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The Cold Filtered Ramblings of Gene Mueller

Privacy, the NSA, and Louis CK

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A national publication declared comedian Louis CK (pronounced 'see-kay') the funniest man alive a few months ago.  Having caught a few of his sitcoms, I didn't get it--he was just okay, to my taste.

Then my horizons expanded.

Louis CK hosted "Saturday Night Live" and killed.  The stand-up routines on YouTube are fantastic.  He's at his best in front of a live crowd with a mike and a chance to riff on anything that pops into his mind.  It's profane on occasion, but it's also way funny.

And, a few months ago, he was prophetic.

During a Sirius XM chat with Opie and Anthony LONG BEFORE the NSA story broke, Louis CK talked about privacy and how willing we are to surrender it, all on our own, without any government provocation.  Listen in, but be forewarned: this is rife with f-bombs.




Remember when Google Earth came along?  Some folks totally wigged out.  "You know what strangers will be able to do?" they warned.  "They'll be able to see where you live, just by entering your address into their computer!  They'll know what your place looks like and everything!"   Yeah, just like they could do for decades by taking your address, getting in their car and actually driving to your home.  

The initial paranoia that came with the expanse of digital technology seems to be giving way to a false sense of security, one so brilliantly described above by Louis CK.  While we freak about the NSA knowing who we called on our cellphones, some of us have absolutely no worries about having the GPS on 24/7 so anyone can track our footsteps, no problem at all with posting the most incriminating photos/rancid personal thoughts for all the world to see. Or thinking that the universe wants to know what our dessert looked like.

Perhaps Congress should've read the entire Patriot Act before passing it (the thinking among some being that if a measure says "Patriot" on the label, it HAS to be good).   The experts I've caught seem to say that the tracking that's been going on is all spelled out in the Act and has been going on for years.   And, the next time (God forbid) there's another terror incident, none of these very same Representatives and Senators can bloviate about national security's failure to "connect the dots."

Edward Snowden is triggering a national debate on privacy, security, terrorism and access in the digital age. Louis CK nailed a big part of the argument months before.  Funniest man alive?   May be?  Most prophetic?  For about two minutes ago earlier this spring, you bet.



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