Learn more about our sustainable Prince William County campus initiative

Don’t Rain on My Parade

I don’t think anyone will doubt that things are just a little “unsettling” these days. Everywhere you look, it seems you’ll find disagreement, uncertainty and angry rhetoric. The presidential race looks like a choice between crazy and criminal, no one is sure who can use what bathroom and Kim and Kanye are mad as heck at Taylor just because she didn’t like being called a b***h in his latest song. Folks, when Shakespeare’s Richard III said, “Now is the winter of our discontent” he was attempting to portray the direness of the times in 15th century England, if he were to write those same words today most of us would probably say, “Hey, that’s not too bad, at least it’s just a winter”. Then, just as a tiny shaft of light begins to pierce through our cloak of darkness, some people have to come along and rain on our parade. I speak of course of Pokemon Go and the hackers who would spoil a good time for all of us.

Certainly there have always been those whose inability to find happiness in their own lives has compelled their attempts snuff it out in anyone who finds it in theirs. The misanthrope who pops a child’s balloon or the wretched excuse of a human who absconds with last night’s leftover fried chicken, that you were going to have for lunch, from the company refrigerator, for example. But I think we can all agree that these actions, as reprehensible as they are, pale in comparison to those who would seek access to our most personal data while we are pleasantly engaged in an attempt to capture Pikachu. The more empathetic among you may ask, “what went wrong in these people’s formative years”, but I say the fact that, “Mommy didn’t love me” is no excuse for giving me reason to break my concentration while I attempt to launch a Pokeball at the Doduo standing in my neighbor’s front yard.

Certainly the game is proving to be dangerous enough as the two people who walked off a cliff while stalking their “Poke” prey could attest to– if they were still alive to attest to anything, of course. But now it appears that a bug in the software allows Niantic, the game’s developer, to access my Google account information thereby making it as available to a variety of nefarious types as the emails of the Democratic National Committee.  These cyber security concerns were further heightened when a number of Pokemon Go servers crashed due to multiple hacking attempts. Is it really so hard for some people to let others have a good time? If walking aimlessly around the neighborhood looking for fictitious creatures is the way that many of us choose to avoid the stressors of the world, so be it. To be fair, I can see that there are some times that less than secure data is too important, or just plain fun, to ignore. For example, I’m sure that Mrs. Clinton’s plans for Chelsea’s wedding, perspectives on yoga and input on the Iranian nuclear deal were a barrel of laughs for most of the world’s intelligence agencies. But what would you really learn about someone whose goal in life is to capture all 151 Pokemon characters? I think when you look at the issue from that perspective, you’ll agree that these efforts are just plain mean.

I don’t think that I am alone in wondering if all the strife in today’s world has brought us to the point that there are those who feel it necessary to stamp out even the merest possibility of entertaining diversion. Can other forms of Pokemon directed oppression be far behind? In a world wracked by divisiveness and a rapidly shrinking area of common ground, will these attacks on our rights to capture Pokemon, wherever we may find them, be just another step towards a dystopian future? We can only pray that this is not a rhetorical question.