All the kids are at the beach drinking and smoking too much and reawakening their tan lines while spring arrives in fits and starts, tornadoes and frost and warm days in among them fooling us that winter's over, really. It's the spring of a thousand broken candidacies, the wrong time for a recession and our continuing national decay, the spring my congressional representative calls me and leaves a message on my phone to say he just wants to chat. What would I say to him? Thanks, Jack, for getting Stephen Colbert in front of the National Press Corps to ream the administration and especially the corps? Sure, but other than that, we agree on nothing I can think of. When I think of national security, I don't think of defense spending and war and spies and terrorists. I think of the security of our privacy, of our rights, of our ethos as a nation. These things erode from the inside, as when we violate our own laws, evade our own checks and balances. We don't need no stinkin' terrorists. This is our national insecurity, our belly-flop into the pool of blood and silence, of acquiescence to this culture of voyeurism and violation and torture.
Recently, the FCC fined ABC $1 million + for an episode of NYPD that originally aired in 2003. This is old news, but if you go watch the scene in question, you'll get a sense of what truly frightens this administration. Modesty. Privacy. A woman readies to take a shower; a boy walks in; she covers herself, mortified. The scene brilliantly turns on the voyeurism of the viewer, just settling in to see another famous NYPD Blue ass shot. She's relaxed, natural, alone (except for the eyes of the nation), and she exposes all of us and our desire to spy on her as she disrobes. And it's this repudiation of our cultural voyeurism that the FCC fears most. Go watch "reality." Watch Big Brother, then go online to catch the T&A. Watch CSI Miami, all its thongs and all its access to personal information, "for our protection." We are a people in training to be watched 24/7, and we're expected to like it. ABC isn't being fined for showing Charlotte Ross' ass. The FCC is fining them because she catches us looking, because she covers up.