Off-Grid Opportunity

these days, when you’re talking to one person, you’re talking to a thousand

these days, when you’re talking to one person, you’re talking to a thousand

Yesterday the news was dominated by footage of the shooting of Walter Scott by South Carolina police officer Michael Slager, who has now been charged with murder.  In the past it was possible to cover up mistakes and indiscretions, because it was the word of a policeman against the word of a black man, and (in the US media anyway) an assumed criminal.

These days there are people with mobile phone cameras ready to film anything that is vaguely interesting.  It is possible to become rich and famous overnight if you capture the right piece of footage and it goes viral.  There are also people wearing devices such as GoPro cameras on the look out for a juicy capture.

Graham Dwyer almost committed the perfect murder in Ireland, but CCTV footage of his movements helped the police to build the case for his arrest and conviction.  Dwyer was also nailed by phone records, which were also used to convict another killer, Joe O’Reilly.

We now live in a world where Big Brother has become a reality.  There is a strong potential that every movement you make can be retraced.  Criminals hate this world.  Michael Slager hates this world, where the truth of his actions are displayed for everyone to see.

Even on the front lines of battlefields the actions of troops is under scrutiny.  One of the recent trends in watching Soccer is to post a Vine of a foul, or a dive, so that everyone can see what happened, even if the ref makes the wrong call.  Mary Bale, the woman who dumped a cat in a Wheelie Bin in a moment of madness, discovered the danger of life in the public view.

I suspect there will shortly be a demand for holidays “off the grid”.  Places you can go where it is guaranteed that there are no cameras, no mobile phone signal, no wi-fi.  Could be very popular hangouts for those who need to disappear for a while.

Another Reason Why I Don’t Keep A Gun In The House: by Billy Collins

The neighbors’ dog will not stop barking.
He is barking the same high, rhythmic bark
that he barks every time they leave the house.
They must switch him on on their way out.

The neighbors’ dog will not stop barking.
I close all the windows in the house
and put on a Beethoven symphony full blast
but I can still hear him muffled under the music,
barking, barking, barking,

and now I can see him sitting in the orchestra,
his head raised confidently as if Beethoven
had included a part for barking dog.

When the record finally ends he is still barking,
sitting there in the oboe section barking,
his eyes fixed on the conductor who is
entreating him with his baton

while the other musicians listen in respectful
silence to the famous barking dog solo,
that endless coda that first established
Beethoven as an innovative genius.


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