due to arthritis had to give up playing for teaching. That was an unfortunate situation, but recently he got into a fight. Someone broke into his home. Robbie confronted the guy, ended up in a fight and got his teeth punched in. When he went to the police, they informed him that because he had defended his property, the robber could actually press assault charges against him and more than likely win. So the criminal walked away, and now Robbie has massive medical bills due to his teeth being caved in, constant never ending pain, and a real feeling of being screwed by the system that was supposed to protect him. It twists my insides to think of this world that we live in, where the rights of the criminals are more important than the life of the innocent.

As this was all processing in my mind, I went to purchase my tickets at the Arts Underground gallery. They had a really great show on display about a month ago. It was a documentation of the A.J. Goddard wreck recovery out at Lake Laberge. They combined the old photos with artifacts and video clips, which was really cool. Today I did not spend a great deal of time browsing, as my purpose was singular. I asked for tickets and she asked me for my name. Now, I find that in an interesting reaction to the Facebook craze, I have been withdrawing a lot more from the online eye. I believe that the Internet is an amazing resource, and the world online is rich and wonderful, but what really appealed to the masses about the net was the privacy. You could be anyone online. But when you have every moment of your life documented in a place where anyone with similar technology and enough skills can access, that really negates any privacy a person might want to retain. I have my Facebook account, and I check it regularly, but less and less. It is a great tool for staying in touch with my long distance friends, and I can really get a slice of their lives when I want to, but my desire to post personal information has all but extinguished. So when the ticket lady asked me for her name, my automatic response was “No thanks, I do not give out personal information.” She told me it was mandatory for keeping track of the seats. I suppose that it is harmless enough – cross-referencing the name in the computer in case I lost my ticket. But this sort of behaviour snowballs. Once, you could go anywhere without a single paper proving who you are. Now even in your own country, they do not trust you enough to let you go around without a card showing you are a citizen, showing that you drive a vehicle, showing that you are allowed to own a firearm, or allowed to perform a medical procedure in an emergency or that you can drive an ATV.  I shake my head whenever I would go to the movie theatre. Why on earth would I need photo identification to rent a video? I finally just switched over to iTunes, but until I did, I would deliberately go in there with no proof of membership. They never once denied me a rental. So how effective is that system? Or all the other ones like it? And this will not stop. In Japan it is now fashionable for mothers to put GPS chips in their babies. Granted, the Japanese have always had a very unique culture, but this seems fundamentally wrong, like a rot that has set in and is slowly spreading, worldwide.

In the end, I prefer to err on the side of caution. I can always reveal more about myself, but I can never hide a fact once it has been made public. No one can. And if that makes me a bit paranoid, so be it.

Until next time,

Z.

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