Thursday, May 10, 2007

Think Facility's Not Reading Your Mail?

I have occasionally played around with paranoia as a subject for humor, but this one ain't very funny at all.

Barba de Chiva, who blogs at Phronesisiacal, wrote a post back in 2005 about being routinely stopped by the Border Patrol in Laredo, where he lives. The BP agents have actually mentioned knowing about the blog to him during these stops, although they seem to have said or done nothing overtly menacing about it.

Now, last night, an anonymous BP agent dropped a comment on the two-year-old post that, in its way, is as chilling a thing as you're likely to read:
Myself, I have spoken to you on several occasions, as you drive North to Encinal. In the red VW; as a passenger in a silver VW; in a small black convertible; an old Ford; and, and older tan Chevy, as well. I have a fantastic memory and recall to boot...
No shit.

Note how the aggrieved officer reads things into Barba de Chiva's post that were not originally there, in particular the perceived accusation that the BP agents are "knuckle-draggers." Chiva calls them "suspicious," "officious," and (sarcastically) "stalwart defenders of our nation's borders," but nowhere does he imply that they're stupid. That's their reading. Barba is a professor of English; the officer's purpose in his self-aggrandizing recitation of his own educational C.V. appears to be an attempt to legitimize his power, to justify his authority; in fact the effect is just menacing.


helmut said...

Thanks for linking to this , Ned.

blue girl said...

Menacing is right.

Blowing Shit Up With Gas said...

-Patrick Hillman
(thankfully, a pseudonym!)

Neddie said...

Was going to post this as a comment at Helmut's joint, but thought better of it. Best to keep this out if the Magnifying Glass -- Barba de Chiva might have to confront this worthy on his drive home again...

Not to be snotty to our First Defenders or anything, but you'd think a guy who has "several degrees" would be able to distinguish between "your" and "you're," and be able to spell "slew" correctly. Hell, I've only got one degree, and I can.

Just sayin'.


I imagine those legal citations came off a Government-Issue laminated pamphlet he carries in his wallet.