Incognito Ergo Sum

Posted: November 7, 2015 in Current Affairs, Politics, terrorism
Tags: , , ,

#SnoopersCharter #Playboy #ToryTown

To Err is Human, To Forgive Divine

Sometimes you read the market right, sometimes wrong. Mostly the business decisions you make, for good or ill, will never go much beyond your immediate friends and family – destined to be told, retold and possibly chuckled at over the odd sherry at Christmas gatherings. Yes, we’ve all got a yarn about Uncle Jimmy’s costly attempts at claiming his Nigerian lottery win. Other times, though, you fuck up big style – and the sheer grandeur of the error ensures that you will be destined never to hear the last of it.

History is littered with such fuck ups: Decca Records turning down a small band called The Beatles; Western Electric saying ‘thanks, but no thanks’ to Alexander Graham Bell’s little ‘toy’; Gerald Ratner inadvertently telling the world his jewellery group products were ‘total crap’.

We all make mistakes, though. After all, to err is simply human. All the more reason, then, to employ a shred of divinity when judging even the Ratner’s of this world.

More forgivable still, when it’s the course of future events that slams a seemingly logical decision into the solid wall of misfortune. Let’s face it, how many of us have decided to buy a cheap steelworks, for example, only to be jiggered by an incompetent government and an influx of still cheaper Chinese imports.

Cigar Smoke & Poo

Yes, sometimes things happen which are simply beyond our control. Take your traditional analysis of the porn consumption habits of the Average Joe in the street: On a hunch based on raw business acumen and multiple focus groups, you conclude that grown men will buy pictures of naked women wearing bunny rabbit’s ears. A quick visit to the bank manager and you’ve got the market cornered. Your punters don’t even have to frequent the grubby sex shops in the seedier parts of town to purchase your product – it’s available in grocery stores, corner shops and petrol forecourts. It’s stylish. Classy. A top-shelf product in so many ways. You quickly become a multi-billionaire, grow old and surround yourself with hordes of very young and beautiful women even though you now smell of cigar smoke and poo.

Passé

Then, out of the blue, along come a few geeks who invent the internet and whammo – your whole business model goes down the pan.  Average Joe doesn’t need to purchase your top-shelf item anymore. Why should he? He doesn’t even have to pluck up the courage to don a raincoat before visiting Sven’s Adult Books for his under-the-counter (and mildly illegal) Swedish porno video. He simply clicks off safe-browsing, hits the incognito button, and types in the word ‘Disney’ – milliseconds later Joe’s whacking off to pigs having hard-core sex with Nuns in all its high definition glory. You might have the world biggest brand recognition this side of Coca-Cola, but you’ve become an anachronism, old hat. In the words of your own chief executive, you’re now “passé”.

Time to rethink the business model. Time to take a risk, Mr Hefner. Time to make a big decision.

A New Deal

Perhaps the Average Joe might buy interesting articles peppered with photo-shoots of young lingerie-clad Hollywood stars such as Emma Watson instead of those busty babes with the airbrushed Columbian? Great. Brilliant. Make it so. Market share saved, you announce to the world that as from March 2016 you will no longer publish images of naked women in Playboy magazine.

Phew. Disaster averted. Good call, Hugh.

Every Waking Moment

No sooner said then along comes British Home Secretary, Theresa May, replete with her Snooper’s Charter that will effectively command internet providers to keep the browsing history (and phone data) of Average Joe for a minimum of twelve months. Average Joe is assured that this history will be safe from the prying eyes of, say, teenagers in Northern Ireland, companies in Bradford, or Delhi, or criminals in Kabul or Langley, and will only be available to the Police, or the Security Services, or anyone else, as and when it is needed. Honestly.

Average Joe begins to sweat.

Still, Joe understands that the ability to peek under the digital bed of everyone in the UK is a necessary loss of freedom and privacy. This need to be digitally followed every waking moment, in the way that Catholics are followed by their God, Joe knows, is as big a weapon in the War on Terror as the ability to bomb people of other countries or to maintain an effective nuclear deterrent. Joe also knows that the War on Terror must be won in order to protect our freedom and privacy.

Joe sweats a little more.

Thankfully, terrorists, being the stupid foreign people that they are, will not have heard of Theresa May’s machinations on behalf of democracy, and shall henceforth be instantly dragged before the Beak to be confronted by their browser breadcrumbs of guilt: “Fair cop, Guv’nor, you got me bang to rights, there, an‘ no mistake!

Nothing to Hide – Nothing to Fear

Of course, this will demand a certain degree of browser willpower and self-censorship on behalf of the non-terrorist, but Joe knows that foregoing whacking off to pigs and Nuns is a small price to pay for the ongoing security of the realm.

It won’t stop at the UK, of course – good ideas never do – and with only terrorists (a rather paltry market share) confidently visiting internet porn sites, it may well demand an editorial volte-face by Playboy in order to sate the needs of the likes of sweaty Joe and avoid this once great magazine joining the ranks of Decca, Western Electric and Ratner’s.

Porn aficionados and lovers of freedom and democracy the world over may never forgive Theresa May. Nevertheless, methinks it may be time to rethink that centre-spread, Mr Hefner, lest you be destined to be remembered as the man who dumped the soft-porn mag just as it came back into fashion.

Anvil Springstien.

Sources:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/04/theresa-may-surveillance-measures-edward-snowden

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/13/business/media/nudes-are-old-news-at-playboy.html?_r=0

Useful Paraphrase:

“Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.”

Ben Franklin

NB:

In line with the above privacy issues, I’ve just noticed that more and more job applications are demanding a thorough police check.

In the UK, this used to be called a CRB check (Criminal Records Bureau) but as successive governments like to change the name of something as they strip it of funding, this is now referred to as a DBS check (Disclosure and Barring Service).

Searching through a selection of available employment on this mornings Job Boards, it would appear that a DBS check is required for just about anything that involves: children; people; money; food; clothing; breathing air; or using abrasive cleaning materials?

There also appears to be an inverse relationship between having to pay for the check yourself (low-pay, minimum wage, zero-hours) and the employer covering this cost (salaried, medium to high pay).

One job gives me the option of clicking Yes or No to my agreement to such an intrusive check. This is, of course, no option at all as when No is clicked (I’ve just clicked it) it takes you to a ‘Thanks, But No Thanks’ page.

Apparently, even in the world of Peripatetic Supermarket Floor Cleaning, the mere desire for privacy is seen as suspicious.

Sorry, I’m rambling. The reason my interest in police checks has been piqued is that I’m presently volunteering with an Adult Learning agency and it’s taking forever for my own DBS check to come through.

I’m beginning to worry that they have discovered I hold politically errant views and are waiting to be able to download my browser history?

I predict that future job applications will require browser history to be made available to prospective employers – I also predict that, like police checks, you will have to pay for this – unless, of course, you can afford to.

A.S.

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