Oh, George (Orwell)

Review: Glenn Greenwald, No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State, Metropolitan Books, 2014

Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. – George Orwell

George Orwell press photo

George Orwell

Oh, George

We need you now,
more than ever, ever
to help us wade through
new words of war by wankers
high on high tech
& fudged perceptions
in a security bubble of insecurity

We need help, George,
penetrating acronyms
of government gone wild
of spies & lies
and the madness
of the overtly clever
and covertly maniacal

Hey, Hey, NSA
How many emails did you ‘process’ today?
How many calls did you convert
into acres of unread metadata
stored somewhere in Utah
until the big roundup
that’s coming soon

Hey, Hey, NSA, why do you play
with code names
coined with a clear intent
to maim
and restrain?
So lame.

Listen to the words,
hear the music
played and sung
in the shadow factories
of Maryland, My Maryland

What a web you weave when
first you practice to deceive
again and again
Lets find, fry
and demystify the
alphabet of outrage

Oh George, help us understand
the art of ‘collecting it all,’
an anal chock full of nuts down
to the very last drop
Yum, what fun

As PRISM became BOUNDLESS INFORMANT
There’s nothing fair about FAIRVIEW
or tasty About STORMBREW
in the world of the
CYPTO ENABLED
and heartless BLACK HEARTS

All in the domain of our
Alexander The Great,
Superspy extraordinaire who
Loved to sneak undercover into
hackers conventions
in cool T Shirts
and then play at
Cyber war in his own war room
Get ready boys for a new
cyber-kinetic shock and awe
or just plain awful
depending on yr pt of view
Can you say Stuxnet in Farsi?
I can!

The uniformed boys with toys
defending the fort at Meade have
A sense of humor,
building a command module
based on a design, ha ha ha,
Inspired by Star Trek
Beam Me Up, Scotty,
up into my own stratosphere
To look down on We, The Suckers of America,
whose more perfect union
has led to a world of:

Implants,
Vagrants
Magnetic Emanations
Mineralized Collections
On Raster-based Computer screens

Image on o’ Ship of State
navigating among GENIES,
DEWSWEEPERS,
And RADONS
All plugged into the FIVE EYES
like the FOUR HORSES OF THE APOCALYPSE
before them,
defending us against THREATS
we are not even cleared
to know about

Redact this O’NSA
Who came up with SOUTHWINDS
And GPRS EVENTS?
in the sinews of a surveillance
soup turned into
a machine
with no OFF switch

George. Help Me Understand this secret language:

“(TS/SI,REL FVEY) If the S2 QFD Review Panel elects to ask
for a HOMING PIGEON to be made persistent, its natural home
would be Incorporation into FAST SCOPE.”)

Of course! I couldn’t put it better myself

Thank you Ed and Glenn
And Laura too
for this TOP SECRET lesson
in how to target US persons
and everyone else
in that mad pursuit
pioneered by Ahab
so many whales ago
to know us better
than we know ourselves,
and keep us down
on the server farm
of forever.

Thank you FISA for blessing
the marriage of agency and company
So that GOOGLE, YAHOO
VERIZON AND PALTALK,
all invented words, can
join the now encrypted fondue
before it all shows up
in a selfie on FACEBOOK,
in my file, and your file
and the files of trillions
of the unsuspecting.

As we indict five guys in
China for doing what we do,
As the world looks on
amazed at the chutzpah
Of it all
At the hubris of a mission
All legal of course,
With a secret court
To say so,
and say it again

Neatly divided into an apartheid
of protected ‘US Persons and
the rest of the globe
where we presume the right
to monitor Facebook
fans in Brazil and Chancellors in
Germany in a haze of
anti-terrorist rationales
that terrorize us all.

O’ say do we see?
Confirm
We see it all
Acknowledge
Hear It all
Yes Sir,
Know nothing
Nothing at all

Please accept our privacy
pledge before we invade
yours.
Repeat after me:
ACCEPT and
CONSENT
You have no choice
In this home of the brave
Land of the free, click!

George, your “pure wind”
is back
witthout a hack
but a vengeance
signaling its time
to disrupt the disruptors
before they
invade/destroy
what’s left
the little that is left
of our small d’
democratic
dreams

A glass to Snowden in Russia
Glenn in Brazil
Laura in Berlin
And, of course, to
the prophetic Mr. Orwell, who
warned us all,
again,
and again
that fiction would
non-fiction
become.

Because we couldn’t
make this up
even if we wanted
to. Only a comedy
channel can do it justice
even if it’s not funny.

Our cause is now more
than probable.

News Dissector Danny Schechter edits Mediachannel.org and blogs at Newsdissector.net, He is now producing a series of documentaries on the American Surveillance State (ASS). Comments to dissector@mediachannel.org

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  • Liam_McGonagle

    Okay, I know media ethics strongly discourage, if not outright forbid, direct reply by authors, but here is a nagging question I would like Schechter to answer:

    The system is rotten to the core and nothing anyone can do can change that fact; it’s hard-wired into the human condidtion. Given the totality of this powerlessness, don’t you think you are being unncessarily cruel by relentlessly harping on the fact? If illusions are the only thing we have left, why do you insist on taking even that crumb away? I guess I’m just asking why you feel the need to be such an *sshole.

    Not that I’m NOT an *sshole myself, but I think exploring this internal contradiction of the brutal do-gooder may be the only opportunity for real change. Everything else is just to endlessly repeat worn out formulae ad infinitum.

    • aaron

      “The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you’re inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.”

      • Liam_McGonagle

        So at some point it really does boil down to causing others to suffer out of jealousy instead of altruism, just like the conservatives say.

        • aaron

          Not gonna lie there have been times when I wish I did not know. It is a emense burden to bare sometimes and more like a curse a lot of times and causes depression sometimes or resentment towards people still “asleep.” Ignorance truly is bliss. If a lamb is happy living the life it currently is then why tell it that it is destined to end up in the slaughter house and ruin that happiness.

          • Liam_McGonagle

            I’ve spent the last year or so trying to convince myself that it isn’t needlessly cruel to point out obvious problems. I was wrong.

          • Juan

            Yeah, I don’t bother. Of course, I will talk to people if they bring up these topics. But I am sooooo done trying to point out even the most of obvious “plot holes” in the dominant narrative. Hell, I’m even done suggesting, to the uniformed, that there even is such a thing as a dominant narrative.
            I just mostly smile and nod. This is much better than getting as angry as I used to.

      • Juan

        Exactly. Mofos don’t wanna know. If you try and tell them, you’re dismissed as an insane, tin-foil hat wearing “conspiracy theorist”. Or, you get attacked for threatening their hard won bit of a fool’s paradise they’ve managed to construct for themselves. Can’t really blame them . . .
        Most people, are even unwilling to take a good long look at themselves, let alone the larger reality that they are a part of. It is immense, terrifying, overwhelming, and way more than most people are even willing to contemplate.
        Can you imagine the freak outs if all of a sudden millions of people were to “wake up” to the larger reality most of us here take for granted? Actually, I’d kinda like to see that . . .

        • Liam_McGonagle

          Agree, but that’s almost the reason why it’ll never happen. People are evolutionarily conditioned to seek stability. Change–especially radical change–entails threat. Joe Q. Public would rather cut off his own nuts than take a look at what’s behind door # B.

        • Echar Lailoken

          What if both/all narratives are wild goose chases? What if reality is a sea of false narratives? What if the futility is in the choosing of for or against? What are the benefits of knowing? How does it serve the self?

  • Echar Lailoken

    Has anyone watched Jon Stewart interview Tim Geithner? It’s chock full of politicalese.
    http://crooksandliars.com/2014/05/jon-stewart-makes-tim-geithner-squirm

    It reminds me of a joke an old-timer recently told me.

    How does a lawyer sleep?

    He lies on one side and then the other.

    *Politician is interchangeable with lawyer*

    • Jonas Planck

      “okay, but let me give you another perspective on that…”

      • Echar Lailoken

        I genuinely wanted to give the guy a chance, because it’s in my nature, However, exactly… His forked tongue was so obvious.

  • paprtowl

    don’t forget “animal farm”

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