Monday, 26 October 2009

#11 Non-military night-vision

Night vision goggles undoubtedly grant the wearer an advantage in certain non-sinister situations. War, and perhaps nature documentaries. Nobody would dispute the advantages of seeing at night if you are hunting an enemy combatant, and tracking a pair of endangered badgers for the BBC is less bad than most. The downside to this technological advancement, however, is a device that in the wrong hands is almost unbearably creepy.  

Animals and the military use night-time for cover, to protect themselves from other people. People, on the other hand, use the dark to hide their deeply shady activities from other people. Things civilians do in the dark: develop photographs (often sepia), fornicate, spike drinks, grow mushrooms and eat ortolan. All, I'm sure you'll agree, deeply sinister. Usually the one positive is that we don't have to watch them. But thanks to night-vision technology, the citizenry can, if they really want to and have a spare few hundred pounds, sit in pitch darkness at a safe distance and patiently observe their targets, who are shrouded in an appropriately eerie green glow. Whether these are women getting changed, elderly couples watching television or children being read a bedtime story, the night-vision goggle provides an unparalleled opportunity for deviant prying. In any civilian context the utterance "oh, those are just my night-vision goggles" is tantamount to "I know, I can't believe I'm not in prison either". 

Attic rating: 8/10

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