Sunday, July 28, 2013
Ich Bin Ein Amerikaner
Last night my landlord/friend AP and I were joined by his loving daughter on the roof of the Fort Greene Observatory. AP hugged Lizzie and pointed out stars. It was a clear sky for New York. "Up there is Alpha Centuari. It's the closest star to Earth." "How far away?" Lizzie was a curious child. "4 light-years." "So if we drove there it would take a long time." "Yes." AP and I will never make that trip. Planes flittered across the low horizon. "And there satellites up there." I hadn't ever seen one above New York. "Spying on us." AP believed there was something terribly wrong about the NSA eavesdropping program. "But we're not doing anything wrong," protested Lizzie. The ten year-old had long blonde hair and I called her Hippie Girl with affection. "Yes, we are doing nothing wrong, but it's time to go to sleep." The three of us descended off the roof. I went to my room and listened to PUBLIC IMAGE by Public Image, then opened up my MacBook to read the news. The BBC reported that thousands of Germans and New Zealanders were protesting against the NSA spy program. The only public gatherings in America were at baseball parks this weekend. No one munching on an over-priced hot dog at Yankee Stadium cared about the evasive surveillance programme known as Prism or Eric Snowdon. The German government has denied any knowledge of the secret electronic spy network. In the words of the immortal Colonel Klink from HOGAN'S HEROES, "I know nothing." And the same can be said about the Land of the Free, except we say, "I don't care about nothing." I only wish I could feel the same.