Friday, August 16, 2013


Ouch, that smarts. I think I’m being hacked. Nothing like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre but still. In fact it’s bloodless until I might one day discover there are generic versions of me turning up in places like Latvia and Malaysia. Google which monitors my blabberings and spies on the spies, tells me I have 45 readers in that Baltic state alone, and others in Southeast Asia.

First I was flattered that I’d achieved such a world-wide readership. I imagined families huddled around their computer screen salivating over my every word. Or possibly I am read to put children to sleep. 

More likely I’m the subject of Latvian Hacking 101, an international band of hoodlums in the boiler room of some abandoned warehouse busy decoding my passwords and buying Jaguars in my name. Wait until they find out I do all my shopping at the 99 cent store, and live on dented cans and day-old bread.

Whether all this is my flight of fancy or incipient paranoia is yet to be determined. My health insurance company will probably call it a pre-existing condition in either case.

I’ve never quite understood the mentality of that other breed, the harmless hacker. It must be the Mt. Everest Syndrome. They do it because it’s there and they can. O K, I’m here and possibly at this very moment being climbed by adventurers and Sherpa tribesmen having a peak experience.

I can understand a would-be Jean Valjean, stealing my loaf to feed his ailing and destitute brood, particularly if he has a booming voice deserving of a standing ovation. One man’s Les Miz meager table is another man’s banquet. But why do hackers hack? Just for the hack of it? Is it to affirm they are alive? O K, I see you. Indeed you do exist. Fun, is it?

I long for those days when a virus was a tiny organism which eluded antibiotics. Do you have a cold? No, it’s just a virus.  Then it would go away anyway with a little luck. Those were manageable virus which knew enough to exit when they weren’t welcome. Then there is the AIDS’ virus but let’s not go there.

Now a single nerd with a grudge can bring down his high school, corporation, government or worse, me. I’d like to believe I’m more transparent than they are anyway and happily so. Must I live out my days with a firewall?  Do I need to change my password as often as I change my mind over a menu in a Chinese restaurant? What about those secret questions such as my father’s middle name and my first pet?

It’s a sci-fi world we have come to. Even at this late age with affairs whittled down to their elemental nub life is still a tangled web abetted by on-line essentials we have bequeathed to the Googles of the world. We’ve laid ourselves bare and are now told of a possible amplifier in the cottage cheese ceiling or a camera hidden in a dust mote. Take me Latvia, I’m yours.  

Come to think of it Latvia may have been my motherland. My mother was always vague about her lineage. Eastern Europe, Western Russia was the best she could do. Maybe some of those avid followers in Latvia share my DNA. Is that you, Igor, Inga? Why don’t we meet, say, in Tallinn, your sister country, and we can talk this over in civil tones over a glass of kvass. Now that you probably have my bank info and credit cards you can pay my way and charge it to that fictitious version of me.

No comments:

Post a Comment