Why Big Brother wants your mug shot

Last week I went to a photographer to get pictures taken from my kids, one and three years old. Not funfunfun pretty pictures, but official depressing, bad lighting passport pictures. We’re planning a trip abroad and with all these baby terrorists and kidnappings, obviously they need their own passports. And passport pictures.

Let me hear it for democracy!
I love democracy. I love freedom. I love being safe and secure and thank my government for providing such a society. Hurrah government. Well done people! So I can get over the fact that we have this idiotic law that says that even babies and toddlers need their own identification. I am not in ‘give me back my privacy’ mode right now (even though, seriously, give it back). But why do we have to look like criminals in our passport photos?

Practical issues
There were two big problems when taking those pictures. The first was the photographer himself, who was crap beyond imagination. The second was my two boys. There are happy boys. They are friendly boys. The are well behaved. So when someone want to take their picture, they smile. They even tend to laugh. Oh my. That is not allowed. In your passport you need to stare into the camera like you’re Bill Murray in the opening scene of Broken Flowers (Go see that film. Really, you should). The law says, that’s a ‘neutral’ look. Everyone else says it’s a lethargic stare that makes you look like a busted dope dealer.

Look at this criminal. Must've done something.
Look at this criminal. Must’ve done something.

Why
Looking at my sons pictures I hardly recognize them at all. Where is the youthful energy? The laughter? The love for their daddy? It’s all gone. here’s my Big Brother conspiracy theory why we need such pictures. Because police and customs officers need to suspect us of something when looking at our passport.
If they look at your passport, they can’t be thinking: ‘Hey, that’s a nice friendly and smiling face. This must be a really fun, trustworthy person. I am sure this person won’t break a law.” that;s the way a trusting government would operate. And we no longer live in such a society. This society needs passports that, when seen by an official government representative, says: “this boy is a hardened criminal. He may appear to be a cheerful one year old boy, but look at this photo. He is definitely guilty of something. Or he has been kidnapped. Or worse. Anyway, there is something definitely wrong here. Check again.”

Let’s face it, if we are all guilty of something. Isn’t it efficient that our government already prints your mug shot right in your passport. Yeah democracy!

One thought on “Why Big Brother wants your mug shot

  1. well… at least they don’t ask their finger-prints and eye-scans )
    photos are probably more for identification if the child is lost, not to see him as criminal, and yeah, when muscles of face are relaxed – this is more neutral (but of course less usual for kids)…
    and yeah, every time somebody looks at your passport on border they are like suspecting you in something bad, that’s really odd )

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