Zey Have Ze Microfilm!

Countdown to R.E.O. – Part 1 of 5.

Spyplanes are better than helicopters. They fly really high so you can’t see them, they cover lots of ground, and since at least 1969, we know they have cameras so powerful, they can track an individual’s movement.

(A guy showed me his handheld Sony yesterday, and it could zoom in to see each person having lunch inside the Space Needle. From half the city away. Imagine what our government has.)

And yet, the black helicopters stumble ominously along, bushwhacking through neighborhoods where truth-seekers can look right at them.

Scratch that. They exist because truth-seekers can look right at them.

Your move "News Channel 7" … Your move.

All this came to mind when I heard about the suspected census worker killing. And updated myself on the loveable Michelle Bachmann, and what new plots she’s foiling today.

Yeah, that’s it. A GPS device. A black box of power, handed out by Them to any 23 year old willing to sit down for a 2 hour instructional video and work part-time for the Census. A device they carry around to tag your front door, so that "the military" can round you up later.

This shows a flair for drama and self-importance that would impress any 13 year old girl. Which will be the topic of a new series, to which this is Part 1 of the Epic Countdown.

ba da bee bo … ba da be be booo …

But to stay topical, let’s look at this GPS Hunt. I’m actually sympathetic to cranks who object to how intrusive the Census can be in general. They’re the kind of people we need occasionally to remind us of our rights, the letter of our all-important laws. I’m not personally worked up about a probe that needs to be statistically randomized to work, but hey, I get it.

The breathless hunt for incriminating GPS boxes, is, however, hilarious. There are people out there putting mechanically sound minds to work on this. Stalking poll workers, comparing notes and grainy photographs of suspicious PDAs, tracking their movements, looking for patterns. Trying desperately to figure out who is being "tagged" and why! Words are being arranged by the thousands.

"Why they fuck would they use a GPS" are not among those words.

We live in the age of Google Maps. Even before that age, a GPS coordinate is only as useful as the terrain that surrounds it. What you need to nab someone in a town or city, is a street map. A route. A way to move efficiently. 

You get that … from an address.

Shit, if someone doesn’t even fill that out, you can just scribble on a notepad "the house is between these other two, on this street." Which in the age of Google Maps, gives you the GPS position too. If the evil Census worker twists his ankle, he can do this with a phone book.

I miss stalking them with a classified lazer box. 

This is probably the point of the whole exercise. Incriminating GPS "boxes" are things you can track, see and attempt to control. Mundane, powerful software is not. If any big government or business wants to watch you, it’s not hard. If you want ironclad proof you can still defend yourself against the possible bad intentions of the powerful, you won’t get it. Barring some pretty drastic isolation.

The search for managable villains and heroes is common. But it’s fascinating when such stupid instances of it become so credible. Blaming is fun and self-examination is not, but when you chose to forget gravity, you’re making a commitment.

Oh god …

For the people who need to explain major geopolitical events by tricks they can do at home, here’s one to follow that. Fill a red plastic cup up with Grape Kool-Aid. Or Keystone Light. Whatever. Fill that red cup up.

Drop a brick on it.

Film this in slow motion.

I look forward to your essay on the tiny, tiny leprechauns. Sent by the US government to wire that cup with explosives beforehand. Which you can clearly prove by the liquid exploding out lower in the cup, before the brick even reaches it! 

I could respond with words like "the fucking third grade" and "displacement of matter," but I prefer to demonstrate.

A PDA would be less satisfying

Manageable, personalized threats. We’ll go through a lot to get them.