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ShootBack this Thursday (answers to questions)

--- begin forwarded text

Resent-Date: Sun, 20 Dec 1998 15:54:24 -0500
Subject: ShootBack this Thursday (answers to questions)
From: [email protected]
To: [email protected]
Date: 	Sun, 20 Dec 1998 15:48:07 -0500 (EST)
Resent-From: [email protected]
Resent-Sender: [email protected]

several people have been asking questions about national shootback day
this thursday at noon.

for example a lot of people have asked why the day before christmas,
for which there is an answer, e.g. just bring a camera with you when
you go christmas shopping, and try to capture the spirit of the herds
of christmas shopping customers being watched from above...

it was felt that a faq would help immensely, so here is the
national shootback day faq:


                       NATIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY DAY (NAD)

                       FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

   Q. What is NAD?
   A. NAD is short for National Accountability Day. To some it is a
   protest against those who hold us accountable but refuse to or try to
   avoid being accountable to us. To others, it's a fun celebration of
   mutual accountability. To some, it's a chance to get revenge by
   shooting at people who are members of an organization who's been
   shooting at them. To others, it's a chance to help those who have
   helped them, by giving them the gift of protection. It's different
   things to different people, but the one common element is that it
   involves taking pictures of people who are involved in placing us
   under video surveillance.

   Q. How can I give the gift of protection this Christmas season?
   A. On the entrances to their shops, their signs say ``for YOUR
   protection you are being videotaped''. Isn't it heartwarming to see
   that they are offering you so much love and compassion? In return, you
   must offer them the same protection. By photographing them, you will
   show them that you love them and care for them. Put them in your
   family album, and cherish their smiles for centuries.

   Q. Who was the inventor or originator of NAD?
   A. NAD is not the vision of a single individual, but, rather, it is
   the work of an international coalition that includes artists,
   scientists, engineers, and scholars.

   Q. When is NAD?
   A. December 24, 1998

   Q. Why December 24th? Won't the stores be kind of crowded with last
   minute Christmas shoppers then?
   A. That's exactly the point of selecting December 24th. The meaning of
   Christmas has become one of consumerism. Like herds of animals we are
   shepherded into the shops only to be distrusted by the shopkeepers who
   watch over us from on high, with their omniscient surveillance
   network. When the sheep are greatest in number, the shopkeepers will
   have a more difficult time of keeping order. Moreover, it gets boring
   waiting in the long lineups. Why not pass away the time standing in
   line, by doing a little shooting. So take a camera along during your
   Christmas shopping and do a little camera shooting.

   Why was Christmas Eve chosen ? The shops will be rather busy.
   A. that's exactly why. 12:00 noon dec.24th will be the busiest day,
   and the best expression of corporate culture, and the best time to
   shoot. It's a human element.. crowds of people herded like cattle,
   overseen by the surveillance. Also the lineups will be long, so it was
   felt that folks could entertain themselves while waiting in line by
   shooting. When you get bored waiting in line, liven it up with some
   camerafire. Shoot when you're bored. Shoot when you're frustrated.
   Shoot when you're being shot!!!

   Q. Is NAD the same as ShootBack Day?
   A. Yes, NAD is also known to many as National ShootBack Day or
   National ShootingBack Day. (ShootBack is one word! There is no space
   between Shoot and Back.)

   Q. Isn't 12:00 noon going to happen at different times since the
   different parts of the nation are in different time zones?
   Furthermore, National Accountability Day is International. If that
   itself isn't an oxymoron, then at least it adds to the confusion since
   different coutries around the world are in much different time zones.
   A. That's exactly the point of doing it at noon. As high noon sweeps
   past various time zones, the shot heard around the world will be that
   of clicking cameras. This shot will travel around the world, and the
   shot heard around the world will be the shot seen around the world,
   later on when the contest submissions come in. The shot seen around
   the world will be seen in the nationless realm of cyberspace, hence
   the term ``National'' is partly in jest, for it is certainly not
   limited to any nation in particular.

   Q. How do I enter the contest?
   A. Send your pictures to

International Photo Contest,
284 Bloor Street West, Suite 701,
Toronto, Ontario, Canada,
M5S 3B8

   All submissions become property of NAD and will not be returned.
   Winning entries along with a large number of the submissions will be
   posted to the online gallery.

   Q. What format should the pictures be in?
   A. Any developed format (print, film positive, film negative, etc.),
   or any file format that can be read using GNU software under Gnu
   Public License on a computer running the Linux operating system.
   Alternatively, submissions may be placed on an FTP or HTTP server and
   the address or URL may be submitted. Any submissions that require
   commercial software or commercial operating systems to read will be
   discarded without review. Acceptable media include slides, silver
   halide prints, or other standard forms of photographic prints up to
   8.5 by 11 inches, computer printouts, film negatives, plates (glass
   plate negatives up to 8 by 10 inches), film negative strips, film
   positive strips, diffractive prints, 3.5 inch floppy disks, ISO 9660
   CD ROMs, IDE devices, or SCSI devices. Photographic media must have
   been developed (e.g. no undeveloped films or forms that require
   chemical treatment or processing by NAD staff will be accepted). If
   submissions are made by URL, the image format must be universally
   readable from any WWW browser.

   Q. I have heard that NAD is a protest? Is this true? Will there be a
   A. If you prefer to think of NAD as a protest, it can certainly be
   explained that way. Rather than protesting by carrying signs, or by
   marching, citizens will protest by going on shooting sprees. Armed
   with their own photographic or videographic cameras and recording
   devices, ordinary citizens will dish out some accountability by taking
   pictures of people who are representatives of organizations who are
   taking pictures of them.

   Q. If NAD isn't a protest, than what is it?
   A. Another equally valid interpretation is that NAD is an agreement
   with the status quo rather than a protest against it. In this
   interpretation cameras are good, so let's have more of them. Pictures
   are good, so let's all take pictures. If a department store is such a
   dangerous place that cameras are needed, then so be it. What's good
   for the goose is good for the gangster. Everyone shoots everyone and
   we're all happy. ``Only criminals are afraid of cameras'', so let's
   give representatives of the Surveillance Superhighway a chance to
   define themselves by seeing if they're afraid of cameras. When we ask
   why we are under video surveillance, we are told by the Bigs that
   ``only criminals are afraid of cameras'', or we are asked ``why are
   you so paranoid''. Now is the time to allow the Bigs to define

   Q. How can I participate?
   A. All you need to do is bring a camera --- any camera --- to a place
   where video surveillance is used.

   Q. How will I know who I should shoot?
   A. Taking pictures of the surveillance cameras will cause models to
   appear very quickly for you to photograph. When you point your camera
   at their cameras, the officials watching their television monitors
   will very quickly dispatch the models for you to shoot. This is a
   universal phenomenon that happens in nearly any large organization
   where video surveillance is used. Models often carry two--way radios
   and wear navy blue uniforms with special badges. Most will be eager to
   pose close to your camera, especially the hand models. They will reach
   out and place their hands over your camera lens so you can get a
   closup hand shot.

   Q. What is the rationale behind NAD?
   A. We are all accountable for our actions. The Bigs keep us under
   surveillance, whether we're just walking down the street, shopping, or
   sometimes even when we're changing clothes in their fitting rooms
   (Phil Patton, Jan. '95, WiReD). That's why Thursday, December 24th is
   National Accountability Day. This is the day to arm yourself with a
   camera, or other photographic or videographic instrumentation, and
   enter various department stores, and other establishments that match
   the classic definition of totalitarian (e.g. establishments that wish
   to know everything about everyone yet reveal nothing about

   Q. What are some examples of totalitarian establishments?
   A. Examples of totalitarian establishments are those in which we are
   placed under extensive video surveillance, yet we are prohibited from
   taking pictures ourselves. The goal of National Accountability Day is
   to challenge this one-sided aspect of Totalitarian Surveillance.

   Q. What subject matter, other than pictures of the surveillance
   cameras and representatives of the SS should I shoot?
   A. Participants will also photograph or make videos of any illegal
   activity they happen to encounter in these totalitarian
   establishments. Evidence of illegal activity includes fire exits
   chained shut, and other forms of entrapment, forcible confinement
   doors, and the like, which are potential fire hazards.

   Q. Should I shoot alone, or be part of a firing squad.
   A. Going salvo is better than going solo. It is preferable that groups
   of citizens participate in unison, to prevent, or at least document
   illegal theft or vandalism of photographic equipment by the Bigs.

   Q. Is there a deeper philisophical underpinning to NAD, or is it just
   a bunch of angry people going postal?
   A. The camera is like Hamlet's Mirror, allowing the Bigs to define
   themselves within a Reflectionist context. Reflectionism holds up a
   mirror to society, and constructs this mirror in a symmetrical way, so
   that it is defined on the same terms as that which it calls into

   Q. Is there any slogan or aphorism I might use to publicize NAD?
   Shoot Authority First
   Question Authority Later.
   (Shoot first, ask questions later)

   Q. Is NAD a photo conntest?
   A. There is a photo contest associated with NAD. For entry
   instructions, see http://wearcam.org/nad-entry.htm

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--- end forwarded text

Robert A. Hettinga <mailto: [email protected]>
Philodox Financial Technology Evangelism <http://www.philodox.com/>
44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'