The Panopticon

by Hugh Mungus

It gets harder the more you know, because the more you find out, the uglier everything seems.

- Frank Zappa

Two cages.

Cage One is filled with lab rats starving to death.

Cage Two? The same type of rodents, only these are fed constantly, never wanting for sustenance.

Drop a piece of cheese into each cage. What do you think the reaction will be?

Obviously, the rats in Cage One will kill each other, to hoard that sole means of nutrition. Those in Cage Two will remain docile, civil and content.

In which prison do you think humanity resides?

We're nothing more than lab rats, at this point; experiments for those we've allowed to enslave us. Because we're brainwashed to believe there isn't enough to go around, we kill each other to get "our share."

You feel that palpable, cold demeanor every time a bill collector calls, demanding cash. You choke on the clinical nature of those who feign compassion, but leave their hands out for a monetary treat. Your "boss" commands you to remain on call 24 hours a day - surrendering every moment of your existence to him - so he can feel he owns you.

Did you ever have a job that you hated; worked really hard at? Long, hard day work, finally you get to go home, get in bed, close your eyes, and immediately you wake up and realize that the whole day at work had been a dream.

It's bad enough that you sell your waking life for minimum wage, but now they get your dreams for free.

- The Waking Life

They don't call it Human Resources because they feel you're special, and warrant care. You're nothing more than a resource for them. It says so in the title, but you choose to overlook that, don't you?

Keep in mind, oil is a resource. So, too, are livestock. Wood and rock are also resources.

Hence, when they think of you, they envision coal, a cow or slab of stone. To them, you're not an individual with emotions, goals nor thoughts. To them, you're nothing more than another reserve. Yet, you ignore the obvious every day, and would've continued doing so, had I not informed you of such.

And these expository terms are ubiquitous. Still, you fail to notice. How could you not? You're asleep - your eyes closed - oblivious to that occurring around you.

"Managing Human Capital." It's the slogan for a Human Resource company called Optyma.

Capital is defined by as:

the wealth, whether in money or property, owned or employed in business by an individual, firm, corporation, etc.


assets remaining after the deduction of liabilities; the net worth of a business.

You're viewed as inanimate "wealth." Moreover, you're seen as somebody's "property." Harken back to your "boss's" desire to control you 24/7. As comforting as the loving arms of Adolf Hitler, isn't it?

You're categorized in terms of "assets" and "liabilities," for fuck's sake!

Anybody who can reduce you to such in their minds will have no hesitation giving you cancer, and profiting monetarily from your suffering. Anyone who believes you're "capital" is so mentally ill, they'd be willing to kill you, in order to stock their bank account. They see you as cattle...and they eat steaks voraciously.

When dealing with government, that's what we're talking here. Again, they've ordered you nuked over 1,000 times! More than 1,000 "tests" at the Nevada Test Site, and 67 more in the Marshall Islands - where the jet stream flows directly over the "U.S." They only view your plight, in terms of pain and suffering, when relishing in your agony.

Even creepier is the dispassionate demeanor others adopt, in attempts to emulate our captors. Your doctor doesn't give a fuck about you, as he pumps you full of lethal drugs, in a rabid quest to fund his kid's trip to an Ivy League university. Do you really think your State Farm insurance agent would call every week, just to see how you were, if you decided to go with Blue Cross?!

I am not a number; I am a free man!

- Patrick McGoohan

How could you not comprehend you're just a number? You're assigned one - a social security number - at birth! You're forced to take your social security card - which displays your social security number - wherever you reside.

Since you're given a number - exactly like a prisoner in prison - for you to conclude you're anything but, in the eyes of this system, would be delusional on your part.

I get up at seven, yeah

And I go to work at nine

I got no time for livin'

Yes, I'm workin' all the time

It seems to me

I could live my life

A lot better than I think I am

I guess that's why they call me

They call me the working man

- Rush

From the opposite side of the cardboard wall, in my no-bedroom apartment, I could hear Tom Selleck begging us to begin the day with Fukushima-infused fruit juice. Coating what remained of my teeth with fluoridated paste, and equally fluoridated water to wash it down, I cleansed away the remnants of my genetically-modified breakfast.

From there, I hit the road in search of further incarceration.

The corporate castle loomed in the distance - complete with vampire bats encircling its spire, and motes doubling as speed bumps.

"Let's do the Wave, people! C'mon! Let's do the Wave!" the overzealous freak commanded the obsequious attendees in the dank basement of this megacorp mausoleum. Pleading to be enslaved, we followed suit, even though all we could think about was fucking, being fucked, doing drugs, laughing and taking trips.

It was a group interview, and we were allowing our dreams to be crushed by this fanatical Human Resource recruiter, due to a basic need to survive. If we didn't feign sycophancy, there was the looming possibility we'd die horrific deaths, starving in piss-filled gutters.

The last thing the recruiter, herself, wanted to do was the Wave, but here she was - thanks to that necessity to keep food in her stomach - faking exuberance over a primitive cheer. It was fuckin' disgusting, and I couldn't believe I'd been reduced to this.

When it came time to declare our personal hero, and why we admired them, I chose Bill Hicks. Noting the blank stares, I inquired if anybody in attendance knew who the late comedian was.

What ensued was the type of silence you'd expect to find if stone-cold deaf, suspended in a deprivation chamber.

Elucidating about Guillermo and his contributions to humanity, I could feel this particular enslavement slipping through my hands. By the time I hit "The World is Like a Ride..." monologue, I was shocked I hadn't been set on fire. When this "grown-up" version of follow-the-leader concluded, I commended myself for having worn a rubber, whilst balls-deep in the beast.

People everywhere are selling their souls for "success." But "success" is constantly portrayed by some douche bag drinking $1,000,000 brandy that tastes like a pigeon's asshole.

"Success" is pretending you own a 10 million dollar home, even when an unfeeling bank can steal your mansion, should you fail to pay its blood money - in the form of a mortgage. All the while, you struggle to keep the castle in question by engaging in a "career" you hate, that forces you to rape the resources of this planet, and kill off millions of your fellow humans in the process.

"Success" is murdering your conscience to make your quota, by hawking the latest weapons systems to government, so hegemony can decimate innocent people.

Everybody knows by now all businessmen are completely full of shit. Just the worst kind of low-life, criminal cocksuckers you could ever wanna run into. The fuckin' piece of shit businessman.

And the proof of it [...] is they don't even trust each other. They don't trust one another.

When a businessman sits down to negotiate a deal, the first thing he does is to automatically assume that the other guy is a complete lying prick who's trying to fuck him out of his money. So he's gotta do everything he can to fuck the other guy a little bit faster, and a little bit harder. And he's gotta do it with a big smile on his face. You know that big, bullshit businessman smile?

And if you're a customer, whoa! That's when you get the really big smile! Customer always gets a really big smile, as the businessman carefully positions himself directly behind the customer, and unzips his pants, and proceeds to "service" the account. [...]

Now you know what they mean [...] when they say, "We specialize in customer service."

Whoever coined the phrase "let the buyer beware" was probably bleeding from the asshole.

- George Carlin

In order to combat the anxiety generated by such a hideous existence, nearly everyone is drugged up.

If you want to understand a society, take a good look at the drugs it uses. And what can this tell you about American culture? Well, look at the drugs we use. Except for pharmaceutical poison, there are essentially only two drugs that Western civilization tolerates: Caffeine from Monday to Friday to energize you enough to make you a productive member of society, and alcohol from Friday to Monday to keep you too stupid to figure out the prison that you are living in.

- Bill Hicks

We beat the shit out of ourselves to become "employed," yet none of us want to be. Clock-watching is a hobby as ubiquitous as taking a dump.

"I'm only here two more hours, and I can head home [to begin this vicious cycle over again, tomorrow]."

You're never free, and never will be, as long as you court this Panopticon that's designed to enslave you.

Shouldn't the long-term goal of any society be complete unemployment?

- Doug Stanhope

Of course! We strive to retire, and revere those who do early.

"You're only 32, and you're retired?! How'd you do it? What's your secret?!"

The sole reason we feel compelled to "work" is belief in our brainwashing from birth.

"You gotta stay in school, son, and get good grades, so you can get into college, so you can get a high-paying 'job,' so you can become 'rich,' 'successful,' and retire early."

Where, in the above, does helping humanity, bettering the situation for our kind, or repairing the damage we've done to this planet, come into play?

Moreover, if we're all stressing to retire, why the fuck are we working in the first place?!

Why don't we just retire now, eradicate "work," and end our imprisonment?!

Because those at the top of this pyramid scheme would no longer remain at the top, if we refused to enslave ourselves for them.

"So, what's a Panopticon?"

It's a sick idea created in the 18th century by a dude named Jeremy Bentham. A Panopticon is a method by which one guard can surveil an entire prison.

In modern form, you create a circular penitentiary. The outer ring houses the cells, which face the center of the circle.

In the middle, you have the guard house - high up, and manned by a sole sentry. Hence, this "screw" shack has a 360-degree, panoramic view of every cell, and every inmate. Pretty clever, huh?

"Yeah, but how can one guard - stationed inside the guard house - see all the prisoners at once? There's no way he can be at every point around his shack."

Correct. And he doesn't have to be. Here's where it gets disturbing.

You encircle the guard station with one-way glass. The "screw" inside can see out, but the incarcerates can't see in. As a result, the inmates have no idea whether the sentry is watching them, their fellow inmates, TV, or his nuts, as he jacks-off. They simply have to assume, at all times, they're the ones being observed by the guard.

Hence, the prisoners' stress level is perpetually high, fearing they're constantly being surveilled. They're incentivized to refrain from breaking rules, or attempting to escape, since they're always concerned they're being viewed.

In contemporaneous society, we exist within a Panopticon - the walls of which most of us fail to see.

Government is the guard shack in the center. It's from here we're perpetually reminded we're being scrutinized, and quite often are.

We have very little means by which we can determine if we're being watched, but bureaucracy keeps us enduringly fearful such is the case.

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