Eurovision Song Contest and Patriotism update

Following up on our earlier story about the harassment of Azerbaijani citizens who voted for the song performed by neighboring Armenia in the Eurovision Song Contest, it turns out that the contest organisers—The European Broadcasting Union—have changed the rules in an attempt to stop this totalitarian Continue reading

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Turkish “Big Brother” Reality TV Scam

Does anyone else have at least some begrudging admiration for the perpetrators of this Big Brother fraud that has just been revealed in Turkey? As the Guardian reports, nine Turkish girls were held for two months in a luxury villa in Istanbul and filmed 24 hours a day believing they were in a reality TV show.

Nine women were led to believe they were being filmed for a Big Brother-type television programme, according to the Dogan news agency and other news reports. Instead, their naked images were Continue reading

State Surveillance in the UK: nowhere to hide

French philosopher Michel Foucault noted that in a surveillance society, any surveillance changes the behaviour of not just those who are being watched, but also those who are doing the watching. cctvGreat Britain is apparently the most surveilled nation on Earth. A 2006 report estimated that there were more than 4.2 million closed circuit televisions (CCTVs) monitoring the populace and that on average a person would be filmed by approximately 300 different cameras per day as they moved through London. Knowing this, a couple of gangsters who recently pulled off England’s greatest jewel heist went to great lengths to alter their appearance, disguising themselves with Mission Impossible style latex faces. Continue reading

Eurovision Song Contest and Patriotism

An Orwellian ‘Big Brother’ moment out of Azerbaijan:

Forty-three people in Azerbaijan who voted for a song by neighbouring Armenia in the Eurovision Song Contest have been questioned by the police.

One man told the BBC he was accused of being unpatriotic and a “potential security threat”, after he sent a text backing Armenia’s song, Jan Jan.

Although amusing, these sorts of stories always make me wonder about the mindset of people who achieve nationally significant positions of power. Is their grip on power so tenuous that they need to monitor who their citizenry vote for in a song contest? Are the government really using resources to read everyone’s phone texts? How distorted has their sense of patriotism become?

Continue reading