How to be a domestic terrorist, and other casual hobbies.
See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. Get an FBI file anyway.
There’s this old Tumblr blog, Business Casual Brownies. It’s full of bitter sarcasm towards the jargon and toxic ideas found in startups.
I used to work at a startup. If you’ve had that experience, you understand business casual brownies. It’s the kind of things you think at a startup, but don’t say.
Speaking of things you shouldn’t say, domestic terrorism has exploded in the United States since a week ago, on February 7, 2022. Per the Department of Homeland Security:
Well, this is awkward.
Parents speaking out at school boards. People speaking out at city meetings. People protesting and holding freedom rallies in front of state capitols. People refusing to comply with public health officials. Bloggers. Podcasters. Anyone online questioning the government’s official position on pandemic response, the 2020 election, and the Afghanistan debacle, apparently. And there’s the hint that removal of pandemic restrictions is a security threat.
I’m so on that list.
Various mixed feelings.
Some folks are going for federal terrorist certification status. It appears to be really easy. You simply brush up on Havel, Solzhenitsyn, Orwell, and then open your mouth.
See, the thing about that business casual brownies blog is that it’s about being forced to function within the boundaries of stilted (and stupid) speech.
“Everyone has to read the book Linchpin,” we were told at the startup I worked at.
Linchpin was a book by Seth Godin, which purported to tell people how they could be indispensable. Using flowery language, it hid the truth: sell your soul to the startups every cultural whim, and you won’t get fired. I obeyed, read the book, thought it was pointless, but went along anyway. The lingo, the culture, the “meritocracy” and the “unlimited days off” which actually translates into always being on call. Getting to work at 6 a.m., working at home in the evenings.
I got shown the door at that job. Sometimes I go to Glassdor.com and read the reviews others have left and see the grand tradition is still continuing.
I had a boss years ago who said everyone could be replaced. As it turns out, she was right and best-selling author Godin was not.
Everyone can be replaced.
Everyone can be a domestic terrorist.
Trip and fall outside of specified parameters, and those who claim to show the most grace and greatest freedoms and liberality of freedom reveal their ugly selves.
It’s hard to make light of what the DHS is doing.
Like a balloon being squeezed, it bulges out somewhere. In that case, it popped out online. Does the DHS think squeezing and squeezing and more squeezing of the citizens of the country will do anything but cause the balloon to explode?
Scandal and corruption have always gone on, but for some reason I relegated it to the past. You know, the arrogance of modern progress in which we think we’ve evolved in society. Watergate was in the past. The World Wars were in the past. Etcetera.
Obviously, foolish. Every day, more news proves otherwise.
And now here we are, in the midst of such diktats flowing from on high at an alarming rate.
I’m surprised I’m surprised.
Having read Sci-Fi and Orwell and speculative fiction, I just didn’t expect to encounter Newspeak and the Ministry of Truth in actual real life.
Did you ever think you would be considered a domestic terrorist for speaking out against the government, and undermining public trust in government institutions? I surely did not. Undermining trust in the government has practically been a medal sport at just about any small-town café morning coffee klatch for generations.
I mean, can I tell IRS jokes anymore?
Domestic terrorism is a new hobby for me. I’m not sure how to respond.