Fin de Saison for The Mighty Wurlitzer?

Is it too soon to hope that the torch is being passed to a new generation that can make light of the surveillance state’s mighty Wurlitzer? Some may find this analogy excessive, but Swiss Protestant theologian Karl Barth was asked how to respond to the Nazi regime and he is supposed to have said, as if they weren’t there. That could be interpreted as quietism but need not be so. There can be plural forms of dissent and resistance as well–one can hope that the unlikely bedfellows across party lines who agree on the need for real change here will not take the too-familiar circular firing squad route. Or shoot ourselves with a horse tranquilizer gun like Will Ferrell in Old School. We have a shot, at least, at not being useful idiots in thrall to the surveillance-industrial complex. That would be change.

Part of keeping up appearances for the security state is to distract us by putting Snowden inside the Thirty Mile Zone of scurrilous rumor. But let us not be distracted, even and especially if internet culture tends to facilitate that.

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