Big Bother Is Watching You—Again

by L. Neil Smith
Patronize Me!

Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

Reprinted from Number 16, October 15, 1996

It doesn’t seem all that very long ago that I wrote a column (“Stop the Nagging”, The Libertarian Enterprise , Issue 12, reprinted in Issue 1,138 January 9, 2022) arguing that those, like the Ad Council (whoever the hell they are), the American Cancer Society, the American Heart and Lung Association, et alia, who apparently have no lives of their own and feel compelled to live our lives for us, should be shut up for good.

What I complained about then was the way these unspeakably foul creatures shove their proboscises into the deepest, moistest, most minute and personal recesses of our individual existences—what we eat, what we drink, what we smoke, how we bathe, how we breathe, how much we sleep, how often we exercise, what we wear on our personal thingies when we do fun things with one another—including a whole lot of stuff that isn’t anybody’s business, not even a proctologist’s.

And don’t let get them started on guns. They seem to have forgotten (if they ever knew) that Freud said it was feebs like them, who hate and fear weapons (not folks like us who own and enjoy them), who have serious crotch-problems. If you harbor any doubt at all about ol’ Ziggy’s judgement, take a good hard look at any major advocate of victim disarmament—Sarah Brady will do quite nicely—and then ask yourself: “Has this person ever had an orgasm?”

I’m particularly weary of being told by these socialistic geeks how to raise my daughter. My daughter is only six and a half years old—and she can read.

But as usual, I digress.

How did all of this insanity begin?

Why did we ever let these creeps into our culture?

Why do we tolerate them today, even for a nanosecond?

For example, whenever California congressthing Henry Waxman bugs Americans about their fondness for tobacco, why doesn’t anybody ever turn the tables on him, officiously demanding to know what made him such a slimy disgusting twit, where he finds those baggy, linty suits, why he has such a big fat butt, and whether he’s ever gonna get around to clear-cutting that old-growth forest of nose-hair? The same kind of intrusive, personal stuff he’s doing to everybody else.

I pointed out that if a neighbor, friend, or relative came into our homes and started nagging us about the same things, we’d blacken both their beady little eyes, dump the aquarium on them, and throw them out into the peony bushes.

This morning, on the radio, I received overwhelming confirmation that I’m right. What I heard went far beyond the absurd, hysterical assertion by the chemotherapy lobby that any red meat or alcohol consumption at all increases your risks significantly. We hear that sort of crap every day—last time, as I recall, it was milk posing a deadly danger to America—and the more these Chicken Little squawks are disproved by reality, the more bizarre they become.

No, on this occasion, it was a troop of dungheads calling themselves the American Society of Microbiology, peeing all over themselves because we nasty little boys and girls don’t wash our nasty little hands after doing whatever nasty little things we thoughtwere supposed to be private in our public bathrooms.

How do they know?

Because they’ve been watching us!

They say they asked us first, the usual “random, representative sample”, but they didn’t like the—deservedly short, loud, and rude’answer they got.

So now we’re being watched in the bathroom … Before I go any further, I’d like to know exactly what distinguishes these pervos from Peeping Toms the campus cops arrest from time to time, peeking into the girls’ dorm rooms. In any decent civilization, these sickie dickies would be rounded up, made to kneel in the barrow ditch beside the highway, and shot in the back of the head.

Years ago, I thought it would be just splendid if wristwatches simply had numbers on them instead of hands. I wrote a short story, “Grimm’s Law”, about it, but before I could get it published (it took me over a decade), the first digital wristwatches began appearing on the market. Remember those first red LED models, the ones you had to reach over and turn on? If I were Arthur C. Clarke, I’d still be publicly sulking because the manufacturers won’t pay me a royalty.

Later on, inspired by Shea and Wilson’s classic trilogy Illuminatus!, I decided it might be a good idea to have some self-adhesive labels made, to be affixed inside the doors of public bathroom stalls wherever the opportunity presented itself. I even planned to mention them in an SF novel that, as it happened, I never got around to writing. The labels, intended to salubriously heighten the anti-authoritarian paranoia of whoever saw them, would have read: “For your safety and convenience, you are being monitored by television cameras.”

And now reality has beaten me to the punch once again.

Next time you’re in a public bathroom (or your own, for that matter, the way things are going in this country) ask yourself whether the mirror over the sink mightn’t be one of those tricky one-way windows psycho-vultures are so fond of. Robert Bork, the would-be Supreme Court justice who said he couldn’t find anything in the Constitution guaranteeing a right to privacy, should be ecstatic.

We can’t shoot these losers—yet. It would cause the neighbors to talk about us and there would go our privacy again. But somebody reading this will know how to find out where these anti-American antisocial microbiologists get their money and how to … er, cut it off. If they’re funded by corporations, a modicum of public pressure ought to do the trick. If they’re tax parasites, pursuing their filthy habits at our involuntary expense, it’s time to raise hell.

I’m tired of being nagged and spied on, and I mean to do something about it.

How about you?