Daily Prompt: Ripped Into the Headline — I have misplaced my outrage …

Not everyone gets my sense of humor. Despite that, I persist in being myself. I realize irony is wasted on a lot of folks and allusions to movies, books, and history merely annoy them. I just can’t help it. I gotta be me, even if it confuses and aggravates a big slice of the population. I’m just not everybody’s cuppa tea.

Right now, I’m walking around laughing, sometimes hysterically, at the gigantic fuss, furor, and scandal over NSA listening to our phone calls.

So last night, when we were nicely tucked into the most comfortable bed in the world, I said to Garry:

“Can you think of any government anywhere, or any time in the history of humankind, during which governments have not spied on their citizens or subjects?”

He honored me with a thoughtful few seconds before answering … or maybe he was just twiddling with the remote control.


“I think the way it works is this. First, we invent heads of state. Kings, presidents, emperors, whatever. Next, they invent a secret police so they can keep on being the head of state. The only thing that seems to change is the technology. And the quality of the dungeons.”


“I think it’s a mistake to try and monitor all those telephone calls. I mean, they are just going to be buried under more data than they handle, so instead of getting more information about real problems, they are just going to get lots of jabbering kids yakking with their friends, people arguing with customer support, and boring conversations by people like us. We never say anything interesting on the phone. We hardly talk on the phone at all.


Our conversation has continued into today as Garry has pointed out that he is positively shocked to hear that the NSA is listening to our phone calls. SHOCKED!

I said I would have to compose a strongly worded letter and send it to someone, although I’m not sure who.

office with nan

Americans seem to have a national need to be outraged about something or other. We apparently require a level of constant civic hysteria, maybe to keep the news from being boring. Scandal keeps ratings up and gives talk show hosts something to rant about. It gives both liberals and conservatives something to accuse each other of doing, even though every administration has done pretty much the same stuff and always will. They did it in ancient Rome and Greece. Egypt, too. Governments spy on their citizens. The more prominent you are, the more dangerous you are perceived to be, so the more attention is likely to be paid to you.

I’m wondering how long this is going to stay on top of the news. Because nothing is going to change. Ever. Governments will spy on their citizens. Citizens will be outraged. The outrage will be ignored. Eventually, everyone will move on to the next big thing.

I actually think our security moguls are shooting themselves in the foot trying to monitor so many people. At a certain point, everything and nothing are identical. If you try to collect every conversation, you wind up knowing less than you did when you targeted actual likely evil-doers. But hey, what do I know, right?

I’m having trouble getting myself worked up over this.

You see, I remember Richard Nixon. I even remember the end of the J. Edgar Hoover era. I’ve read history. Unlike some people, who apparently actually believe that all those traffic cameras have been installed to monitor traffic, I know they are there to keep track of us. You. Me. All of us. Is someone monitoring them all the time? Hardly likely. But if anyone is looking for me — or you — well, I’m sure they will have no trouble finding us.

Did I know the NSA was monitoring phone conversations? Not specifically, but it’s hardly a revelation. Do I believe that if we form protest groups, write letters to congress, they will stop watching and listening? Are you kidding? They aren’t going to stop and making a fuss about it is likely to make them take a long hard look at me. I would prefer to skip that.


My government spies on me. And you. And everyone else. They were spying on us during the 1960s. They were spying on my parents and their friends in the 1950s and 1940s. What’s your point? Obama didn’t start this. Bush didn’t start it. FDR didn’t start it. Abraham Lincoln didn’t start it. It’s been going on as long as there have been governments and it will never end. Nobody asked my permission and my objections will accomplish nothing. Privacy is an illusion and if we ever had any, we lost it a long time ago.

I know I should be appalled, angry, enraged at the intrusion into my private space, but instead I keep laughing. I am incapable of being appalled. I have completely run out of outrage. Our dogs remain undisturbed and my husband amused. This particular crisis will have to go on without us.

Someone else will have to be outraged on our behalf. Please, whoever you are, don’t forget to send that strongly worded letter. Send me a copy. For my records.

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12 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: Ripped Into the Headline — I have misplaced my outrage …

  1. In a way, we should almost be thankful for this spying because it means that men or women who are a threat are not going unseen. I wouldn’t be surprised if that is how they found some of the suspects for 9/11 or the Boston Bombings. I’m right there with ya…It’s almost impossible to be outraged at this information.


  2. I love the phrase you used “At a certain point, everything and nothing are identical”. I’ll have to remember that. Now I’ve just got to slip it into a conversation somewhere.


    1. It all started with cameras, computers, and home appliances. If it claims to do everything, it usually does nothing well. This also applies to drugs, people, and self-help books. Funny about that.


  3. I believe you may have a bigger problem than government snooping. It appears that your dog has turned green. ;)


      1. Oh. For a moment I thought the same folk who paint the green stripes down city streets for St. Patrick’s Day had taken a detour through Uxbridge.


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