Thursday, March 17, 2005

Tyranny of Thoughtcrime

I don't feel much like the Stasi.

Otherwise, I find a lot of truth in Tina Brown's assessment of the "eggshell era," the current climate in which anyone who aspires to public life of any kind lives in constant fear of committing thoughtcrime according to constantly shifting perceptions.

The following is from Brown's ruminations on Condoleeza Rice, in today's Washington Post:
Every word out of a public figure's mouth is a hostage to fortune. Every private e-mail is a bomb that could blow up your life. [...] We are in the Eggshell Era, in which everyone has to tiptoe around because there's a world of busybodies out there who are being paid to catch you out - and a public that is slowly being trained to accept a culture of finks. We're always under surveillance; cameras watch us wherever we go; paparazzi make small fortunes snapping glamour goddesses picking their noses; everything is on tape, with transcripts available. No matter who you are, someone is ready and willing to rat you out. Even the rats themselves have to look over their shoulders, because some smaller rat is always waiting in the wings. Bloggers are the new Stasi. All the timidity this engenders, all this watching your mouth has started to feel positively un-American.

She's definitely got a point.

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