Under Surveillance

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…well, that’s one kind of ‘surveillance’ that we fitness types indulge in, perhaps too often – this is Artem Joutchkov, by the way, who has a huge internet presence – but that isn’t really what I was thinking about right now, although that can be theme for our pictures!

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Ah, the boys with their camera phones…

No, I was thinking about a rumour which has flashed through my son’s High School this week – that the FBI (I assume it is) has asked Schools to ‘vet’ their pupils for incipient signs of radicalisation, terrorism and whatever – presumably in addition to signs of criminality, racism, homophobia….?? Except that here in the Bible belt, there is plenty racism and homophobia out there anyway, so that’s probably off the local list.

I’ve never really come to terms with schools having resident police here in USA, let alone having big-brother-watch to contend with as well. And Heaven (capital H) help anyone who speaks out too openly against Creationism in these parts, despite the undeniable evidence from science like Mr Darwin and from radiocarbon dating that the Earth is billions of years old. ‘That Good Ol’ Religion’ Rules, OK, in these parts!

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Could it all improve, under Trump? You decide, on a scale of 1 – 10!

But, as a free-thinking and ultimately liberal-minded Brit (a Brit who was utterly indecisive about Brexit and finally would have gone for ‘remain’ on the narrowest of margins), this claustrophobic big-brother atmosphere bothers me and, on school premises, it bothers me more. A few more steps and we shall have ‘informers’ embedded in classes, working for the State (or, in this case, the national agencies). Suffice to say – before I get myself on their radar – that the subject is getting a lively debate. ‘Do you think X is really a Muslim?’ ‘What was in that package I saw Y unloading from his car in the dark last evening?’ If the authorities want to make people suspicious and even fearful, they sure are going the right way to achieve it.

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And, as for me, peddling dangerous writings ‘promoting’ homosexuality while at the same time being employed as a sports coach… hmmmm. And don’t get me started on the latest British witch hunt for paedophile soccer coaches… well, my conscience (and my partner Dave’s, similarly employed) is clear and you can check out the books to prove it…

Loving the Boy: ISBN 978-1-907732-30-0

The Power of Love: ISBN 978-1-907732-41-6

Against All Odds: ISBN 978-1-908645-35-7

…the third one includes our previous contact with FBI agents, rather ironically in the present circumstances and, thankfully, on the same side on that occasion (thanks, Zach…).

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I think that all the ‘surveillance-themed images I can find are boys with their phones checking out their muscles and probably texting (sexting?) them to their boy/girl friends…

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Or, more kindly, checking on their own fitness and development progress…

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A much more ‘innocent’ pastime! Here’s an interesting position to ‘survey’ things around you – on a back flex curved bench:

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An excellent vantage point…

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…while, back in the gym, an ‘innocent’ way to check out the other lifters without being noticed…

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…and, look, this guy found a pool with a very interesting vantage point – two of them, actually!…

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Actually, I think that I’ll stop here, before I incriminate myself any further and get found out by the web-crawler software that reads all the world’s blogs for the government agencies! I don’t want to be forced to go to the gym in disguise in future…

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About tonycavanagh

Born Northampton UK; school Oxford UK and Oak Ridge Tennessee, where I met my wonderful partner Dave, also from UK. Oak Ridge is our main training base for acrobatics and circus stuff, but we also established a base in Wales (UK) to serve us when we are working in Europe. Our 'story', of finding gay love, learning the acrobatics trade and then of how we got shot at during our show (and worse was to follow - just to prove that the risks of being an acrobat are not always the most obvious ones!) are now available in my three books 'Loving the Boy', 'The Power of Love' and 'Against All Odds'. Links available on most blog posts. Actually, waiting for the imminent arrival of the first printed copies was far scarier than anything we do in performance. A fourth book - not about us but exploring the sadness of a gay Native American boy denied his true identity - is currently with an agent for evaluation. watch for 'Let The Future Find Me' in due time. And now to book five... another boy, another quest... seems its always boys...
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One Response to Under Surveillance

  1. Platinumboy says:

    You are right about the increase in surveillance in schools. In the Chicago area, a ruling last year (?) made it legal for schools to punish students for speech with which the school administration disagrees even if it happens off school grounds outside of school hours and school sponsored activities (Chicago Tribune). In the last few days, I read in the Trib about a school child who made a disparaging remark towards another student–again, away from school. The child was punished by the school because, apparently, being on the way to school is the same as being in school. When I was a kid, no principal of mine was ever interested in what happened outside of school unless we brought the problem inside the school. I guess the book “1984” was only a few years off.

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