The Saddest Little Carnival in the World

There’s a thin strip of land in the Jersey City Heights wedged between the street and the edge of the baseball field near the reservoir.  A few times a year, a carnival, of sorts, will encamp in that one-block-long urban landscape, transforming the area into the saddest little carnival in the world — filled with emptiness and longing and no joy to be had anywhere for any ticket price.  Even the Fire Ball circle roller coaster has no flame.

Continue reading → The Saddest Little Carnival in the World

New York Police Making New York into a Panopticon

In the film Minority Report, based on a short story by Philip K. Dick, police of the future arrest criminals before the crime even occurs based on three psychics who can predict the future. All seems to be going well until the captain of the police force is seen committing a murder thirty six hours later and he suspects that he is being set up by his colleagues. I couldn’t help but think of this story when I read about the New York Police Department plans to start a new system to track crime that will be practically all seeing and all knowing.

Continue reading → New York Police Making New York into a Panopticon

The 1.8 Gigapixel Flying Panopticon

A couple of years ago I wrote an article explaining how you, average person in life, are most likely being photographed numerous times without your knowledge. You are being caught as people take photos of the street with their camera phone, and perhaps even intentionally if you happen to be wearing something amusing or do something that attracts attention — or maybe you are the object of someone’s crush on your shared daily commute.

Continue reading → The 1.8 Gigapixel Flying Panopticon

Do You Fear the National Security Agency Surveilling You?

I am befuddled by all the faux outrage in the online media bout the National Security Agency spying on us via our internet behavior and telephone calls.  Should we really be surprised by any of this?  After all, this sort of panopticonic staring by self-anointed government elites is nothing new.

Let’s take a quick Boles Blogs trip back through time to examine our intrepid reporting on this matter of the NSA spying on us.  We begin on June 30, 2006 — You are an Electronic Jigsaw Puzzle:

It’s horrifyingly fascinating how this government effort to connect all our dots appears to be orchestrated in pieces using separate private companies to deter detection of a non-severed surreptitious intent — banks for banking records; conservative ownership of personal web portals for access to MySpace data; internet providers who reply upon government regulation to stay in business are required to help monitor and analyze internet traffic patterns and process email keyword triggers — leads the cogent among us to question who we really are and if we actually own a right to any sort of privacy whatsoever.

Continue reading → Do You Fear the National Security Agency Surveilling You?

Writing for Yourself: You are the Center of the Panopticon

Too many writers write for other people.  They write for lovers or lost hope or for an unknown, future, audience they hope will like them — when they should really only be writing for themselves.  Every writer is the core of their confounding world.  We are the center of our Panopticonic lives.

Continue reading → Writing for Yourself: You are the Center of the Panopticon

Is Kim Kardashian a Hubristic Hussy or Just a Fleshy Flouncer?

Kim Kardashian is clearly a woman with a beautify body — but is she a good human being?  Does she deserve our rapt attention and careful imitation?  Or has she only, repeatedly, earned our pity?  Kim first stung our national eye red while starring in a graphic sex videotape — and, since that embarrassment, she’s feature danced in a sad reality television show that demonstrates her inbred lack of social mores and a vacancy of proper cultural values; she posed nude for Playboy and later regretted her bad taste in exposing her flesh — and this week she appears butt-naked-but-painted-in-silver on the cover of W magazine:  The badonkadonk doth protest too much, wethinks.

Continue reading → Is Kim Kardashian a Hubristic Hussy or Just a Fleshy Flouncer?

You Don't Have to Be Where You're From

On a recent Bill Maher show on HBO, Levi Johnston was a guest, and Bill gave the young lad some excellent advice:  “You don’t have to be where you’re from.”

Continue reading → You Don't Have to Be Where You're From