There’s a good chunk of the much-vaunted, (and actually, very good), first episode of the Drax Files Radio Hour that is dedicated to an interview with Ash Quin, and which pretty much left me wondering whether we really have indeed been admitted to The Asylum; the world in general having seemingly become utterly paranoid and bewildered when it comes to retaining any sort of grip upon reality.
Before i proceed, maybe i should make it clear that what i have to say should in no way be construed to be any sort of poke at Ash, Drax or Jo – they are, after all reflecting what is, apparently, a generally held belief, whilst adding their own slant to it. It is that generally held belief itself which has boggled my mind and left me bemused and somewhat embarrassed by the utter craziness of the general populace – and it really is the populace in general, not just those who choose to involve themselves in sl.
Much of the interview with Ash dwelled upon the purported interest the NSA has vested in sl, in particular the nature of the spying and surveillance that may be taking place and the possible reasons behind it. After listening, i can only draw two possible conclusions: either, the NSA has far too much time on its hands and really needs to go back to spy school to learn what exactly espionage should really be about, or alternatively, we really have become so paranoid about our own online activities that we may as well go to the nearest police station and hand ourselves in on suspicion of actively perpetrating treason.
Do we really, honestly believe that the NSA is so convinced that furries are such a hugely subversive force to be reckoned with that it’s one of the organisation’s priorities that furry activity should be specifically targeted in sl?
The argument goes something like this…
A significant proportion of furries in sl are creative types; a significant proportion of creative type furries will include programmers, hackers and other techie-minded types; all programmers, hackers and techie-minded types are insurgents who are colluding to bring the government to its knees; therefore, a worrying proportion of furries are insurgents who are colluding to bring the government to its knees.
Although perfectly logical – and, it seems, utterly convincing to both the NSA and the world in general – it is absurdly flawed logic of the Nellie the Elephant kind. It’s based on a false premise, and although i daresay there may indeed be furries in sl who are hackers inclined towards wreaking havoc on the establishment, if we’re going to base national security policy on that particular piece of false logic then surely the NSA should be rigorously targeting Google, Micro$oft, NASA and those street artists who draw those crazy anamorphic chalk pictures on pavements – because they all fit nicely into the very same demographic – and i’ll guarantee you that a good proportion of them are also furries in some way or other!
It’s patently nonsense, and the fact that it’s taken seriously by the general public and – apparently – by government institutions, (and let’s assume that if the NSA take it seriously, then the KGB, SAPO, MI5 and The Easter Island Secret Service probably do too), either means the world is on a one-way journey to La-La Land or we’ve become so terminally paranoid that nobody, but nobody, is above suspicion or to be trusted by any means. We must all be guilty of something and someone, somewhere is watching and knows exactly what we’re up to!
That’s bad enough when it’s infiltrating our everyday lives; it certainly gives us pause for thought when we’re conducting our business over the .net – but to know that it has so perniciously permeated sl – an environment that, at its very worst, could be realistically described as ‘mostly harmless‘ – is, i’m afraid, a rather viciously hammered nail in the coffin of reasonableness and commonsense. It’s a sad and infinitely depressing state of affairs.
(As for Bin Laden avatars boosting Al Qaeda membership – i’ve already nailed my colours to the mast on that particular subject!)
There was a time when sl was somewhere to escape the nonsense of the real world, where we could enjoy a different kind of nonsense, completely self-generated. It’s a sad state of affairs when it comes to a point where the charm and spontaneity of sl – something that is very much a product of the knowledge that nobody really cares what we get up to in our virtual projections – is ruined because we are paranoid that we are indeed – whether true or not – being watched. When we live in mortal fear that the mere act of choosing to be a furry, have spiky hair or indulge in pixel sex might somehow identify us as a threat to national security, then we may as well close our accounts, sell off our lindens and surrender ourselves to the delights of the straightjacket and nearest padded cell.
Just because you’re paranoid
Don’t mean they’re not after you
Nirvana – Territorial Pissings