Last night started out like a typical Friday night. Taylor and I undoubtedly fall into the “home-body” category of couples, and our Friday night activity of choice was to watch a movie. I hung out with my brother Mikey while anxiously awaiting for Taylor to finish her nightly bath and glam routine so that we could finally start “CITIZENFOUR“, a documentary that I have wanted to see for over one year.
As Taylor finally emerged from the bedroom in her pjs, Mikey simultaneously decided that he was not going to watch it with us, “I’m leaving” he stated, without any notice. Admittedly, I was a little bummed out that he left – Mikey’s cynical yet incredibly humorous way of interpreting life is always a pleasure to bear witness to. Even in Mikey’s absence, the show must go on!
I finally hit the play button, and immediately Taylor begins an unusual process that I refer to as her “wiggle routine”. Similar to a dropped compass that just can’t find North, she started out vertical, tested out a few positions on either side, and finally came to rest with her head in my lap. Over the years, I’ve learned that this process is mandatory for her to gain maximum comfort — whether in a car, plane, bed, or when sitting on a couch. The “wiggle routine” certainly deserves it’s own blog post. Perhaps I’ll keep this in mind for sometime in the future. ; )
Within five minutes of starting the movie, Taylor was sound asleep. With Mikey far gone and Taylor fast asleep, I realized that for the first time in my entire life, I’m watching a movie alone. As it turns out, I watched “CITIZENFOUR” from start to finish – all by myself. Those of you who know me well would be both shocked and proud that I finally hit this milestone in life, which I think warrants my very first movie review or afterthoughts. Here we go!
I recommend “CITIZENFOUR” for all viewers — male and female, regardless of how many times you have seen Edward Snowden on the news. The content in this documentary effects everyone in the world who uses a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Personally, I cannot say that I am an Ed Snowden supporter nor hater. I believe that everyone has a purpose in life, and Ed simply found himself in a position whereby he felt the need “make a sacrifice” for what he believed to be a cause — Ed’s personal belief was that revealing secret government spy programs to the general public served the greater good of humanity. At least this is what the documentary conveyed.
As the old adage goes, stand up for what you believe in — even if you are standing alone. This was the underlying theme for Ed though in his case, it will eventually come with severe legal consequences. The “CITIZENFOUR” documentary did not convey that Edward Snowden’s actions were driven by greed, fame, or any selfish motive (though in retrospect, the movie made over 3M worldwide, according to this source).
Watching this movie raised major personal concerns for me however, my concerns have absolutely nothing to do with the NSA’s spy programs. I love our country and trust our government. I have no strife with government spy programs and personally believe that the government does what it does to protect us from evil.
My fundamental concern boils down to this: if Ed Snowden used his security clearance to act as a whistleblower and leak information about secret programs and systems implemented by our government for the mass collection of data, and protocols to gain access to any computer system of every US citizen — How many Edward Snowdens are out there using their security clearance for more sinister motives? Who else is acting under the guise of the government to hack into Google, Apple, and other major internet companies to gain access to our personal and private information? In my opinion, the backbone of the internet has been broken. My concern is not about our government, rather those exploiting the loopholes of government spy programs – if there even is such a thing.
This documentary hit home for me in ways I wish I didn’t remember. Over the last few years, both my work and personal apple computers and iPhones have been hacked, my identity has been stolen, and thus I have no idea of the degree or severity of which my personal information has been compromised. The idea of not having privacy on your computers and phones may not seem like such a big deal until one or more experiences force you to realize that you actually don’t have any. As strange as this may sound, my take on this issue is simply one of hope… I hope that the government is actually watching out for me, my family, and everyone else privileged to live in our country. I have no concerns with government spy programs. For me, my biggest concern is the unknown.
The Snowden leak is one of the biggest scandals in American history. What is your take on this? Do you think that Edward Snowden did the right thing? Is he a hero or a traitor? Taylor and I welcome your thoughts and feedback!
For those of you who haven’t seen it, set aside a couple of hours and watch “CITIZENFOUR” on Amazon here.