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Big Brother put her in the hot seat

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seeroseero View Drop Down
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J5R

Joined: 09 July 2004
Location: Netherlands
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Posts: 426
  Quote seeroseero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Big Brother put her in the hot seat
    Posted: 28 December 2005 at 12:52
So let me get this straight. In the land of the free, the home of the brave, the cradle of Democracy, we're being spied on.
By our own government.

With the approval of the president. Our president.
Who, with a certain pride and arrogance, tells us that he's doing it for our own good to protect us from terrorism.
Gee thanks, George.
At least that's what he thinks we should say.
Sorry, Mr. Prez, but I have to tell you I, for one, am not the least bit appreciative.
Not when I had enough of a taste of a Big Brother moment to last me the rest of my life....
It happened during semester break of my junior year in college. I was working at The Standard-Times' Middleboro office when I was called to the police station down the street.
UPON ARRIVING, I WAS USHERED INTO A ROOM WHERE A STERN MAN IN MILITARY UNIFORM WAS SEATED BEHIND THE DESK. HE GREETED ME UNSMILINGLY.
"Miss Pawlak?" he asked. "Susan Pawlak?
I nodded, more than a little nervously.
"Please sit down," he said. To a skittish 20-year-old, not sure what she'd walked into, it was more an order than a request.
As I sat on the edge of the armless wooden chair, he introduced himself. "I'm Capt. So-and-So and I have a few questions for you."
The next 15 minutes were the longest of my young life.
Turned out he wanted to discuss a friend of my cousin. Said friend (I'll call him Fred) was in his senior year at a U.S. military academy.
Fred was someone I knew casually. While he'd visited our home the previous summer, most of his conversations were with my mom. Fred was upset because his parents split up and Mom was there to counsel him.
While we weren't enemies, I wasn't interested in Fred and the feeling was mutual.
But, however he got my name, Capt. So-and-So was very interested in finding out what I knew about Fred.
In particular, did Fred smoke pot?
As it happened, my cousin said he and Fred had smoked marijuana on a couple of occasions. (Heck, it was the 1970s. Who hadn't?)
Far as I was concerned, that was hearsay -- and I wasn't about to share hearsay with a stranger I was increasingly sure didn't have Fred's best interests at heart. A stranger I sensed was looking for any excuse to bounce Fred out of the academy and ruin a promising career.
So I told him the truth: that I personally had never seen Fred smoke pot.
No matter what he asked me or how he asked it, I answered the same: I had never seen Fred smoke marijuana. That was my story and I stuck to it.
I know my interrogator got frustrated with me. Angry is probably a better word. He definitely tried to intimidate me.
Yet scared as I was -- and I was terrified -- I somehow managed to keep looking him in the eye and repeating, "I never saw Fred smoke pot."
Finally, he gave up. The Spanish Inquisition had ended. I was dismissed and far as I know, that was that. Fred went on to graduate from the academy and move on with his life. Three decades later, I have no idea where he is or what he is doing.
As for me, I'd long buried the incident deep in my memory. It probably would have stayed there had it not been for the recent flap about Big Brother watching. Big time.
But maybe it's a good thing to be reminded: that even in one of the world's greatest nations, the enemy sometimes is Us.

Contact Susan Pawlak-Seaman at sseaman@s-t.com.
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