Sunday, July 13, 2008

Spy Versus Spy

Vladimir was one of the most delightful employees that I had in my hotel career, and he served as my Front Desk Manager at my last hotel in Seattle. What made Vladimir unique was that he escaped from the Soviet Army in 1978, found his way to America, and later became a citizen of the USA. I loved talking to him because he had a different perspective about the Cold War than what we were taught and programmed with in school. However, one thing that he talked about on more than one occasion was the danger of talking to anyone, friends, neighbours, and family included, because anything you said could and would be reported to the police, KJB, and your life and freedom became jeopardized. This was a very real thing, and he lived in constant fear, for you see, Vladimir was one who was a free thinker, and this was a dangerous thing in Soviet Russia.

Why am I talking about Vladimir now? Because I think that our country has been progressing towards the same type of spy versus spy mentality, and I am very concerned about this pattern. I want to open up this topic for quality analysis between us. I will throw out some of my reasoning, and I welcome your responses and open dialogue.

Does citizens policing other citizens make a society a progressive, clean society, and is it our responsibility as citizens to control the actions of our fellow citizens if we feel like that have stepped over the line of proper conduct? Hm, not as easy an answer as it might appear to be. After all, who makes up society? It is the conglomeration of millions of individuals, each with their own belief system , religion, philosophy, and thought patterns. So is it the responsibility of individuals to police the actions of others?

Here are a couple of things that I find alarming. Go Figure referred to littering in his last post in a humorous way. One of the ads on television that I am greatly offended by is the one out out by the Washington State Patrol. The advertisement shows a man loading his truck up with junk, and he fails to secure all of it, allowing the possibility of it falling off of the truck and littering the streets. His neighbour, the postman, and a girl jogging by all stop and start staring at him in an extremely hostile manner. The jogger goes as far as to pull out her cell phone to call the police. The man, looking around and seeing the hostility, secures his load, and his neighbour, the postman, and the jogger than go about their business with smug looks on their faces.
I find this commercial disgusting, and in very poor taste. Big Brother is watching you, and he is using your family and friends to do his spying.

The next thing that really got me was the incident in CDA over the Fourth Holiday. I know this one is going to be a very sensitive subject, and I tread with respect for all thought on this subject.
In brief, a young mother watching the parade was seen by people across the street, swatting her young daughter on the behind, and allegedly abusing her in a manner found unacceptable by those watching. Apparently, the toddler had tried to break away from her mother and run out into the parade in front of a float. Her mother reacted quickly and unable to control her, apparently gave her a light sat on her rear. Some in the crowd acted quickly and called the police. The policeman gave the woman a ticket, and she must now appear in court, facing possible jail time for spanking her daughter. The names of the parents has been blasted all over the media, and even if the mother is found innocent, the stigma will live on and others will always look at her as an abuser.

Now, I know that child abuses is a tremendous problem in our society, and the horror stories are growing each day. My daughter deals with it as her profession, and the things that she has shared with me about some of her cases are heartbreaking need to be sensitive and alert, but where is the line drawn, We are taught to report suspected abuse, and we should, but when does it cross over into just petty spying and reporting with out really knowing the facts?
I am trying to not judge the case in CDA becasue I do not know all of the facts, but it does raise the issue of where are we going with all of this. Do the citizens of this country have a right to tell others how to raise their children? The ramifications reach far and wide when we start imposing standard beliefs on all members of a society.

The list goes on and on with Block Watches, commercials asking us to report suspicious things, and on and on. Where does it end? Big Brother is watching, and he is using our eyes to do so.

2 comments:

RAIN said...

Hi, Dad. I'm on here now. I don't know how to add you though. I'm new to all of this. Come find me! My page is: http://sonrisa365.blogspot.com/

RAIN said...

We are all police now. There are signs on the freeways in San Diego advertising to call if someone is violating the carpool lane. There is a sign saying call 911 if you suspect a drunk driver. There are cameras in intersections that will take your picture and send you a ticket in the mail if you run a red light. Mind you, I have noticed that they give about 2 seconds from yellow to red.

There are children telling their parents they will call the police on them. In turn, I have heard numerous parents threatening their own child that they will call the police for their child's poor behavior.

We are a police driven society. Big Brother is always watching. Working for the county, Big Brother watches me constantly. I better not make an error or I will be penalized somehow.

I call of this good old fashion "tattle taling." (Of course, if someone is about to be injured or something it's different). I will *never* be a tattle tale.