Someone is Watching

They said we’d be safer. Once all the cameras were installed, for a while at least, we did feel safer. Gleaming sentries fixed to street light poles, to traffic lights, to the corners of every building downtown, long white boxes that never sleep, keeping watchful eye on us, smaller black bubbles above each doorway to our homes, welcoming us, noting our comings and goings. We put them in our cars to monitor our driving habits and accidents; we even put them in our children’s toys so we could keep an eye on them. Except it wasn’t true. Less than half of the cameras were ever hooked up to anything, and fewer still, maybe only 10% were ever working at any given moment. All the others, 9 out of every 10, blind, unseeing, metal and plastic and glass reminders of fraud and broken promises. They said we’d be safer. Poorer, for sure, less inclined to trust. I don’t know. Maybe losing our innocence, having our blinders removed, does make us safer. It sure as hell doesn’t make us better.