Nigh on every vision of the future that could be described as Orwellian or dystopian features disembodied voices holding sway over the populace. From the telescreens in 1984, to the loudspeakers in V for Vendetta, to the annoying little sweary-fine-boxes in Demolition Man, they are almost universally shown to be a sign that the state has absolute power over the individual without having much in the way of restraint on that power.
Which is why I’m not either surprised or in favour of these fucking things:
“Talking” CCTV cameras that tell off people dropping litter or committing anti-social behaviour are to be installed in 20 areas across England.
They are already used in Middlesbrough where anyone seen misbehaving can be told via a loudspeaker, controlled by control centre staff, to stop.
But wait! It gets even better:
The home secretary said competitions were being held at schools in many of the areas for children to become the voice of the cameras.
Kids! You can be Big Brother! You can be the one telling off your friends and enemies for trivial non-offences! You can be the little toe of the foot that is in the boot, stamping on the human race!
“Get ‘em while they’re young” is still obviously the name of the game.
On a more curious note, the Home Office says that these devices are to be used to cut down on anti-social activity. But what would you call sitting in a dark room, silently spying on strangers, and then shouting instructions at them? Because it seems pretty damn anti-social to me…