Alternate title: Pseudo-Review: Permanent Record by Edward Snowden
Get with the program. Get with the program. One more time: Get with the program, son. Countless times that was said to me growing up in my beloved & missed united mistakes of #Americant. It usually was said after I tried to talk with someone older than me. You know, perhaps an acquaintance’s parent or just some older guy (an older Boomer) that I had met, encountered, but also a few people that were a bit younger (GenXers). It was all about growing up, don’t you know. Asking questions about life and this and that. Trying to figure things out. Yeah. It was about questioning the system and how I was supposed to fit in that system. Bah humbug, eh.
A few example questions:
– why should I join the military if the military is only about empire and I never will be (about empire)
– is there no alternative to years and years of debt-ridden college for a corporate job that hangs by a whim
– with decimated labour and manufacturing post Reagan, how the hell am I supposed achieve what my parents achieved, they could buy a fcuking house for 50k
Indeed, dear worst-reader. People would always sneer and smirk and then blindly, dumbfounded, spew monotone: Get with the program, son. And there you have it. Any person since the 1950’s need know nothing else about life or the system that is dysfunctional #Americant other than: Get with the program, son. And boy did I NOT get with the program.
Like so much in #Americant, the word program, in essence, is code. It’s another way of saying there are unwritten rules and laws and boundaries and unless you can afford otherwise, you must abide by them all. That is, btw, what is taught by the entire education system, don’t you know. As far as affording otherwise… As money became America’s new God (perhaps after God was declared dead by enlightened Europe), it was only inevitable, like all finite resources, that greed become its keeper. As in: greed is money’s keeper. With me still, dear worst-reader?
Oh, the greed-shit-show. Yet more code that may or may not differentiate worst-writer from Edward Snowden. In other worst-words, where Snowden thinks he’s fighting the good-fight, worst-writer knows the futility of non-fight fight. Where Snowden thinks there is a boogeyman out to get us all, worst-writer knows that truth is just a mirror, mirror on the wall–supplied by parents. Where Snowden dreams of a city upon a hill, worst-writer and perhaps a few others know that the city is rotgut and shit on a shingle controlled by old, white greed mongers and what ever it is they do with their private parts. But, again, before I get too far off subject…
Twenty or so years my younger, but with similar geographic background, I too was reared in the suburban hell of the mid-Atlantic coast and the government, gift-horse bubble of Washington, DC. With that in worst-mind, Snowden’s book has drawn me nearer. Nearer to myself, to my past, to all-things worth forgetting. For don’t you know, dear worst-reader, Snowden has had to deal with a world of trickle down-ness, of meritless but well structured pseudo-hierarchy, a world of blindness caused by fear. Fear due to wanton and misconstrued patriarchy and the ills of really, really, stupid ugly white people that just can’t figure it out for themselves: hey, suckers, you’ve been duped. But I digress.
I mean, obviously, Snowden is a B-genius. I have to give him that. In fact, the only thing missing in his book, Permanent Record, or his story, as far as I’m worst-concerned, is a bit more tech-talk regarding what, actually, either the NSA or the CIA did with all those plans of full and total government ownership of individual privacy. Snowden has given us content but I’m still waiting for context. Wait. Switch that. Flip it. Yeah. It’s the other way ’round. Or? Ok. Snowden revealed something. I guess. Nomatter.
Snowden is a dreamer slash true believer in the fallacy that there is/could be (a) government for the people and by the people–as though, not unlike #MAGA, it is something that was ever actually possible. Ok. Maybe it was possible before it all turned to THE LAND OF FREE TO BE STUPID and the greed shit-show that is the current iteration of #Americant. I’m referring, of course, to way back when, say, when FDR was elected President for four fcuking terms. But then came that warning from Eisenhower after which the right-wing and all those stupid ugly white men and their shit-show of greed got some mojo on. That mojo was Reagan, I suppose. Yeah, the flood gates of STUPID opened in the 1980s. Or am I wrong?
At the least, I’ve always questioned Snowden’s motivation for doing what he did. I mean, what was the point? To inform people about what they should know–inherently? Or has no one been paranoid about the fact, since its invention, a telephone call could be spied upon? Snowden’s generation is most certainly not the first to grow up in the mental spiral of government conspiracy theory, which is just code for people who don’t quite, intellectually, know how to question wanton and ill-gotten authority. I question his motivation even more now considering he writes, rather abruptly, subtly, and almost stealthily on page 257 of chapter READ,WRITE, EXECUTE:
I needed a way to work with the files, search them, and discard the irrelevant and uninteresting, along with those containing legitimate secrets that I wouldn’t be giving to journalists.
I’m sorry. Did you not reveal legitimate secrets? Oh. Wait. They were powerpoint presentations…
For you see, dear worst-reader, although what Snowden revealed is kinda interesting, none of it surprised worst-moi. I worked, although not at a technical level as Snowden did, on a few tech projects with a few tech companies in my day–I even worked, to my regret, for Booz Allen’s commercial consulting business in Europe as an analyst and researcher. The one thing I will always remember is how error-prone to point of failure large scale data collection can be. I mean, come on, dear worst-reader, did any of this tech collecting stuff stop 9-11? What about the Boston bombing, where only after the fact did they know about the bombers communications via cellphones? My point is this: in a greed mongering society that is incapable of differentiating its political and social needs, and when it spends massive amounts of resources to maintain a dream-delusion, it’s no wonder that organisations like the NSA and CIA turn into a monstrous apparatus that has to somehow justify its existence (costs). Now just add a bunch of hyperbolic, paranoid #Americants to the mix all elbowing each other off a small plank barely attached to a sinking ship… Yeah, baby, the greed $hitshow.
Is Snowden just another angry white guy raised by another angry white guy who was also raised by an angry white guy? Snowden’s details about his family heritage dating back to the Revolutionary War, which was/is a great way to start the book, btw, is reason enough to think, well, there’s a lot of anger running through veins. I mean, considering what’s come of that revolutionary war, don’t you know, and how things are all about the rich eating the poor and the poor–especially the middle class poor–just eating up the likes of what a guy like #Trump tells them… OMG! How else could the ineptitude of faux-newZ permeate so much of a society hell-bent on wet t-shirts, reality TV, WWE and now, of course, #Trump, #MAGA, President Stupid!
Don’t get me wrong. I feel for Snowden. I’ve been to Moscow. Great place to visit, btw. St. Petersburg has the fresher air, though. That worst-said, I’m also first hand aware of the suburban hell that reared Snowden. How I laughed and giggled when he writes about Columbia, MD, and the travel to VA for work. I travelled from College Park, MD, to Gaithersburg, MD for a while. After that I commuted from College Park, to Columbia, MD, too. It was all part of trying to finance the lie of university studies–which ended up being an effort in $hit-futility–and eventually lead to my dropping the $hit-show greed game of #Americant for other shores. But. Again. I’m off subject.
Permanent Record is a great read–especially if you’re an ageing Marylander that jumped ship because, well, Maryland, VA, DC, the east coast, the midwest, and the gluttony of all else #Americant is worth disembarking. Other than that, I really enjoyed reading this book. Got a kick out of it, if you will. And I’m glad Snowden wrote it–even if it seems like a bit of stretch to believe that he really penned it all by himself. Still. I’m gonna recommend it. I might even gift it to a few people. For, don’t you know, dear worst-reader, even a fight of futility, skewed from the get-go, might be worth fighting for. What the heck. And before I end this worst-post.
Here are some of the notes/issues/thoughts I had and may or may not have scribbled in the margins of pages, pages, pages, while reading this book:
- it’s important to know where someone is coming from, you know, as in their politics
- is Snowden part of a right-wing sub-culture in #Americant that has been indoctrinated into such an extreme anti-liberal (anti-Democrat Party) sentiment from which there is no alternative political point-of-view meaning that there is only one point-of-view
- this is the result of a pseudo bourgeois class, a delusional false American dream middle class, that has never taken a sincere look at itself for, perhaps, intellectual enlightenment, and so, this class has remained in a state of mental recess, a grey zone of ineptitude–that has children
- protesting via espionage for citizen rights that are aligned to a document (The Constitution) that was never written for the poor or the downtrodden or even the fcuking spoiled rotten privileged middle-class… yet privacy is the motivator
- real protestors, worthwhile protests, are/were occupy wall street, Aaron Swartz (who, thankfully, Snowden briefly mentions in chapter Love and Exile, p. 329)
- liberals have long since proved that they can change their political direction, which is exactly what Bill Clinton did in the 90s by clamouring on to Reagan’s Neo-liberalism and even having the most success with it, aka the tech boom happened on Democrats watch but is Snowden aware of that
- the problem with Snowden is his politics which he refuses to name but is perhaps obvious: he’s a right-winger reared by right-wingers and he’s oh-so incredibly suburban hell white and and and
- his girlfriend refers to shooting guns with him (or as a means to ward off stress), see chapter From the diaries of Lindsey Mills
- the ship at sea analogy: sysadmins are not ship captains, instead they are something akin to ship builders or even sailors and when they squeal they only bring down their ship–not that which made the ship (pick your poison, pick your enemy, pick your…)
- One should never let the ship builder sail the ship, hence the delusion birthed by the lie of freedom, the lie of inalienable rights, the lie that is The Constitution that was never about we the people but instead we the privileged, we the haters of aristocracy so that we can make our own aristocracy, we the ones, like the French eventually, that should have chopped the fcuking heads of King fcuking George the 3rd and and and–instead of giving us pseudo king George the 3rd coloured like a fcuking orang-utan and is now President Stupid leader of all stupid people
Good luck suckers.