My Blog Week: October 4 to October 10
A Word on the Week
Old references for new things
Back at some point, I bought A Warning, by Anonymous. My reason, chiefly, was that I wanted this book to succeed, and be a thorn in Trump’s side. The purchase was a kind of vote. The big complaint at the time of the book’s release had been that the author was a coward for not writing under his own name. Segueing onwards to the days before the big COVID flap (How sick is the president? Is he faking it? Is he dying? Are his doctors lying?), a former friend of Melania, with a book of her own (that has actually been out for a month), let us hear some tapes of the first lady posing the musical question: “Who gives a f**k about Christmas?” Ms. Winston Wolkoff received some backlash of her own, being labeled a bitch. (We haven’t, in the realm of backlash, overcome the gender-problematic…)
Now, I think that if we’re going to be consumers of gossip, and we enjoy the content of these stories, we might as well not indulge in high-road condemnations of their producers.
Legally, you can tape and film yourself, and so you can tape and film those with whom you interact while recording. Some states have one-party consent, which effectively means you can record your conversations because you decide to. But this permission doesn’t apply to conversations or other private behaviors you are not party to, “…do not have consent from at least one party, and could not naturally overhear….federal and many state laws do not permit you to surreptitiously place a bug or recording device on a person or telephone in a home, office, or restaurant, to secretly record a conversation between two people who have not consented. Federal law and most state statutes also make disclosing the contents of an illegally intercepted telephone call illegal.” (Digital Media Law Project) We can assume one-sided conversations the recorder isn’t party to, as of a second party speaking to a third party on the telephone, or even talking to herself, are not legal.
But what can you realistically expect in a surveillance society? Consider the airport restroom dilemma. It is probably illegal everywhere to have cameras in restrooms. Everyone assumes privacy in a restroom. But a terrorist might smuggle separate components of a bomb or biological weapon in hems and seams of a garment, enter a restroom after going through security, and exit in a different condition. So, will airports, especially in vulnerable cities, have cameras, or will they not? You should probably believe in it. Then, you probably will want to make a gesture to any camera that theoretically peeps at you while you’re on the toilet. This is the tradeoff, that the public loses respect for authority when authority disrespects the public’s humanity.
But the surrender of some expectations is likely less destabilizing than the unveiling of scandalous conduct on the part of authorities. It’s a very thin idea that surveillance helps control public behavior, when telling the public that surveillance is present is considered optional.
On Monday, a new Yoharie, Val making organic decisions about his situation. Tuesday, The Mirrors (part twenty-one), in which the circle breaks, not without casualties. Wednesday, “Bride to Be (part eleven)”, Aldebert tells Wildulfa more of his parents’ story. Thursday, part twelve of Shine!, by Mathilde Alanic, Annie leaving Rennes for Paris, and a life as Patrice Conan’s protégé. Friday, “Nedforum (part two)”, with recollections of the Jocelynist decline, and an encounter for Anton; Saturday, part three of “Celebrated”, Tom gaining place with Professor Motley.
Images on my posts often have a link to related information (click first image), sometimes serious, sometimes whimsical, sometimes in answer to a direct reference. Since people can be leery about links, I include them here: what they are, what sites they point to.
My Blog Week: October 4 to October 10