In our era of ubiquitous surveillance and data-gathering online, pundits often use the scifi icon Big Brother to explain what’s happening. But journalist and academic Zeynep Tufekci, who participated in Turkey’s recent protests, says we need a new dystopian story to explain our lives.
Not sure I agree with her (and besides, she’s essentially talking about “Brave New World,” which is hardly new, but as I’m nearing the end of writing a story about a totalitarian surveillance state, I’m struck by just how hard it is to render its features “dystopian” as opposed to “the way things just are now.”
When my kids are forced to read 1984, one of the things that strikes them is just how not-extreme it is. They’re under surveillance all the time. They accept it as normal, embrace it at times, and telling them that it used to be otherwise nets me a lot of strange looks.
“It was made very clear to us, every day, sometimes even twice a day, under the threat of being removed from the island, we were not to talk about third country. We were not to suggest that there was any resettlement options. We were not to suggest that they were able to get off PNG. You need to stick to the script or you’ll be taken off the island,” she said.
“But we were informed when we went there very quickly this time around that resettlement – we were not to discuss resettlement. We were not to discuss third-countries options – third country meaning, not PNG and not your own country.”
Thompson said Manus Island was “designed as an experiment in the active creation of horror to secure the deterrence”. She said the death of the asylum seeker last week, Reza Barati, reinforced the deterrent value of the centre.
“That’s why I say again that Reza Barati’s death is not a crisis for the department. It’s actually an opportunity – it’s an opportunity to extend that logic one step further, to say: ‘This happens.’ But deterrence continues, Operation Sovereign Borders continue.”
Thompson’s comments about the uncertainty of claims escalating the situation on the island echo similar comments made in a review into the Nauru riot in July 2013. The review, which was released on Saturday, has blamed uncertainty about processing asylum claims and the Immigration Department’s lack of oversight as major causes of the incident.
The prime minister, Tony Abbott, defended Morrison’s handling of the Manus Island incident over the weekend, and said: ‘’You don’t want a wimp running border protection.”
Meryl Streep Outfits and the Star Wars Costumes That Inspired Them (✗)
Hey! I made these! I know this isn’t Star Trek, IT’S YOUR ENEMY, STAR WARS, but I’m sure some of you will enjoy it. Here’s the link to the full post, which I created. The real crime is that when coconutmilk83 “borrowed” these from me, zie left off the BEST ONE, which is Bib Fortuna.