Sydaney ALERT

Filed under Serendipity ~ by Throsby on  28 Jul 2012

Sydney CBD enjoys another day of sydneyALERT – a chorus of 98 whooping loud speakers and 13 vertiginous scrolling marquees claimed to "educate and remind the public .. what it sounds like and what it is used for."

Lucky. Them.

The Gummint has immense faith that in a quake or explosion the sydneyALERT would arrest thoughtful citizenry to ponder instructions – and not dash around like scalded chooks.

The nearest thing to this in Throsby’s quaint little hamlet is a shop whose security alarm yelps for hours after each electrical storm and keeps the entire neighbourhood heads-under-pillows into the wee smalls.


Dystopia was a common theme of film and story after the 2nd Great War in a world traumatised by both the reality of conquering dictatorships felling nation after nation and enemy propaganda of goose-stepping militia adoring their frothing dictator.

Movies depicted lethargic citizenry ambling in public spaces with expressions as drab as their clothes, harangued by loudspeakers and screens oozing reassurance The State had their six, though it actually had their short & curlies.

The point is, these authors and screenwriters knew what millions had just died for and reprised it as powerful imagery to make the lesson ever more clear. It would destroy them to imagine just two generations later such horrors of public control would be “sold” to governments of “free” societies, and that their populations would submit with barely a whimper of either protest or comprehension.

Throsby doesn’t fear dictators much now, just the blind march to a self-inflicted dystopia peddled by well-dressed corporate lobbyists as “public safety” to broaden an otherwise limited market.

And while it’s a case of the gummint being damned if they do, and if they don’t, everyone quietly accepts another blow to common sense.

Meanwhile we, the 99.9% outside a designated zone, must struggle on unprotected, in eternal mortal danger, lacking the gentle authoritarian prodding of public nannyship bestowed on our Sydaney CBD cousins in their time of confusion, distress, and panic. 

Poor Pommies

Half a million surveillance cameras scan Londoners. There’s a camera for each 32 Englanders. Still not enough, say the guardians of that island paradise, now deploying cameras that “scold” via speakers behaviour deemed “antisocial.” In the list of grateful precincts hosting the nag-cams is, ironically, and of course, Barking in London. Not only Barking’s barking camera, but barking mad.

As Pommie blogger Martin Selby grumbles ..

Urban Dystopia has been here for over ten years. CCTV unlimited, idiot public announcements of the obvious, never ending telling what to do and what not to do. Health and Sodding Safety creeping in to every aspect of your life.

Sometimes it’s hardly a surprise many urban people don’t smile, don’t speak and live in their own tawdry little worlds with no interest in what goes on around them.."

If anyone has a map of where all the CCTV cameras are in Newcastle – don’t bother. We shall soon and inevitably be fully surveilled, recorded, facially recognised, and AI-tracked. Your face will betray you 24×7. Your car, cards, and phone will – already do – snitch on you. And if you’re not on ‘the grid’ then, hey, of course, you’re at home.

And they know where that is.

[Sigh. Throsby’s having a half-empty day]

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