An Honest Proposal

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I have written an essay entitled "Proposal to Free the Minds of America." The content of the essay was inspired from the societies portrayed in Michael Radford's Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) and in Tony Scott's Enemy of the State (1998). My goal when writing this essay was to use sarcasm, irony, and understatement to ridicule the absurd amount of surveillance that is present in today's society.

I distributed 100 copies of the essay in the form of a pamphlet in Harvard Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts on Sunday, October 29, 2006. I chose Harvard Square in particular as my venue because of its distinct audience. The people of Cambridge are known to be politically active. Harvard Square is an interesting part of Cambridge because there is a mix of Cambridge residents, Harvard students, and people looking to make money on the street. There is a spectrum of educational levels and of economic status represented in the population.

By supplying a contact e-mail address I was hoping to receive a couple responses, although I have not yet. I did ellicit a few interesting responses when I was handing the pamphlets out though. A couple people understood the hoax and laughed. Some handed the pamphlet back to me after scanning it because they disagreed with my "beliefs". There were even a few people who gave totally irrelevant responses, but felt the need to talk to me about themselves.

I realized that if I want to receieve any response from the public I will need to expand the girth of my project. After talking with an experienced new media artist I learned that the best way to do that would be to create a webpage to accompany my pamphlet. The webpage design was appropriated from the ACLU's site so as to agree with the ironic theme of the pamphlet. Unfortunately, the URL of the page does not appear on the current printing of the pamphlet because it was an afterthought. Due to my lack of coding knowledge, the site as of now is just a homepage. I hope to be able to edit the link content in the future, so the page has more content and is thus more believable. The page is temporarily posted at: http://www.aigee.org/temp/ruwm/ .

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