The Statism Meme

Tyler Durden camera_lumina at
Tue Feb 4 06:18:43 PST 2003

Tim May wrote...

"Even t.v. commercials are spreading the meme that Big Brother is our 

Funny he should mention this. This very morning was watching the news and a 
commerical came on for a local monitored Burglar alarm system. It featured a 
Customed Superhero "Alarmo" (I think), going around the neighborhood 
interrogating garbage men, mailmen, even kids and dogs and crap. Basically, 
the guy was 'jokingly' depicted to have gone a little nutty and certainly 

And in the end there was an old couple looking on that LOOKED horrified but 
basically called to see if Alarmo could work for them to.

That commercial was either written by a real nut or by someone who also 
doesn't like the way things are headed.


>From: Tim May <tcmay at>
>To: cypherpunks at
>Subject: The Statism Meme Date: Mon, 3 Feb 2003 20:16:05 -0800
>OK, so I watch a lot of t.v., or at least have t.v. dramas on a lot.
>I'm struck by how many of them this year treat civil liberties as gone, 
>either as old-fashioned or as just plain ignorable.
>* On the episodes of "Law and Order" (three different versions weekly, 
>often repeated on other nights), the cops routinely roust citizens, shop 
>owners, hotel clerks, etc. Warrants are the exception, and when they are 
>produced, they are merely waved in front of the targets. Whether this 
>represents reality is not the point--the point is that the Fourth, Fifth, 
>and Sixth Amendments are treated as technicalities to be violated at will. 
>Cops, prosecutors, and judges violating the Constitution are not 
>sanctioned.  Those being violated never fight back, whether with shotguns 
>or their own lawyers.
>* I just watched a new series called "Miracles." A planeload of passengers 
>is held without charges, without arrest warrants. One passenger is simply 
>taken away by the NSA because he may have information of use to them 
>someday. Again, maybe not plausible, but this shows the meme Americans are 
>becoming conditioned to accept.
>* On one often execrable show called "Judging Amy," "Child Protection" 
>workers are shown bursting into homes and apartments, sans warrants of 
>course. One memorable line was "Yes, we can enter your home without a 
>warrant...because we're not the police."
>* Even t.v. commercials are spreading the meme that Big Brother is our 
>friend. G.E. has one such commercial where doctors are told: "Wouldn't it 
>be wonderful if you could just type in a name and see every medical 
>treatment your patient has ever received?...with G.E.'s new software, 
>you'll be able to." (paraphrase of their actual commercial)
>* "Hate speech" is presented on these cop and lawyer shows as being ipso 
>facto illegal. "These people think the Constitution gives them the freedom 
>to spew hate."
>* Nearly all of the programs present the Internet as a place which needs 
>government control. The lawyers and cops editorialize (actually, the script 
>writers, of course) about how the "Wild West" atmosphere is a haven for 
>terrorists, gun nuts, pornographers, and Islamic militants. Various plots 
>on the court shows have involved ISPs being forced to spy on customers.
>* "9/11 changed everything" is heard at least weekly. The judges cite it to 
>justify unconstitutional measures, the prosecutors use it to justify 
>warrantless searches and coerced admissions.
>Yes, I understand this is all fiction. Well, some of the scripts are based 
>on actual events, including coerced confessions, warrantless searches, 
>"sneak and peek" wiretaps, concentration camps in Cuba, etc. That so many 
>of these popular programs have themes as I've described tells us what to 
>The statism meme is growing under hothouse conditions.
>--Tim May, Corralitos, California
>Quote of the Month: "It is said that there are no atheists in foxholes; 
>perhaps there are no true libertarians in times of terrorist attacks." 
>--Cathy Young, "Reason Magazine," both enemies of liberty.

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