November 19, 2007

If You Have Sex on the Beach, the Terrorists Win

From the "big brother really is watching" department comes news that at least one official in Martin County, Florida is proposing placing cameras on beaches to deter people from having sex there at night:

Florida beach groper risk for those wanting public sex

Martin County in the American state of Florida is exploring the idea of installing "talking" cameras at several beaches to ward off or catch people engaged in public sex.

"I'm all for it," said County Commission chairman Michael DiTerlizzi, who first proposed putting web cams at beaches after several recent arrests of men soliciting men for sex at county beaches.

FlashCAM devices sense motion and then flash a bright light. After being activated, the cameras issue a pre-recorded verbal warning to let people know they are under surveillance.

Sixty seconds later, they start recording.
Which police state are we living in again?

Look, it's bad enough that people are already being arrested for the oh-so-heinous crime of soliciting one another for sex on a public beach. One can only wonder if DiTerlizzi has never heard of the old American ritual called Spring Break, during which time thousands of horny red-blooded American college students descend on beaches throughout the Gulf Coast looking for a hook-up. This is nature; we're programmed to seek sex, like every other sexually-reproducing organism on the planet. It seems likely to me that what this particular prying prude is trying to prevent is male gay sex in particular, since that's what is being cited as justification for this intrusion into people's lives.

What's also clear is that people are already being arrested. Aside from the ethical and civil liberties considerations of that fact, why are the cameras necessary at all? Can't the rest of us take a nice walk on a beach without cameras and flashing lights and voices warning us to move along? Has this society really become so frightened of sex that we need to turn ourselves into a gulag just to prevent people from having it?

Who cares if two people want to get romantically intertwined, even in the most physical and literal sense of the phrase, on some beach? I've had sex on a public beach before. In fact, I lost my virginity on one. The world didn't stop revolving because of it. My girlfriend and I found a nice, secluded spot under the boardwalk (good title for a song!) and enjoyed our little tryst and then rejoined the rest of the world. Thankfully, there were no cameras recording the event, no flashing lights warning us, no booming voices telling us that we were breaking some silly, puritanical law. Everything turned out just fine.

This is how democracy dies, folks. This is how what could be the freest country on the planet gets turned into a paranoid prison by those wishing to impose their ideas of morality upon others. Not only should the cameras not go in on these Florida beaches, nor any other beaches, the government ought to stop arresting people - any people - for doing nothing more than offending the sensibilities of those who are so terrified of our own "filthy" human nature that they're willing to keep an eye on us twenty-four hours a day to make sure that we're being good boys, girls, or anything in between.

Mr. DiTerlizzi, you are not Santa Claus. You shouldn't know when we've been "bad or good," because your ideas of those things come from your gut instead of your head. It's not your, or anyone else's, business. If people are breaking the law by going at it right out in the open, fine. Merely looking for sex, when the parties involved are consenting adults, isn't a crime anywhere but in your own twisted little mind.

Sphere: Related Content