Daily Prompt: A private life

Crows 2017 (23)

Privacy no longer exists, there is always someone watching to see what you are doing next. We are now part of the 1984 world once featured in a book by George Orwell. I remember my first encouter with this book was some time in the early sixties, although it was already published in 1949.Then it all seemed so far away. Then 1984 arrived, a year featured in a book and we were all laughing –  nothing became true, just a good book with good ideas.

“Big brother is watching you”? Forget it. Countries still had their own independent governments and if you were lucky your government was letting you live and let live. It made no difference what your belief or colour was, you could carry on as usual. But wait there was something new approaching. The computer had arrived and we were all happy to be part of this wonderful new system. It made work easier, our kids loved it and we even had so-called social sites. We were now someone, we could tell everyone how our day had progressed, what we had for dinner, where we were going for a holiday. There was an audience ready to congratulate you if you passed an examination or a driving test. You had met the man of your life, so tell everyone about it, and you were getting married.

Perhaps you were not so happy, someone was annoying you on this social site with nasty remarks – no problem, just delete them, unfriend them. Your husband might not be treating you as he should, deceiving you. Tell everyone about it on the computer social site, and with photos to illustrate it all.

One day someone discovers that the photos  you are showing on your private space on the computer for all to see, as no longer private. Rumours are arriving that your social site is keeping these photos in their own vault to be used for advertising purpose. Of course you are annoyed, but if you delete your site you delete all your followers and messages and what do you want to do all day? You will also lose contact with those lost relations and schoolfriends you had found again. Life becomes boring. There are cases of mobbing, of stalking, and all the time this is happening Big Brother is watching. Nothing more is private, there are no secrets. And you tell me 1984 never happened.

To put a positive side to this, Today thousands of woman are marching in various places all over the world as a universal protest. America has a new president and he is closing down anything that does not agree with his ideas – have we been there before in another time and another country? I am proud of these marches and I wish the ladies all the success they deserve. They are marching for me, for many of us. There were demonstrations in Turkey this week and the police were a little astonished, because the demonstrations were silent. People just stood in the main square and said nothing, did not protest.

Perhaps social media has its positive side. An online friend of mine in the States has travelled from Ohio to Washington today. The closing words of her posting on Facebook are “May today, not yesterday, be the start of something new” and we can only hope that this is the case.

Daily Prompt: A private life

20 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: A private life

  1. Together we can beat any oppression forced upon us. If the movement generated under Bernie Sanders was anything to go by, with 14 year old kids empowered by his politics, then I’ve got great faith in the future of the U.S, and of the world.

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  2. America has a new president and he is closing down anything that does not agree with his ideas
    There may be two sides to this — and it’s been clear all along which side the news reporters are on.

    What I’ve heard is that the new President is opening up some areas that were once rigidly controlled by special interests, like now allowing US parents the right to decide which schools their children attend. The teacher’s union has fought that tooth and nail; in their view hiring and schooling should be based, not on quality or ability, but on union seniority and NO ONE should have the right to choose where they send their children.

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    • Parents in the US have always had the right choose where to send their children to school, public or private or charter school or to home school their children if they prefer.

      It’s interesting to me how many people believe that those critical of the new president base their mistrust and dislike on what the media has told them. Americans are not totally stupid or that easily duped. I, personally, base my mistrust and dislike of this president on words that have come from his own mouth, actions he has taken, the life he’s (very publicly) lived and the fact that nothing he has ever done in that life has earned my respect.

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      • US parents may have the right to send their children to private versus public school, but they have no choice — and neither do we here — as to which public school their child attends. This new policy will give inner city parents more choices than they’ve ever had. How many will take advantage of this remains to be seen.

        (Actually we are getting this much choice here: parents in western Canada may now elect to send their child to a French immersion school versus one totally English with French language instruction as a subject.)

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        • I’ve lived in a large American city in a bad (inner-city) neighborhood in which parents worked 3 jobs to keep their families together. The kids walked to school. That’s how those parents made their “choice.” We have (also) a thing called “Magnet” schools that are public schools. Parents can choose to send their kids to these schools if they wish when their kids show a strong interest in a certain areas of study. I have no idea how it is in Canada, but educational choices in the US are quite complex. Please don’t be fooled by words coming out of the mouths of people who are very skilled at “double-speak” and over-simplification.

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          • Thanks for clarifying. Really, Mrs AngloSwiss is right: it’s not our country. I’ve never heard so much gloom coming from a political issue. (I wasn’t old enough when Kennedy ran, so missed out on all the gloom & doom then.) But I really hope & pray this Presidency is going to work out a lot better than most people are fearing.

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          • So do I though how it will work remains to be seen. I half feel it might have provided the shaking up the country needed. But I don’t know… it’s difficult to process. When Kennedy ran I was 7 and even now I have no idea how that was —

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      • I have only just seen your comment Martha, which is more or less my ideas. Thanks for the explanation about schooling in the States, seems to be very similar to ours. I was never a believer of journalism, I know too many journalists myself and recognise how they work. I was watching the TV from Washington and was very impressed that so many stand together. I even managed to engage the interest of Mr. Swiss and he was also impressed.

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    • It seems to me that Fox News and CNN are not on the same lines as far as the news is concerned. I am really not in the picture about choosing schools in America for your child. All I know is that where I live you do not choose, your kid goes to the local school, unless you prefer something better and prepared to pay for it. I have an autistic son, so I found a school in my area for his special needs, I could have sent him to a special boarding school for autistic children, would have seen him only at the end of term holidays. The school I found was near. He boarded during the week, and was a home at week-ends. It was my own free choice, but I chose the school myself – is this what you mean by special interests?

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      • Good thing you did have that option with a special needs child. For the most part something similar would be available here, too. (Our problem here in Sask is lack of population to support a lot o choices)

        No, that’s not what I meant by “special interest.” I simply can’t think of the word I really want at the moment. More like someone who has their hand in the ‘public purse.’ The ones who now control. In case of the schools, this would be the teacher’s union wanting to maintain the status quo.

        I feel no one can possibly foresee how the next four years are going to go. I’ve heard both sides — and hind sight is always better than foresight. Trump made a splash, radical statements; he intended to stir things up. He may be as rotten as people fear. But I anticipate that quite a few in the news media will do their level best to color everything he says or does in negative tones. By their world-view the man is a heretic.

        But we at this house are contrary sorts. We don’t base our thinking so much on what good things some reporters are saying about him; we base it on how the Press in general hates him. We conclude he must be doing something right. 🙂 We’ve had PMs who decided by popular opinion, going with the general flow and, like Obama, they accomplished nothing worthwhile.

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          • Thanks for the link. I’ll check it out — but I realize I was being unfair and shouldn’t have written what I did. When he was first elected I felt rather sorry for him, knowing no one man could ever accomplish the fix that the US needed. He has actually managed to push through a public health care system, albeit controversial.
            And I was reading a few days ago about him pardoning criminals whose sentences were overly severe for their crimes, I applaud him for the care he’s taking in that. He does deserve more credit that I was giving him.

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          • No President is perfect and no President works alone. It makes a huge difference what people are in the other branches of the government as well. Obama had a very difficult first term because he had to come to grips with the fact that he would be stone-walled constantly in his attempts to solve the dire problems Bush left behind in the economy and in the Middl East.

            But Obama’s HAMP program saved my house for me during the economic crisis when many government employees (I was a university teacher) were taking involuntary cuts in pay and I nearly lost my house.

            No one has ever managed to get any kind of health care plan through the house and senate before and it’s a shame. Most of the rest of the world — including 3rd world countries — have better health care for all their citizens than the US does.

            Obama has also been very highly regarded by world leaders.

            He had an uphill climb the entire 8 years, worsened by a bunch of people (led by Trump) who kept insisting he wasn’t even born in the US. I have tremendous respect for him and am very sorry to see him leave.

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  3. When i was a kid, there was only one choice: public or private. You paid for private, public was free. You went to the school designated for your address, even when sometimes, it wasn’t actually the nearest school. You had more choice in High School — we’ve always had those magnet/special schools for science, art, and now I think for other things, too.

    But privacy? The real thing? It vanished with the computerization of personal records by both government and businesses.

    As for Trump, let’s just hope we survive his presidency. We can hope for better, but I would strongly recommend not expecting it. And keep your head down.

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