A Christmas letter to the 38,000 guys and gals at the NSA
I live alone, a bitter, secretive, ultra liberal extremist. I harbor a smoldering resentment against authoritarian institutions and like many of my fellow malcontents I have been prone to wish America ill for abandoning the last principles that made her worth saving. I haven't had a visitor for years. I can't remember the last time I got laid.
It was fitting that the New York Times chose the Christmas season to announce the NSA's government outreach program so lonely guys like me would know that somebody cares. Like when Christ assured us that not a sparrow falls from the sky without the notice of the Deity. Knowing that I'm being watched is a compelling argument for getting back into the habit of correct thinking and going with the dialectical flow.
I have come to see domestic surveillance as tough love. For me, Dubyuh is no longer a paternalistic idiot off in the funny pages of my newspaper, or a stygian light disturbing some remote horizon like the furnaces of Mordor. There is nothing abstract or hypothetical or absent about him in my daily life. Today he is imminent. He is intimate. He is right here in my telephone. He is coming into my bedroom wearing a white terrycloth bathrobe and bunny slippers. He is getting scary.
His solicitous embrace extends not only to those across the sea who hunger for freedom, but slithers past my mail piggies into my personal stuff and burrows like cyber worms through every file I upload to my hosting service, looking for patterns-of-interest. The transformative presence of the Federal Government has got me rectified, let me tell you, as sure as the prospect of waking up hanging by my thumbs in Eastern Europe has turned my life around.
But it is you, the unseen gentlemen of the eavesdropping industry, who deserve our acknowledgement as the New Year rolls us from our clouded democracy into the brave new world of American despotism. It is you who have sacrificed your humanity to become the lonely guys, hiding yourselves away in darkness and creeping like bugs behind the walls and mirrors to keep us safe here in Teletubbyland. Such self-effacement leaves us in awe. We wonder what attracts people to become gastroenterologists or Jamaican whores, or why anybody would choose to root around in septic tanks or sweep chimneys or empty bedpans or torture fat, naked jihadists, or crawl into peoples cellars to exterminate their cockroaches. But thank God for you, sirs. Thank God.
Tonight I honor you. I remember you, as I sit here nibbling sugar cookies, safe as a hamster in my warm house, while you shiver out there in the cold, sorting through my garbage and hooking alligator clips into bundles of dirty cables, clamping onto my informational egress like Monica Lewinsky, massaging my communication terminals for signs of sedition, sifting the exudate for giveaway character strings like:
I'm glad you're here. I'm glad somebody is listening. When the occasional black helicopter trolls past my desert hideaway, when I spot the telephone man in mirrored sunglasses servicing the switches atop the power pole at the end of my driveway, when I remember that even though I can not see them, attentive fingers are groping their way into my private parts, I can almost feel something like a sex life returning to me. And it's free, like the prescription drug benefit, an entitlement of citizenship, all paid for by my tax dollars.
I live alone, a sour curmudgeon, eaten up inside by left wing hatred, and it warms my heart to know that somebody has taken an interest in me, even if my new secret companions are pitiable, voyeuristic 007 wannabes with small penises instead of real friends. I left a bottle of Amaretto for you next to the compost. Did you find it?
Saddam tudduwaddam. Osama mama. F-l-i-g-h-t-5-2-8-i-s-r-e-a-d-y-f-o-r-y-o-u-r-p-h-o-n-e-c-a-l-l.