Or if the secret ministry of frostJames Gillray, "Smelling out a Rat" (1790)
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.
Even Fuseli’s 1781 painting “The Nightmare” (below) – which seemingly depicts the contents of the female sleeper’s febrile imagination – is arguably as concerned with surveillance as it is with erotic fantasy. The crouching incubus and grotesquely phallic horse that peeks through the pleated velvet curtains of that most private space, the sleeper’s bedroom, do double service, hinting at the fetishistic nature of compulsive information gathering.
Edward Snowden is one of us. Bradley Manning is one of us … They are the generation that grew up on the internet, and were shaped by it. One day, their generation will run the NSA, the CIA and the FBI. And by trying to crush these young whistleblowers with espionage charges, the US government is taking on a generation, and that is a battle it is going to lose. This isn’t how to fix things. (Wikileaks statement, 22 June 2013)
It's possible that both the NSA, GCHQ and affiliated organizations – occupying the headlines in many countries this week – who wish to keep populations safe at the cost of their mature, private lives, and those who seem to be indifferent to the threat of arrested development, are equally at risk in terms of healthy social outlook.