Hide Your Shit.
For all our government’s dystopian fetishes, I never expected the Coalition to announce they’d started drug-testing the entire nation.
Yes, that’s right, the shit-burglarising turd-monsters that constitute our government have decided to start probing our poops.
Sure, we always joked this government is dirtier than a three-day old colostomy bag, but nobody ever figured the Coalition would actually start sifting through our poops and pees. Think again.
The urine testing program already started a while back. The Australian Federal Police have been using the wee-wee from the sewerage system to figure out which areas to place under further investigation for drug use.
And no, I’m not making this up — although goddamit, I wish I was.
Today Treasurer Scott Morrison took his foul plans a step further and announced the government will be checking the residential sewerage system for traces of drug residue to figure out which individuals on welfare to target for Centrelink drug testing trials. People who then fail the Centrelink mandated drug tests will be placed on Cashless Welfare Cards — and have their Centrelink payments cut completely if they fail multiple mandatory drug tests.
So if you’re in Stream C of JobActive on Centrelink and live in an area with well-known drug-residue flowing through the drainage systems, be afraid. Be very afraid.
In light of all this scatological weirdness, I found myself trawling through legal websites this morning, trying to figure out if I can copyright my urine and faeces as personal art. Can I request royalties from the Australian Federal Police and Department of Human Services on accessing my body’s byproducts, and demand the government give me back my precious tinkles?
You’ve watched ‘Gattaca’, right? The elegantly dystopian movie, where an authoritarian government surveils an entire population via genetic testing of shredded bodily by-products? As the movie’s plot illustrates, it’s hard to aim for the moon, when the government thinks your biology should determine your appropriate station in life is working as an office cleaner.
What the Australian government is planning isn’t even half as classy as ‘Gattaca.’ It’s some poor sod in a lab coat lifting up the drainage pit cover and scooping waste water into a test tube to check for common drugs used by average joes and janes around the nation to placate failed dreams for equitable housing policies and affordable energy prices. The filthy horror of surveillance is mundane in the extreme.
Sometimes too much information builds a false picture. People are not the sum total of available data. You can’t simply get to know a stranger by poking through their shit and triangulating their data-points . And when you reduce people to the lowest common denominator, you miss the potential people carry inside them, quietly, hidden, waiting to be realised.
We are more than our biological waste, our socio-economic markers, the collective jingle-jangle of messy data-scrapings to be judged by an unintelligible, heartless — and sometimes plain wrong — algorithm.
Heck, when I was a little girl, I was scared of the toilet. And rightly so. A great big white shiny thing, come to carry away my bodily waste to…where? To who? Would my shit rest in peace, be treated respectfully? Eventually one of my older sisters explained that nobody would touch my poo and pee, other than to treat it until it became “normal water” yet again.
And now the government has proved my worst childhood nightmares correct. The bastards ARE really are right up in our shit.
Nothing to hide, right, in a world of credit rating surveillance, algorithmic profiling, social media open source analysis? We live in a predatory world, where internet, telephone and street surveillance is no longer enough for our intelligence agencies and governments. And now politicians and the public service want to sift through our waste output as well.
Smart animals hide their scats. Why? Because of predators. Predators track prey by the scent of urine and faeces. Smart animals make a hole, dump their droppings and bury it.
Take a leaf out of the tactics of the natural world, and hide your shit as well. Until the vicious pack of baboons that call themselves “adult government” stop playing with our shit like a kindergarten class of deranged four-year olds left on their own for too long, we shouldn’t trust them with ANYTHING. We shouldn’t give them access to our information. Shouldn’t let them share our data. And definitely shouldn’t let them play in our sewerage systems.
Make the most of your taxes, and use the public toilets you paid for: the shiny silver cubicle at the local park, the library stalls, the council bathrooms, the toilet bowls at Parliament house. Freeze your yellow-byproduct and let it mellow in the gutters in Darling Point and Toorak. Serve your displeasure up on a platter to government and tell them to get their surveillance out of your most private parts. Let law enforcement wonder why the waste water at the local library points to a massive spike in amphetamine use, and the local council appears to have an opiate addiction.
Look, I’d argue Australia needs a Bill of Rights to protect civil liberties, hell, even a privacy tort would be fucking fantastic right now — but I’d settle for being able to visit the bathroom knowing that nobody plans to falsely judge me by the monstrosity my next door neighbours flush down the pipes.
It really shouldn’t be too much to ask that citizens can take a dump without worrying that their biological waste will betray the secret workings of their inner-lives and colons.
Australia needs to start giving a crap about civil liberties — and our government needs to get its mind out of the toilet.