The dearth of freedom.
The policing of the self, restraining of the id.
Often, the flash of blue and red light is sure to make me straighten my back in my seat, check my speed limit (if I am driving) and inspect my actions.
The regulations that bind us only make the society a functional one, a cohesive one, a safe one to be in.
While it does not stifle me, the thought of having 'Big Brother' watching my every action makes me internalise the discipline of checking my own behaviour, aligning it to the permitted.
Huxley's Big Brother is still a source of inspiration for many more dystopian-based films and books.
The dystopia in movies like Judge Dredd, Oblivion, Total Recall all share the same concept of having that totalitarian authority who watches our every single move, restraining us, exploiting our privacy.
Interesting as it is, the idea of oppression can really be depressing. I have never been a fan of being told what to do. While I like how efficient it can be, like reading off the instruction manual of building a 1:100 Gundam Robot model, there is absolutely no room to express any creativity.
It isn't a bad start for people to tell you what is the right way to do certain things. We were socialised from young by our parents, then teachers, then the society.
I guess for me, National service preceded the society. Somebody had to do it, to kick me out of my nest and it's either I make flight or shatter my bones.
So, though the laws make me desist, they really aren't all that bad; to serve as a benchmark for the greenhorns of the society.
We are all human, and that means even the law-enforcing, straight-faced cops that we see patrolling the streets. They have their own problems, chained by the very system which they serve to enforce.
Ironic as it seems, for some of them, it is a calling and not a mere employment that pays the bills.
The bright smile of the lady officer, her relaxed demeanour, her soft countenance reveal a much softer story inside that starched and stiff uniform that she has on. If I may write a script for her life, it'll be her having a few children and that they're all proud as hell to have a police officer as a mother.
Alas, this also marks the end of the lengthy incarceration series. Much of this was inspired by the surrounding environment which I call home. Juxtaposing Berkeley to Singapore, I must say it is a stark contrast in not just the daily lifestyles of people, but how the different environment inculcate different values and nurtures unique personalities.
While Singapore has got many more regulations, I cannot help but feel comforted to know that it is so much safer and better a place to grow up in.
It is not incarceration when we(not just I) all benefit from it.