Murder Porn, Big Brother, and the Runaway Blimp

Okay, I admit it. I am an ID TV Addict, meaning I watch Investigation Discovery TV. It started innocently enough. As a writer who enjoys reading upmarket mystery and suspense, I thought about writing one myself.  That’s when I found this channel where real-life crime stories play out 24/7, and began watching to entice my muse. Now, whenever I need a break from reading and writing, it’s my go-to. My guilty pleasure. No wonder my husband calls it Murder Porn.So when one of the bloggers I follow, Haynsetown, poses the question, “What WouldYa do if WikiLeaks got YOU?” I was intrigued. In his post, he asks, What could someone learn about you simply by going through your email? 

That question brought me back to ones that we, as writers, likely consider every time we Google something that could be perceived as a tad incriminating: How many watch lists am I on because of my research? Should I worry about it? How do I feel about Big Brother looking over my virtual shoulder? 

I began reflecting on my recent activities which included:

  • purchasing several crime reference books online about methods of violence, police procedurals, and forensics;
  • ordering airsoft gun supplies and equipment;
  • filling a prescription for a controlled dangerous substance;
  • watching television shows like “How to Not Kill Your Husband,” “Deadly Women” and “Wives with Knives;”
  • phoning a friend who is a twice-convicted felon (I think I’m on his speed-dial as well) who, most recently, spent four years in federal prison for a firearms-related offense;
  • Googling serial killers,  heroin, cocaine, meth, drug mules, and unusual ways to die.

No big deal, right? Or is it?

At the risk of dating myself, I appreciate that I no longer have to drive for an hour to get to a research library so I can go through microfiche or the stacks in a quest to truth-proof my writing.

I’m likewise thankful technology allows my sons to research their college papers in their dorm rooms, then type them up with correct footnotes and a flawless bibliography with no extraordinary effort.

Gen X and Millennials have no idea how cumbersome the whole research and writing process used to be for college students. And don’t even get me started on the typewriter and that damn ribbon of correcting tape. Lucky bastards.

But with the sunshine comes the sunburn…

Whatever you think of Big Brother, watch lists, cameras on every corner, the TSA, the NSA, the FBI or any other combination of letters formed in the interest of local, state and national security–the one thing we can all agree on is that the eye in the sky is here to stay…

new-to-maryland-skies-1b-spy-blimp

Well, except for the two surveillance blimps tethered to our nearby Army base. They were an eyesore and a bone of contention for those of us whose view of the sky had changed. And then one day about a year ago, one of them got loose. Two F-16’s were deployed to chase the rogue blimp, but even so, the Department of Defense didn’t know where it went, so it asked for help from the community.

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The escaped blimp became a national news phenomenon as reports surfaced that it drifted into Pennsylvania. Its dragging tether knocked out power as the blimp rolled merrily along. People looked to the sky, wondering what it was and where it came from.

Most of us who had lived under the shadow of the blimps laughed wholeheartedly when the naughty twin flew away. And then when chagrined DOD officials removed the other one for good measure, we threw the mother of all parties. We no longer had to look at this hideous daily reminder that we are, in fact, being watched.

Of course, all of this changes nothing except for our view of the sky.


Here’s a shout-out to Haynestown’s blog that I referenced.  Check it out: https://haynestown.com/2016/10/22/how-would-yado-if-wikileaks-got-you/


5 thoughts on “Murder Porn, Big Brother, and the Runaway Blimp

  1. I love the line “but with the sunshine comes the sunburn.”

    And I too have worried about my Google searches. For my current WIP I’ve done research on ISIS, Yazidis, and shoulder fired rockets to name a few. I’ve got to be on a “keep an eye on” list by now!

    Thanks for the shout out! 😊

    Like

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