Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Suspicious Behaviour

As if on cue, following my moans about the media's misrepresentation of people who enjoy solitude, today I find myself characterised as a terror suspect by the police. Apparently the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned a radio advert for the Anti-Terror Hotline which encouraged people to inform on their neighbours if they engage in suspicious behaviours, such paying in cash or keeping their curtains drawn. I freely admit to doing both of those things. Cash payments make it easier to keep track of outgoings, I find, and tend to discourage impulse buying. As for the curtains - well, blinds, in my case - my front room looks directly out onto a pathway. Like most of my neighbours, I've grown tired of having people peering through my window as they walk past, so I keep my blinds shut at the front most of the time. Ah, but you would say that, wouldn't you? Would undoubtedly be the response of the ad's makers. Plausible sounding covers for terrorist activity! We all know you are really building bombs in your front room, weirdo!

To make things worse, I exhibit at least one of the 'suspicious' behaviours highlighted in in another ad in the series which the ASA approved for broadcast - I like to keep myself to myself. Clearly, I'm such a dangerous fanatic that I'll have to turn myself in - will i get a reward for that? To make this whole fiasco worse, the radio station which these idiotic pieces were broadcast as Talksport - which is listened to by exactly the kind of idiots who would take them as an invitation to go round and burn their neighbours' houses down. In reality, of course, I have nothing to worry about. Nobody is going to take me for a terrorist, even if I am reclusive, pay in cash and keep my curtains drawn, as I'm not Asian, Arabic or a Muslim. Just so long as you are white, you are OK. Even the lynch mobs can tell the difference between evil terrorists and weirdos. They might string you up for being a suspected peadophile, mind you...



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