As I was laboring through the many readings we did this weekend for Monday, I was relieved to be able to sit back and listen to the news story from This American Life, The Right to Remain Silent. I laid back and was shocked by what I heard. I had no idea these sorts of things were happening to people today.
I know that I myself have posted a few questionable facebook statuses and I found Joe Lipari’s story astounding. I continued to find myself wondering why once they discovered it was a quote and that he was clearly not a threat, why they did not drop the charges. Instead they drug out a court hearing and everything over a facebook status quoting fight club. I think that his story also has a lot to do with Joe Lipari just being incorporative and sassy. He could easily have given them more concise answers or maybe just not have been sassy in the first place. The other side of this is that our society is so obsessed with any kind of threat, real or not, that we go full force swat on a facebook status. Of course if I was the “fruity” apple concierge, I would like to have SWAT out after a threat fake or not on my life. I think that as part of this terrified society that we have to aware of what we say. I mean you can’t say bomb in an airport and don’t talk about killing people. I was surprised that after all of this he has learned nothing. He got a bad phone, had a tantrum and had to go to court, and he learned nothing. He didn’t learn to not make fake threats, not to have tantrums, maybe keep his mouth shut sometimes. Maybe it’s even a lack of social skills to know when to stop. The only reason the police came after him also was that someone from his hometown reported him. That makes me think, what did he do that made this person think that he actually might do this, or on the other hand, disliked Joe Lipari so much that they called him in out of spite. Either way he most likely was mouthy to this person thus giving them reason to call. I also think this story deals a lot with the fact that we think that no one can see us on the internet. We think that we will not be held accountable for the things we do on the internet. It reminds me of the clip we watched on Wednesday, about the girl who was doing questionable things on the internet. She said that it was ok, because no one could see her, no one knew it was her. We are very jaded. These kinds of things encourage our ideas that we can live in this virtual world. We write these things that we would not usually say in person but it becomes ok because no one is actually witnessing it happen.
The second part of the radio story was of the corruption of the NYPD, focusing on the 81st Precinct. One of my worst fears is being locked up in a psyche ward for no reason at all, it is a very irrational fear but yet I was just fed proof that it happens to people! It was horrible. I can take comfort in knowing that I will not be uncovering corruption in the police force. I digress. This officer was trying to do something good and was abused and essentially kidnapped for it. I thought it was terrifying that these people completely got away with it at the time, and that if circumstances were different he would still be locked up. This along with the fact that a serial rapist was not top priority! Schoolcraft’s expose reminded me of Upton Sinclair’s book, The Jungle, which exposed the horrendous working conditions of the factories during that time period, especially in relation to immigrants resulting in the FDA. Because of his book, many new rules and regulations were put into place; hopefully Schoolcraft’s tapes will have the same effect.