9/6/09

21st Century Police

Remember in the movie Back to the Future II when Doc Brown and Marty McFly travel to the future or Sylvester Stalone’s film Judge Dredd? Well both films have a similarity that I want to focus on. In both films, it seems as though flying cars will be inevitable and that justice will also be streamlined to the police for instant verdicts. Both movies highlight the fact that retribution is no longer bogged down by courts and jury’s, but is now swift and decisive. The two movies shed an important light on society’s burning desire for swift justice, and no matter how futuristic they may seem that swift justice is here today. Swift justice no longer lies in arbitrary hands but it has become much more personal. Justice now lies in your hands and the hands of beauty pageant judges, High School coaches, parents, teachers, scholarship committees, co-workers, and employers. When most people began to reside in cities rather than rural communities something was lost that is now being reclaimed…to be and do good. People would conform to societies rules often times out of fear, often times out of pressure, and often times because if they did not conform, they were banished. Around 1960, things began to change. The culture revolution was well under way. Social conformity was out and individual freedom was in. Fifty years later though, I believe that as a society we realized something was missing. We began to miss social conformity. Not the pressure, and not the fear, but the good that it did. Growing up on a farm, we would always put a puppy with an older mature dog to let the older dog do all of the training. The older dog would teach the puppy to conform to the same rules that it abided by and if the puppy didn’t, the mature dog would always get the puppy back in line. You see, when we’re young, we have no real sense of mortality and in some case morality. The puppy didn’t know any boundaries, no rules just that life had none. I hate to break the news to some of you but conformity is back! Whether people like it or not the pendulum is swinging in the other direction...how you might ask is this happening? It’s happening through social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace. With swift justice and power lying once again in the hands of the many; coaches, parents, teachers, committees, pageant officials are now able to monitor the actions of puppies in their care. Cameras are everyone, someone is always watching…and someone is always naïve enough to take a photo and post it online. There is no such thing as a secret…and nothing is ever private. We are public and social beings, the exact opposite of privacy.
Corn Queens are losing their crowns, athletes are receiving suspensions. I can’t even count how many stories I’ve heard over the years. When I ask what happened in most cases the response is, “there were some questionable photos posted on the internet.” It’s just that simple, once you have the evidence and the proof, swift justice is demanded. No longer can people turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to hearsay…when the truth is evident, there is no need for debate, no time for a jury. The consequences of thinking that our actions can be secret and private are dire to our success in life. We must live our lives as though someone is always watching because you know what? Someone always is.

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