Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Government Surveillance (HBO/YouTube)

This is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen on a news program. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and I just kept exclaiming aloud “hayop” (which exactly translates to “animal” from Filipino, but is used as an expression that’s more akin to “Oh my God”) even if I was alone in my room.

I know about Edward Snowden but I didn’t know the specifics. Again, like many of the people on the show, I thought he was much like Julian Assange, except I saw The Fifth Estate with Benedict Cumberbatch, so I have no excuse except that I’m not American and didn’t think that this news applied to me. But my sister lives in the United States and I have friends in the United States and I communicate with them a whole lot via e-mail and Skype and Viber and iMessage. And if one country does this, what would stop other countries from doing this. It is an important topic of discussion because the Internet is becoming the future of how we interact with each other and we are beginning to see our government for what they really are.

Before I continue on with more of my thoughts, maybe you should see this video, if you haven’t seen it already:

Again, I don’t really have an excuse because The Good Wife tackled this issue on several of their episodes and to both comedic and dramatic effect. And isn’t this what the novel 1984 is about?

This is an important issue that we have to discuss now because autocratic regimes are becoming more widespread and there are governments out there who aren’t truly invested in caring for their people but for their own selfish needs. There are people with ideologies out there who are unwilling to work with the rest of the world and want to impose their own ideas and beliefs on other people.

It’s a scary world and any talk of safety means understanding the whole world’s geopolitical situation because the world has become more intertwined than ever.

It’s way too much for my own understanding. I’ve only started to become political in my late 20s and I have a lot of history to catch up on. In this day and age of information-at-your-fingertips and instant news reporting and citizen journalism, it is important to separate fact from fiction and to be able to look at all sides of the situation than just the first thing that you read online.

But I appreciate John Oliver for what he is able to do: take a really complicated situation that is beyond a normal person’s ability to comprehend and bring it down to its most basic level to start a conversation.

Yeah, I’m not American and I don’t want to be, but they have become, sort of, the epitome of “Western ideology” and the Philippines has a way of emulating what they do. Because of the way the influence world conditions, what happens there is important in how the ripples can turn into waves and affect the rest of the world.

That’s slowly changing, though. With all the news about living conditions in other countries — I’ve noticed a lot of stories about Sweden, Denmark, and in a lot of cases, France, for example — America is no longer the ideal. But again, not everybody reads these stories. It’s not yet as mainstream as what happens in the United States.

I don’t know what I’m talking about. I saw this video last night and was so affected by it that I knew I wanted to put it out in my blog and then I just began rambling. Like I said, I’m still relatively new to all of this. I’m happy to admit that I’m more aware of it than many of the people I know; but people are slowly starting to wake up.

It’s a lot to take in. I’ve been “asleep” for a really long time. I’m glad that John Oliver and Last Week Tonight manages to appeal to my need for both entertainment and emerging political proclivities.

I hope more and more people wake up soon.

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