Last Tuesday evening, I went to hear Hugh Masekala play on the opening night of the Stockholms Kulturfestivalen. Of all the acts performing over the past few days for free, perhaps none were as top notch as this grand old South African trumpeter, shaking his booty on stage, singing like a freight train, getting the entire audience to dance and sing with him — including Apartheid protest songs, that these Swedes may or may not have recalled from back in the day. He had a wonderful patter about having been born in Malmö (obviously not true) and being washed through the oceans south to Soweto.
So perhaps I should consider it ironic that above the audience’s heads hovered a small drone, one of those 8-propeller helicopter toys with freakish insect legs and a video camera attached. The machine swooped back and forth several times, up over the stage that had been erected in front of the Operan, straight back to the far side of the Gustav Adolfus Torget, and then off to the side — too far away for me to flip it the bird.
I can only conjecture: perhaps the organizers wanted to record this wonderful concert for later, to post on YouTube. Maybe the device belonged to someone in the audience who is obsessed with Masekala. Perhaps the police were surveying the crowd for miscreants and thieves.
The possibilities only become more and more creepy.
I don’t want to live in a surveillance world, and yet I do — I live in a world where Google rules my life, and corporations know more about me than my parents do. Technologies have already crept into our daily lives that watch us all the time. And of course, I am not the first to notice how much privacy we have yielded to the Internet and corporations, as well as to our governments and each other. How ironic, then, that I am posting to a blog for all to see…