Monday, December 19, 2005

We Are All Aliens Now

Now, of course such sentiments have usually followed acts of unspeakable violence (human or natural), and their concomitant devastation. Such sentiments are usually empty and trite, rather like those right-wing bloggers taking a break from dentistry jokes to post Union Jacks on the corner of their sites. But they do convey one useful idea - that the unspeakable and the unthinkable just became neither.

Which is why, and we won't try and hide it, we're experiencing a hint of schadenfreude at the news that the President has authorised spying on his own people. Could be the guy reading some Mao, could be your basic ranting anti-war type. Doesn't matter. The president is so scared of terrorism, and you (were) are so terrified too, you might just let him.

Here's the thing, though. Yours truly has already become quite used to the arbitrary and capricious actions of the US government. And that's without being tied up and beaten in Bagram Airbase. National security has already justified inconveniences and rudeness being showered on its foreigners. We're utterly aware of the fact that we have very few protections under US law, and need to be squeaky clean if we're going to stay out of its maw.

And America had in place this constitution to protect it from the limeys, and then it found it was being disregarded after first being thrown aside for dealing with the limeys (and indeed others of far less pink complexion). Anyway, there are plenty of people more shrill than we are to explain the implications.

But you get a very good idea of a government's character from the way its treats its visitors. Midnight Express or no:

Sonny Vincent - "Madras Prison"
Buy some Swami sh*t here, cos that's where we nicked the rekkid


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