Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Bad People

Yesterday I was thinking about how much effort we exert each day to keep away The Bad People.

I figure I spend around an hour a week destroying credit card offers and financial information, lest they fall into the wrong hands in the trashcan. It takes no less than four keys to get me into my apartment--keys I whip out well in advance of arriving home, so that I don't have to linger at the door like a twitchy little bunny. I've lost count of how many different usernames and passwords I have. I consider my phone number to be more personal than my dress size. On this blog, I've posted a picture of my (clothed) breasts, but not of my face. Granted, I'm a bit more safety-and-privacy-conscious than the average person, having had some bad experiences in the past. Still, none of the efforts I've described could really be considered unusual.

Sometimes I think that, ideally, none of us should have to lock our doors, ever; that people just shouldn't go into homes and apartments that aren't theirs, and shouldn't log into other peoples' online accounts. Obviously, this would never work. There is too much curiosity within the human spirit. It is this curiosity that has led us, as a species, to wondrous discoveries, like electricity, flying across an ocean, and pairing tomato and mozzarella.

How does the impulse to find things out go awry? When does good become bad?

4 Comments:

Anonymous c.s. said...

i would say most of your efforts to ward off the bad people are to prevent them from getting your money, and not just finding things out.

if they were just curious about what your social security number or email password were, and did not plan to abuse the information, then who cares if they know? actually, i wouldn't want people to know my email passwords cause they're just plain weird.

i don't want to venture into politics or religion, but look at the "badness" surrounding the debate between intelligent design and evolution. evolution is a product of that impulse to find things out, yet the trouble seems to have come when the answer conflicts with a popularly held belief. or better yet, stem cell research.

but really i think the overall problem that upsets you, as well as me, would be the lack of moral integrity in others. it's one thing to steal bread to feed your starving family, but another to root through the trash in order to buy a leather bustier.

11:02 AM  
Blogger Arabella said...

Yes, a lot of effort goes to prevent bad people from getting my money, but even more goes into preventing them from harming me.

The lack of moral integrity is definitely the overall problem. If people want leather bustiers, they should go to Victoria's Secret, search in vain for their nonexistent size, feel inferior to the synthetic flesh of the mannequins, wait on line, listen to the speech about why they should get the Angels card, and then pay an outrageous amount of money for their lingerie, just like I have to do the three or four times a year I get it into my thick head to try to find a good-fitting bra.

1:54 PM  
Blogger Mignon said...

...then when you're nursing a baby you get to buy something that looks like it was designed by Grandma Moses during her S&M period. At that point you'll be begging someone to come steal your freakin' identity so you can get five minutes to yourself in the bathroom.

4:55 PM  
Blogger Arabella said...

Thanks, Mignon. I needed that late-day laugh.

5:35 PM  

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