Thursday, September 08, 2005

home security

I’m just so angry, I’ve been kicking cupboards and slamming doors and stomping my feet around my flat, snappy to my friends, grouchy with my children.. it was just a couple of days ago that my mother rang for a chat and blandly mentioned that she was having cctv installed in her home. I was just like gobsmacked if you’ll pardon the phrase, it’s the only way to describe how I felt, just speechless with surprise and disgust. I just can’t believe it, I thought it might happen one day, just your average conspiracy theory paranoid idle fantasy really, but it has finally arrived. ‘I feel so much safer’ she informs me. Safer! How can she do it to herself she has just signed away her privacy to the idle bovine gaze of some haw-hawing buffoon of a securicor guard, picking his nose and randomly viewing my mother picking up the newspaper or the phone, going to make tea, ironing, sitting trembling inwardly with fear whist she watches end-of-days style news reports showing the tidal crimewave threatening to engulf us, that makes the streets outside our homes into buttock clenching alleyways of fear...’well I’ve got nothing to hide have I dear?’ she says, ‘and with the state of the world these days, all the robberies and violence it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind’.. I am just standing there unable to vent the wrath that’s gathering force deep in my guts, ‘why don’t you have it fitted? I could pay for it if you liked’ … sharp intake of breath.. ‘mum, I just could never even think of doing it, I’d no longer have a life of my own’ ‘whatever do you mean? If you aren’t doing anything wrong there’s nothing to worry about is there? Pat Teasdale said she just had it done and now she feels so much safer in her own home, Margaret warren is having it put in next week and I think you really ought to give it some thought, and there’s a sale on at the mall this week on them, I could get you one for your birthday’… I am so incensed and stultified by the ridiculousness of the situation that I really can’t grasp what to say, but merely mention some bland pleasantries to hide my wordless thoughts and get off the phone as soon as I can.. though it can go on a bit… her being a typical mother in that respect, she gives me a quick rundown of how tired she has been at various times of the day.. what she had for lunch, what was on the parliament channel, who rang, asks me to come round and get something off a high shelf etc etc… oh you’ve probably been there yourself, bless them… but I was just gurning in my room to get off the bloody phone so I could stomp.. which I did… righteous ire pumping in my veins I stomped to the kitchen where I bashed the plates at each other in defiance of their fragility, I sneered at the radio it it’s lousy attempts to convince me that everything’s ok in the world… I stomped into the living room and put on some spiky stompy music then stomped about thrashing my limbs about like a yob in the springtime of dysfunctional yoof, I stomped over to the phone when my brother rang.. ‘do you believe what she’s doing? Cctv in the living room and hallway? I’ll never be able to relax again in there, it’ll be like being on stage in prison.. it’ll be like living in a shop window… it’ll ruin going to visit her… what on earth is she thinking of?’ my brother just breathes in slowly then ambles into ‘it’s not really that bad, after all they only watch you randomly and just keep the tapes for a month or so, and it is for your own protection not surveillance or anything, and as they say… why should it matter if you haven’t got anything to hide..’ please andy tell me you’re kidding me, you must be joking can I really believe I’m hearing this, for god’s sake you used to be a hippy once.. have you no principals??’ my brother sounds defensive… ‘well, I’ll have to pay a pretty high premium on my insurance without it, and it’s going to be really hard to apply for a decent job in engineering without it, it’s sort of becoming normal nowadays anyway..’ ‘normal for wankers’ I said and slammed the phone down.


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