Big Sister is watching me, and I love her

By Nuriel Moghavem

O, the luxuries of a police state! O, the greatness of a land where temporary safety comes before essential  liberty! O, the folly of those who oppose either!

It is hard for me to believe that some students still stand against the cameras that watch over us like loving parents. Great institutions  have been founded on the principles of surveillance, such as Candid Camera, The Real World and the KGB.

From Young Liberals to Young Republicans to Polecats, many cynical students have been denouncing the cameras. They say it’s unnecessarily intrusive and goes against the spirit of our school’s Honor Code. Balderdash!

I once read somewhere that “freedom is slavery.” I always tell those students who moan about a lost degree of liberty, however slight, to keep that in mind.

But those students continue to use the negative term “Big Brother” to describe the surveillance system. They refuse to recognize that their spin is just childish rage at having fundamental liberties violated. If they really thought about it, they’d realize that with those kind lenses, so full of an almost maternal understanding and benevolent love, she’s a lot more like our Big Sister.
Indeed, I feel like I’ve always got a friend around ever since the cameras went up in Chalmers, Munger, Rugby and the bathrooms.

You see, before Halle arrived (I named her after my favorite character in “2001: A Space Odyssey”) I spent many days wandering all alone in areas of heavy student traffic, amongst dozens of backpacks thrown by the rushed.

But a few weeks ago, during my daily cry to the heavens, a glint caught my eye. I looked closer and before me was the most beautiful piece of hardware I had ever lusted after: her cylindrical, curved body was all dressed in smooth black, her wires were only just exposed, and her eye simply sparkled.

I cried out to her: “What are you, glorious vision?”

“I am here to protect you,” she responded.

And indeed she did.

It was little less than a week before some hooligans were apprehended for putting together a “senior prank” at respectable Harvard-Westlake School. These ruffians, true louts, put chains on a part of one of our several arterial stairways.

Though they damaged nothing, hurt no one, meant it all in jest, inconvenienced few and personally offended no one, their actions were unacceptable. They were smoked out of their holes and brought to justice.

No need to waste time with an Honor Board, determining if the students violated the person of the school or some mumbo-jumbo like that! Not with Halle around!

Thanks to her, our leaders were able to quickly apprehend the perpetrators and punish them with due celerity. Yes, our school was bestowed with the cameras with the intention and justification of stopping thieves that seemed to be targeting us. But why would we ever stop there?

Here’s an analogy: you’re Stalin. You have incredible power. You can order a million men to move a mountain, rock by rock, or even order a single man to do the same. You can erect factories and harbors and hospitals and even whole cities in a day, but you choose instead to build only an arcade (and one without Dance Dance Revolution, at that).

Similarly, to put up a series of cameras to only catch theft would not tap the incredible potential to stop all pranking, bullying, cheating, laughing, vandalizing, drinking and drugging on campus.

Stalin would disapprove.

Moghavem can be reached at moghavem.nuriel.07@hwstudents.com

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