The Brat Noise Project

March 23, 2008

The next step the Kansa Society must take has become clear. No, it’s not the t-shirt.

Dinner with the girlfriend,  while excellent (mostly because it was with the girlfriend) was tragically beset by wailing kids. These, it should be pointed out, were not even babies but misbehaved five-year old children. This ravaging of what should be a pleasant and romantic dinner by Bengali brats calls for a solution.

The solution, the girlfriend pointed out, is to adapt one of the great triumphs of the modern feminist movement: the Blank Noise Project Unwanted Gallery. The Unwanted Gallery, for those of you who do not know, is a brilliant concept. If someone harasses you, you photograph them with your handy mobile phone camera, and upload the picture to the gallery. This is strong for the following reasons:

  1. It removes the criminal’s anonymity, imposing costs on street harassment for the first time (well not the first time, because there has always been angry-mob-with-chappals, but honestly, how often does that happen in real life?)
  2. It puts control of the situation into the harassment victim’s hands, instead of having to rely on either a mob or a policeman
  3. It uses cellphones, which appeals to me as a telecom and technology geek
  4. It’s an amazing example of the fundaes described in David Brin’s The Transparent Society, and again this appeals to me as a sousveillance geek

So there. But as we shall see, these fundaes can be used not only as a weapon against sexual harassment, but also against evil parents who bring their spoilt children out, to devastate the peace and tranquility of shared public spaces. Just as there is a rogues gallery of eve-teasers, the Kansa Society can create a Rogues Gallery of misbehaved children. Any time a screaming kid is seen in public – whether in a train, a plane, a cinema, or a restaurant – public spirited Kansa Society members (or indeed, anybody who sympathises with the ideals of the Kansa Society) can photograph the juvenile, send the photograph to the Kansa Society, and rest assured that the misbehaving child will spend the rest of its days knowing that its crimes have been exposed to the world at large. Slowly but steadily, public misbehaviour by children will become stigmatised, and parents will learn not to bring them out into public. A Utopia will be created, all thanks to the Kansa Society.

It is time for the Brat Noise Project to take wing.