• January 18, 2020

MILLER: Santa doesn’t need a fake cam - Odessa American: Nathaniel Miller

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MILLER: Santa doesn’t need a fake cam

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Posted: Sunday, December 8, 2019 6:00 am

In “The Dark Knight,” Batman is trying to track down the Joker, but unable to do so through conventional means. It’s frustrating, and not being able to find the Joker means putting millions of lives at risks.

In order get to his nemesis, Batman utilizes technology that turns all cell phones in Gotham into a microphone, allowing Batman and Lucius Fox to use them as sonar to map out the city.

Fox, knowing what is at stake, reminds Batman that what he is doing is unethical. Before he leaves, Batman says after they finish their mission, Fox is the only person who can utilize the technology and can disable the network once they finish.

“This is too much power for one person,” Fox responds.

The scene is a perfect summary of living in a Post 9/11 world: warrantless wiretaps and constant surveillance are now a part of our daily lives. The government monitors our calls, text messages, and possibly using other means we are not aware of currently.

The Department of Homeland Security is also considering having American citizens be photographed when they leave the country as part of facial-recognition technology, and putting that information in a large database.

“A Republic, if you can keep it,” Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying. If you could see what our world has become, he might agree a surveillance state is all truly frightening stuff.

So my question is this: If we are so against having the government track our every move, why do we give Santa Claus so much power?

Most of us grew up knowing that, next to God, Santa is omnipotent, and keeps a list of who is naughty and who is nice. He knows when we’re sleeping, and he knows when we’re awake.

And if he knows all that information, I’m sure he’d be surprised to see what half of us are sending via text messages.

In this day of Orwellian surveillance, people are fine with using new toys to scare their children into behaving before the holiday.

The newest item on the market is a Santa Cam, a fake security camera that “encourages children to be kind to others” while under the fear they are continuously being watched. If you don’t want to get a fake camera, there is also “Santa Cam” ornaments.

The “Elf on the Shelf” also tells children that a runaway elf is hiding in your house during the day, and then leaving for the North Pole to snitch about what is going on in your house.

Personally, I’m a fan of just telling my children that if they don’t stop acting up during Christmas, Krampus is going to punish them. For the rest of the year, I’ll let the cucuy take up that task.

Santa Claus is supposed to be about bringing joy to children, not to instill fear in them. Using fake tools to make people behave isn’t funny, it’s cruel and anxiety-inducing to feel like you’re being constantly watched.

And if you’re children will only behave because they think they’re being watched, then that’s a different discussion.

So please don’t use these things to scare the little ones straight. If we’re not fans of the government monitoring our every move, why are we going to do the same thing to our children during the biggest holiday of the year?

Santa Claus has been around long enough to stay the hero we need, let’s not let him become a villain.

Odessa, TX

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