The Thin Blue Line That Protects Us From Canadian Science Fiction Writers

Peter Watts writes:

If you buy into the Many Worlds Intepretation of quantum physics, there must be a parallel universe in which I crossed the US/Canada border without incident last Tuesday. In some other dimension, I was not waved over by a cluster of border guards who swarmed my car like army ants for no apparent reason; or perhaps they did, and I simply kept my eyes downcast and refrained from asking questions.

police brutality

Along some other timeline, I did not get out of the car to ask what was going on. I did not repeat that question when refused an answer and told to get back into the vehicle. In that other timeline I was not punched in the face, pepper-sprayed, shit-kicked, handcuffed, thrown wet and half-naked into a holding cell for three fucking hours, thrown into an even colder jail cell overnight, arraigned, and charged with assaulting a federal officer, all without access to legal representation (although they did try to get me to waive my Miranda rights. Twice.). Nor was I finally dumped across the border in shirtsleeves: computer seized, flash drive confiscated, even my fucking paper notepad withheld until they could find someone among their number literate enough to distinguish between handwritten notes on story ideas and, I suppose, nefarious terrorist plots. I was not left without my jacket in the face of Ontario’s first winter storm, after all buses and intercity shuttles had shut down for the night.

In some other universe I am warm and content and not looking at spending two years in jail for the crime of having been punched in the face.

But that is not this universe.

CHT Ken MacLeod and William Grigg. Updates here. To help Watts, see PayPal and snailmail donation info here. To ensure it never happens again, smash the state.

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3 Responses to The Thin Blue Line That Protects Us From Canadian Science Fiction Writers

  1. Anon73 December 14, 2009 at 2:20 pm #

    I used to dismiss this sort of story as exaggeration or hype. Sadly that’s no longer the case.

  2. Brandon December 14, 2009 at 11:44 pm #

    Why does Watts hate America and ally himself with the terrorists?

    They hate us because we’re free, you know.

  3. Alexandra K December 15, 2009 at 2:45 am #

    Roderick, your short comment on Watts’ board was wonderful! Alas, it’s gone unnoticed.
    Most posts on there were like “Our heroic plods do their noble job, but there are some rotten apples among them who should be punished.” or “Our heroic plods do their noble job, and there are not rotten apples there but Watts and his sycophants who should be punished.”
    I actually don’t know which version is worse.

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