Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Going Bureaucrazy

I don't know about this official documentation/regulation business. On the one hand, imagine the possibilities for social research if we could insert a tracking and recording device under the skin of every forearm in the country so that we could track, record, document and interpret information about everyone, everywhere, all the time. We should start with politicians as an expendable experimental grou... uh, I mean pilot study population.

On the other hand, being documented is a pain in the ass. There is constantly something expiring, being lost, being required that I do not have and that takes forever to chase down: Taxpayer Identification Number (s), Vehicle Registration, Annual Road Licence, Insurance (s), Driver's License, Voter's Card, Passport, Biometric Passport for the USA, Birth Certificate, Travel Health Card, Original Documents for the Driver's License, High School Diploma, Certifications and Degrees on paper, Various certificates of religious sacraments (can't find a single one. hmmm), Luku Receipts (just in case), DAWASCO receipts (for Operation Kata Maji), Housing Contracts, Library Card(s), Video Library Card (s), Student Cards, Social Security Card (you never know), Simcards, Client Contracts, Bank Cards, Mobile Phone Registration Forms, Application for another piece of plastic with my face on it, Register this, Renew that, Something Always on The Verge Of Expiring Especially If You Need It To Travel Next Week, paper, plastic, photobooths and forms, always carry a pen, you need a pen to live...If done right, you can easily accumulate your own weight in paper trails over a lifetime. Which is why I loved this piece when I saw it here. Click to enlarge the pix.

Few things in Bongoland can cause more confusion, distress, loss of money and time and sanity than trying to get the right document in a timely manner from an official through legal means. But today, I won! Take that mister traffic cop, all my paperwork is watertight :)

By the way, is it just me or would this make a perfect torture chamber to lock bad bureaucrats in when they have been mean? Question for the artist, perhaps.


  1. I hear you!

    (1) Here in the States, it seems every Tom, Dick and Harry feels the need to know your current street address. So when you move you have to manually notify a 100 different people!

    (2) Immigration is especially bad about this one - its like you're being vetted by the CIA!They want to know stuff you've long since forgotten about (postal address of my middle school? Tax returns from 10 years ago?)

    (3) Also annoying is when you have to fill in the same information over and over again - when they already have the information on file! (The DMV is pretty bad about this)

    So yeah this is a pet peve - especially for those of us who aren't very organized (I have no idea where my tax return is ...)

    Its a little bit better now that some of these things can be done online ... although the government still seems to run on paper!

    So in sum ... pole!

  2. for a glimpse of the other side check out the osi website moving walls photography exhibition on bureaucrats


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