Being the cynical geek I am, I was sure Big Brother was watching us long before the “news” broke about the NSA and PRISM. No surprise there.
That’s why ever since I started writing the Never Say Spy series, I’ve joked semi-seriously that I’m probably on a no-fly list somewhere. Anyone watching my browsing habits will know I spend a disturbing amount of time researching untraceable poisons, the characteristics of C4 and other explosives, sonic grenades, Tasers and stun guns, specifications and ballistics tables for firearms, and a host of other unsavoury topics.
Throw in my YouTube viewing history of martial arts, shooting techniques, self-defence against knives and guns, military training videos, and some other odds and sods that are definitely non-typical for your average middle-aged female viewer.
Then add my frequent searches on computer networks, hacking, cracking, and encryption, and I just bet they’re watching me.
Meanwhile, and (until this morning) completely unrelated to this… I’m a big music fan. I love just about all genres, and, as I’ve mentioned before, my MP3 player contains everything from rock to reggae to ragtime, country to classical, metal to Motown, pop to polkas, blues to barbershop harmony. But (*gasp*) I’ve never been a huge Beatles fan.
Sure, I like their music, and I respect their impact on the music scene, but I’ve never actually gotten around to buying an album. So yesterday I thought, “Hmm. What kind of self-professed music lover doesn’t have a single Beatles song on her MP3 player? Maybe I’d better go and buy an anthology.”
So off to Amazon I went, and I found a remastered 2-disc set that looked good. I checked the track list and discovered the song “Happiness Is A Warm Gun”. I’d never heard of it before. So I played the preview, then messed around a bit and got distracted. And forgot about the whole thing.
Until a mere 18 hours later.
Sometimes I like to get out and do some new things and meet new people (bear with me; I’ll establish the relevance of this momentarily). So I belong to a couple of Meetup groups. They send me updates on upcoming events.
Here’s what I found in my Inbox this morning:
What the hell are the chances of that?
My idea of getting a Beatles album was completely off-the-cuff. I went to Amazon and clicked on the first Beatles album in the list without any conscious selection process; I’d never even heard of this song before yesterday; and I arbitrarily chose to listen to its preview instead of any of several other songs that were unfamiliar to me.
And within 18 hours, I get an invitation with the very same title?!?
And what are the chances of two different Meetup group organizers emailing me on the same day about gun-related activities? I just joined this group. They shouldn’t have any way of knowing I like to shoot.
I thought the alien butt sensors and the NSA were bad, but now I’m totally creeped out.
Who else is watching me? I don’t know, but I’m suspicious of the jackrabbit that’s been living under the spruce tree in our front yard. He has a shifty expression…