The Nose: The NSA Is Logging Your Outraged Tweets About Game Of Thrones

Jun 7, 2013

Ordinarily on The Nose, we don't dive right into hard news, but it's hard to ignore the disclosures from the last few days about FISA, phones, PRISM and government access to Internet servers.

Amusingly (in a dark way), Obama is meeting with the President of China today about cybersecurity, a conversation that is bound to be less one-sided now. It does somehow seem to fit with all the grapeshot fired at FOIA here in Connecticut this year. So even though we're not a news roundtable, we dipped our toe in this one, because privacy is cultural too.

As we wander further afield, you'll hear me bring up the storm of tears, anger and outright rejection that followed last week's Game of Thrones episode in which three sympathetic characters were brutally murdered. Read the tweets in the slideshow here. They are pretty typical of what I saw on Twitter that night. It's one thing to be shocked and troubled. It's another to throw a tantrum at the author, as if he had no right to kill off people he made up. (Did Dickens have to deal with that?) It seems extreme somehow, and I have to think it has do with the way big dramas have moved to TV, which used to be a safer, more reassuring place. But one of our panelists suggested it has something to do with the way people are more comfortable expressing emotion and even weakness in connection with TV characters than with the people in their real lives.

That also guided us toward Deval Patrick, who offered the rather frank disclosure that he went out by himself and got drunk after the bomber manhunt. Having just spent some time in the Berkshires, I'm wondering what restaurant it was. The duck confit at John Andrews is remarkable. So is Patrick's concession to being human, atypical for a politician. What other politician has done something atypically human? Vladimir Putin is divorcing his wife -- he told her wants to start intimidating other people -- and one Russian observer said: "The divorce of Putin is a step toward democracy. He could hide as much as he wanted, but he chose to reveal that he is human, he can have bad luck. He chose transparency.” But he's still a bully, right?

Putin tends to bristle, however, at people nosing around in his relationship with his much-younger gymnast girlfriend: "I have always disliked those who, with their infected noses and erotic fantasies, break into other people’s private affairs."

How can we turn down an infected nose topic? We'll also get to the interrcial Cheerios blacklash even though, earlier in the week, it seemed like a natural Nose winner. 

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