Keep A Straight Face, Or Else.
"He did not know how long she had been looking at him, but perhaps for as much as five minutes, and it was possible that his features had not been perfectly under control. It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself—anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face (to look incredulous when a victory was announced, for example) was itself a punishable offence. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime, it was called." - George Orwell, 1984
You know, the similarities between the real 2008 and the fictional 1984 are really starting to creep me out.
Most countries now have the equivalent of thoughtcrime laws, even in the United States with its hatecrime statutes that punish wicked thoughts with "enhanced sentences" so that smacking some monkoid in a bar fight can now bring you life imprisonment. In Britain and increasingly in this country, closed-circuit television cameras monitor citizens' every move, and in England some of them can even shout you down and bully you like Orwell's telescreens.
Now we've got facecrime.
According to Daily Kos: "Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screeners are learning to recognize a special set of forbidden facial expressions. If your face slips into one of these during a TSA inspection, you will be taken aside and given a more detailed screening: Travelers at Sea-Tac and dozens of other major airports across America are being scrutinized by teams of TSA behavior-detection officers specially trained to discern the subtlest suspicious behaviors."
How subtle and suspicious is your behavior, eh? Are there any guidelines to help you figure out how you can avoid such dangerous subtlety? Apparently not.
"TSA officials will not reveal specific behaviors identified by the program--called SPOT (Screening Passengers by Observation Technique)--that are considered indicators of possible terrorist intent. But a central task is to recognize microfacial expressions--a flash of feelings that in a fraction of a second reflects emotions such as fear, anger, surprise or contempt, said Carl Maccario, who helped start the program for TSA."
Mmmm...I guess that means that before you get onto an airplane you need to spend a long time sitting in the departure lounge (which you'll do anyway these days) sitting in the lotus position and going "oooohhhhmmmmm...." lest the five hour delay in your flight cause your face to register unpleasant thoughts. One wouldn't want to be dragged into a cubicle and strip-searched by airport security goons who seem to be mostly non-whites of various sorts for having a forbidden face now, would one?
I mean, Jeez, Louise, getting busted because of the expression on your face? It's like some cosmic joke, only it's dead serious.
You think it's bad now after eight years of Jug-Ears? What do you think things will be like after eight years of the Sea Hag or BO?