Addiction in Society

Addiction—the thematic malady for our society—entails every type of psychological and societal problem

Department of Bedland Security

Coming to your bedroom soon

[The events recounted in this post are fictitious]

New York Times editorial: "Battered by weeks of criticism about surveillance abuses, President Obama has embarked on a reassurance offensive," in which the President and his security officials guarantee us they would NEVER spy on us or misuse the information they come by that way.

But what about this latest scandal -- the discovery of the Bedland Security Agency?  There was initially much wailing and gnashing of teeth when a former security guard at the NSA revealed that the agency had "deployed" pin-sized cameras in the bedrooms and bathrooms of every home in America.

Forced to call an emergency press conference to quell the storm of protest, the President did what he does best: reassure Americans that the latest intrusion into their privacy was meaningless, a mere formality:

"Look," the President said.  "Do you really think that I, your Congresspeople, and the CIA and FBI want to delve into Americans' sex lives?  What do you think we are -- perverts?" 

When a reporter pointed out that exactly these accusations had been leveled against former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, who reputedly compiled sexual dossiers on John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, and that he himself was a cross-dresser, and that David Petraeus was forced to resign as director of the C.I.A. after compromising e-mails revealed he was having a hot affair with an ambitious groupie with notewothy breasts, the President immediately put his hand up, as if to say "stop":

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"Listen, I'm going to stop this discussion right now. As everyone here knows, I am a happily married man with two teen-age daughters, and I simply don't want this kind of talk on television.  I'll just tell you that our crack security IT experts have developed a new technology to recognize perversions -- called PRS (Perversion Recognition System), so that we don't actually VIEW the raw tapes.  We only pick out those in which perversions are occurring, and only THOSE people are identified for further examination and possible prosecution under the Sexual Perversions Act -- that's SPA to you."

"But what are you considering as perversions?"

"Look," the President seemed annoyed. "I've just told you I'm not going to discuss those. Daughters, family? Remember?"

"Don't administration members and Congresspeople ever engage in things that might be call 'perversions' themselves?"

"Never.  I think you all know that every member of Congress is married and believes in God -- at least I think so.  No one like that would ever commit a perversion.  Why, they barely have sex, I can assure you!"

"How about Louisiana Senator David Vitter, who supposedly consorted with prostitutes, or John Ensign, or the old Newt Gingrich? Weren't they Christian cheaters?  Or how about former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner?  If that wasn't perverted, what was? In fact, didn't your Democratic predecessor have phone sex with a 21-year-old?"

Now visibly steamed, the President erupted. "I simply won't hear this kind of filth bandied about at a press conference.  I'm out of here."

"Oh, before you go -- why bathroom cameras?"

The President, over his shoulder as he was leaving: "Ever hear of masturbation?  Can't be having that.  And that's the last you'll hear about that topic from me -- I've got teen daughters, for God's sake!"

At almost exactly the same time that the President was turning on his heel with the Washington press corps, NSA Director of Bedroom Security, Salmon Walleye, was being grilled by the Congressional Bedland Security Subcommittee.

Issuing virtually the same assurances as the President, Walleye declared, "I'm a grandfather, for God's sake.  You don't think I have better things to do than watch videos of your sex lives?"

"And, anyway," he whispered conspiratorially to an aide, "theirs are about as boring as bedroom antics get -- if you can even use that word to describe them."

Then, rubbing his hand across his chin, Walleye continued: "Well, except for Congressman Ripumup.  That WAS a remarkable performance." 

"Here," Walleye said, handing an envelope to his aide. "Can you give this to the Congressman?" 

"And" -- here Walleye winked -- "just tell him we're going to present him with an award on TV for that performance."

Turning back to the committee, Walleye continued: "I can assure you I am a Christian and a Republican. We NEVER have kinky sex.  And if you are doing those things, then don't you think you deserve to be exposed?  It's a proven fact that terrorists do those kinds of things. Did you ever read about those 9/11 perpetrators?  Look, I'm not going to discuss this in public."

Jut then, Congressman Ripumup was pictured on camera sorting through a group of 8x10 glossies, sweat pouring off his balding dome.

Suddenly, the Congressman sprang from his chair. "Hearing adjourned," he shouted.

"See," Walleye pronounced in a calm voice. "I told you we had nothing to worry about."

[The events recounted in this post are fictitious.]

Follow Stanton on his Life Process Program.

Stanton Peele, PhD, JD, is the author of Recover! He has been a pioneer in the addiction field since publication of Love and Addiction in 1975.

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