Well, why not ?!
Now that every government official above the rank of janitor has deemed that we are all criminals who (in the interests of national security) gotta be electronically monitored , filed , cross-filed and analyzed by super-computers , I reckon we might as well become decent at it (in the sense of proficient & competent .)
Of course, there’s always the other way to understand the ambiguous word decent . That other sense of the word meaning of good moral character and kindly disposed to others . That’s actually the way I prefer to think of myself , but now that we’re under 24/7 scrutiny by none-too-bright cops , I think it’s wiser to apply both definitions and cover all the bases.
In other words , now that so many parts of day-to-day life ( like saying on a web page that the President is a “ privileged prevaricating arrogant asshole who has been in the pocket of Big Money from day one !” , or trying to board an airplane armed with a tube of Colgate ) I think we would all be well advised to get good enough at this criminal business that we don’t wind up stuffed into a dark cell in some undisclosed location to await an end to the War on Terror.
So , how does one go about becoming a decent criminal ?
I guess that depends on whether you’re a quick study or one of us who needs to sort of ease into a new job more gradually.
Step one in both cases , however, is the same . That is to learn the lingo .
Every profession has it’s own specialized language , consisting of terms that describe the ideas and techniques peculiar to that line of work . Careful study of this specialized terminology reveals a lot about what they want , and the procedures they use to get it . The more terms they have for a single type of thing , for instance , suggests how important that thing is to them . It can also tell you a whole lot more about that professional practitioner than they really want you to know .
For example . Let’s say that a group has 17 different words for the act of extracting a billfold from a pocket , a different word for each specific variation of technique . Well in that case it’s a pretty safe bet that they’re pickpockets , and the fact that someone even knows the words should set your caution lights to blinking like crazy .
For one thing , it tells you they have spent an inordinate amount of time thinking of different ways to lie , cheat and steal . Not a real good sign .
With that in mind , go back and review the past week’s news , paying close attention to the “lingo” used by all of the talking heads telling us how legal and necessary it is for them to wiretap our phones and maintain an immortal database of every word we have ever said or written to anyone anywhere.
Mentally draw a blue circle around every new word they use that’s part of their lingo , but not yours.
See what I mean ? Those cats have got umpteen ways of describing the basic action of snooping on you , cross referencing you with everyone you communicate with , and storing that information forever.
Hmmm! Sounds a lot like crook lingo to me , and it also sounds like they’re pretty decent at it … but not in the nice way.