Inasmuch as your efforts toward gentling the population have not gone unnoticed, I wish to be more forward in encouraging your movements. Yes, we have all adjusted to the latest round of indignities required to meet the threats anxiously imagined in corporate-funded think tanks surrounding Washington. We are prepared to travel in the buff and drink no liquids for the duration of the flight, even if that means standing (eh, Ryanair?).
We’ve grown accustomed to software that tracks our every click, bosses who control whether we can be Facebook friends or not, and warnings attached to every email that warn it could be scanned for copyrighted content, do not reproduce. We even luxuriate under the motherly eye of CCTV, be we cat molesters or not, safe in knowing that we’re not out of sight.
But it’s not enough.
Be bold! Just put us in the Panopticon already. Jeremy Bentham was a man ahead of his time, so to speak—not that I’m suggesting the wax head that currently rests upon his preserved body in place of his real head is there because his actual noggin has been transported to the future and we will come upon it one day very soon and marvel at his forward thinking (although I must say there is an outside chance).
But his prison design—the Panopticon: a thing of beauty! Where the prisoners are always in view but cannot tell if they are under surveillance. Just a handful of guards can maintain order in an immense structure. Efficient, labour-saving and oh so elegant! We have undergone our training with few murmurs of dissent. We have learned to live under the ever-watchful eye.
Safety, we are told—our safety is your only concern we’re assured as we bleat our way into long lines with a docility even sheep admire. We tick the boxes and agree to the licenses and send off our money to Nigerian banks and Russian women who only want the chance for love.
We’re ready. We’ll be good. Can we have it now?