Return of the GDR Stasi: You And The NSA. Congrats!

Archie’s birthday is next Friday. John, bring the soda pop. Nancy, don’t forget to place the  personalized cake on order. Any decorating volunteers? Um, ok Tracy. It’s yours. And Timothy, you’ve got to keep Archie away until around 7pm. Watch for a text from me. I’ll let you know when things are clear to bring him home. Yes, bring Archie home.

Surprises are great. The more unlikely, the better the surprise. The more secret, equally better the surprise. To watch it all and know it all and be involved in it all. Nothing will surprise you, but just wait for the surprise you’ll give them! Fun isn’t it. To see, but not be seen. To hear, but not be heard. Like the joy of successfully hiding behind the door or beneath blankets. Holding in your excitement and the few giggles that might escape like an air bubble leaving your mouth underwater. Not be noticed or caught when you intend makes anyone giddy. You’ve pulled the wool over someone’s eyes and maybe even used it to you manipulative advantage. The rush is tremendous with a bit invincibility.

Look at us. Nearly everything we enjoy involves silent participation. Quietly observing and judging all before us. The mass media of movies and television shows. The radio! We’re passive participants watching, listening to the lives of others. Enjoy it we do. Again and again. Rather addicting is the feeling of knowing something the other doesn’t – along the lines of asymmetrical information. And so I wonder have we all become a hipster version of the Stasi of East Germany? Strong comparison perhaps. What’s so very interesting about passively following others through their day-to-days and thinking it is normal? And then when it’s revealed that someone – the NSA – has been using us as their entertainment it now becomes wrong. No, illegal. But of course, one is entertainment and other is real life though the fundamental act is no different.

These thoughts formulated after re-watching The Lives of Others. A well deserved round of applause with a hearty pat on the back delivered with a smile. This goes out to you society, the American public, for being so righteous and dishonest with yourselves. Who are you, really?