Friday, November 09, 2007

Baby Steps

A photo I took of a poster at the entrance to a New York City subway station:

Between this and the uniformed thugs tossing people from trains for taking pictures (I half-expected to get a tap on my shoulder when I took the one above), I think it's time to come up with a word to describe the creeping madness. Authori-Nannyism? Nannytarian? I sort of like that one. Let's go, readers....


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Incipient fasci-- no, too easy. Uh...

11/09/2007 3:22 AM  
Anonymous NeilS said...

I don't think that it is inappropriate to remind people that this is a common way to injure themselves. Its public information, like reminding people to wash their hands during flu season.

If they were fining people (or blowing whistles as they do at swimming pools) for running on the stairs that would be another story.

Stopping people from taking pictures is a different kettle of fish. That stems from unbridled paranoia.

11/09/2007 8:11 AM  
Anonymous goldhorder said...

Yes...thank god we have the government to look after us. If not we would all be poor savages howling at the moon...and falling down subway stairs. LOL.

11/09/2007 9:23 AM  
Blogger wendyo said...

I actually wiped out once running UP the stairs for the 7 train...embarrassing.

CR, while I found the link to the Amtrak story to be very disturbing and illustrative of the police state mentality creep that is certainly a theme that is resonating these days, I found that story to not be 100% credible.

Where was the corroboration? Who was the source? Someone from Amtrak made a point that if the poster of the item on the blog had put as much time into reporting the incident to Amtrak (using times/places/identifying conductor), this would be a non-story as he/she claims it is not the policy of Amtrak to boot folks for taking photos. There is also the added pathetic element to the story about the unfortunate and innocent non-English speaking Japanese tourist that rends one's heart-strings.

I'm not sure that story passes the smell test for me, though I would be inclined to believe it within the framework of what is happening in our country. In fact, there is part of me that WANTS to believe it so it can be used to conveniently prove a point.

So I'm asking you, do you REALLY think this happened or does it just dovetail too neatly with all the recent "America the inhospitable" stories?

We ALL, as supposedly sophisticated consumers of media, need to be vigilant about this kind of baiting that goes on with the upcoming election season drawing near. It's our fucking DUTY at this point.

11/09/2007 10:37 AM  
Anonymous Thomas Daulton said...

You might be amused to read Dean Baker's free online book, "The Conservative Nanny State," although he uses the term to discuss very different subjects than the one you're discussing here.

I think you have to separate government fascism from corporate fascism, although there may be significant overlap. Most of the time when we proles encounter this type of cloying security imperative, it comes from corporations who don't want to be sued. For example, my office mandates that I MUST use an ergonomic keyboard and ergonomic chair, even though I hate the things and they make my work less efficient, because they're afraid I will sue them later when I get Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. They told me explicitly I would be terminated if I didn't obey. Although your subway is probably a municipal agency, they are likely only doing this to keep pace with the rampant corporate nannyism like above -- which is a different thing than ECHELON eavesdropping on your phone calls.

Once the _real_ fascism begins, they will simply shoot all the lawyers, and we won't have this particular problem anymore. Only the other problem. From that point on, it's just survival of the fittest, citizens are aknowledged to be cannon fodder and nothing more.

In the meantime...

"Busybody fascism"?
"Church Lady Fascism"?

...someone else used the term "Mayberry Machiavellis", which I always liked!

11/09/2007 1:09 PM  
Anonymous mary said...

I don't get it. Even if it's not true that 75% of all injuries in the subway occur on stairs and escalators, what's wrong with that sign? It's not like the MTA is threatening to ticket people for running down the stairs. (You might be appalled to learn that when I was in London earlier this year I was amused by large signs in the Underground urging people to consider using only as much water as they need when they make their tea (to save a bit of energy), but then, after I got home, I thought about it and it made sense and I started using a bit less water when I make my tea.)

But I agree with you completely that authoritarian paranoia leading to arrests and other invasions of privacy is crazy.

11/09/2007 1:13 PM  
Blogger chris bray said...

My city government contracts with the county for police, fire, and EMS services, but has a Public Safety Division. They produce safety pamphlets. My favorite one is on "pedestrian safety." So if you're having trouble figuring out how to use that sidewalk thing, well, now there's a place to go for help.

11/09/2007 3:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In re: the disbelieving commenter above. The person writing about what he witnessed on the Amtrak Acela Express #2290 on September 15, 2007, in the quiet car, seems real enough to me. Perhaps the commenter here did not read to the end of the comments there.

11/09/2007 6:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fellow in the photo is actually an undercover nanny who was trying to stop a photo-taker too hastily. Luckily for the nannies most of the evil doers taking photos are using digital cameras and there's a extra half second or so available to apprehend them because of that irritating button-shutter lag.

mary, the business with the tea makes tea making slightly quicker too! I agree that there's nothing wrong about reminding people about safety statistics, although in fairness, it would be surprising if things other than slips, trips and stumbles were causes of more than 20 or 25 percent of subway injuries. How else could these injuries occur? Pigeon attacks, or rats?

I also have to admit that I've had my own nanny temptation moments, especially in grocery stores when people allow their small kids to hang like monkeys from the fronts of grocery carts -- a common precursor to injuries, that!

11/09/2007 10:14 PM  
Blogger wendyo said...

Anonymous 6:50, you are correct that I hadn't seen the Amtrak train number, since it was just added to that thread this afternoon in the original article. Just because someone tagged that on to the end of the post, how does that corroborate anything?

Again, I am a Liberal and inclined to believe such a story, but as a consumer of media, I refuse to be spoon-fed such a tale that seems to have an agenda attached to it (whether from the right or the left).

Where is the skepticism here?

Sorry to be going off-topic from the nanny state emphasis of this item. I agree with your premise here CR, our country is being reduced to "save all the tiny tots and stupid people"'s the lowest common denominator that is now the norm.

11/09/2007 11:20 PM  
Anonymous HankP said...

How about eunuchtarianism?

11/10/2007 12:10 AM  
Anonymous gypsy howell said...

I don't know if they're still there, but the Verrazano Bridge had notices posted a few months ago saying "No photography on bridge".

What have we come to here in this country?

Another anecdote from our National Security State:

Two years ago, we gave my teenage son a camera for Christmas. He went out in a car with some friends through the streets of our very small town taking pictures of buildings, people, etc. While he was at a traffic light, a plainclothes policeman approached them and confiscated his memory chip from the camera, saying it was illegal to take photos on the street. It cost us $500, a lawyer and several hours at the police station to get the chip back and the charges dropped.

Yes, it can happen to you.

11/10/2007 8:00 AM  
Blogger SwimLFS said...

I like "Nannytarian" but for verbal aesthetics, I'd change it to "Nannitarian"

11/10/2007 12:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What we are having is the slow change to fascistic government. How come, because the GOP has become a political fascistic party with its fuhrer, Bush and Cheney.

I wonder if we be able to stop it, I have my doubts.

As for taking pictures. That is what happend to you if you were taking pictures in the old soviet union. Taking pictures was the same as spying, and good luck to you if you were arrested.

In the us it is not spying but preparing a terror attack.

It is really sad what this county has turned into.

11/10/2007 12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

is it just me or does the guy in the picture look like Saddam Hussein?

11/12/2007 5:32 PM  
Anonymous said...

This can't really have success, I think like this.

5/15/2011 10:51 AM  
Anonymous paging systems said...

The dude is completely fair, and there is no question.

5/15/2011 10:51 AM  

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