Monday, November 12, 2001
( 10:40 PM ) Jackie
I almost missed going to La Lesbian at La Pena yesterday afternoon. It was one of those rainy, wouldn't it be great to stay home under the comforter and read a good book days. Then Lisa called to remind me that I was going to talk about Luna Sea. So I went. I'm glad. The films and videos were thought provoking, moving, beautiful, funny.
Oh, did I mention that there was a roomful of lesbians to experience this with? That was pretty fabulous! And it's also a place that I hook up with old friends that I've missed for a while.
The last film was ESCAPE TO LIFE, "the captivating story of Erica and Klaus Mann, the queer children of Thomas Mann, as they flee Nazi persecution...." I wouldn't have stayed for it except that a friend had seen it at Frameline and had given it a rave review. It was really excellent. It was also chilling. There was a scene in which suddenly the Nazi flag was displayed everywhere in Berlin. It was so very reminiscent of what we have been seeing her in the past few months, I just shuddered. I am happy to have my flag with the Peace Sign in the blue field and the words "No War" across the stripes. This was provided by Veterans for Peace.
On the way home from Safeway with my DiGiorno pizza, I was listening to a scary show. Broadcast live on NPR, it was a lecture by someone about the use of a proposed 'Smart Card' for identification of travelers and airline personnel. The banks have been trying without a great deal of success to find a use for the smart card for at least a decade. Pretty much every major bank and credit card institution has had some kind of pilot. Well, this dude has found a use for it. He is proposing it be used as an Identification Card for travellers. In order to obtain this ID, you would need to undergo a clearance. If you passed, you would be issued this card, including a fingerprint that would be verified at the airport, with no doubt information about you encoded on the card. Of course no one would be required to have this card. Unless you wanted to travel on the airlines. This is easily extensible to other areas of travel--trains, buses, automobiles.
I remember first reading Alan Paton's Cry the Beloved Country when I was in elementary school and being astonished at the use of Pass Cards in South Africa. Then many years later I was offered a job designing and programming an identity card for use in South Africa to track diamond miners. (I declined.) When my Id has been demanded --at an unfortunate incident at Disneyland or by police--I've always thought --this isn't South Africa, we're not required to carry ID.
Soon that may no longer be true.
And this in the name of Freedom.
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