Friday, February 17, 2006

WITSEND DAILY OBITUARIES: Spy (“Spying”)

Recent cloaked operations, dubbed “Terrorism Surveillance” by the Bush Administration, put the final dagger into Spy (a.k.a. “Spying”), ending a clandestine lifetime filled with mystery, intrigue, romance, fear, humor, controversy, and shoe phones.

Spying will always be remembered for injecting life into the Cold War, especially in 1953 with the executions of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were accused of providing Russian intelligence with top-secret nuclear weapons information. Spying’s notoriety was further fanned by Senator McCarthy’s anti-Communist crusade. The United States was rife with paranoia, and like Sputnik, Spying’s fame soared into infamy; everybody and their brother was spying on everybody and their brother. Spying had become an international celebrity and could no longer look back over its shoulder.

It wasn’t long before Spying was romanticized in the literary world with Ian Fleming’s creation of James Bond (a.k.a. 007) in the 1953 novel, “Casino Royale.” James Bond continued to capture the imaginations of readers all over the world and eventually made his splash on the big screen with his cinematic debut of “Dr. No” in 1962 – when the Cold War, thanks to the “Cuban Missile Crises,” had reached its boiling point.

The fifties also saw the boom of “I-Spy” books which were spotter guides for children, preparing them for the infinite opportunities in the world of spying. The company producing the introductory spy books was run by a succession Big Chief I-Spies - whose chiefdom name was derived from the I-Spy Tribe. A new series of books inspired by I-Spy, “I-Survey,” will be distributed by the Homeland Security Department. Due to a copyright infringement case filed by Big Chief I-Spy, publication of the books is still pending. The first three books of the perpetual series will include “I Survey Terrorists,” “I Survey Extreme Islamic Fundamentalists,” and “I Survey Them Surveying Us.”

Thanks to “Mad” magazine and its 1961 publication of a wordless black and white comic strip, “Spy vs. Spy,” Spying’s prolific career continued to mushroom. The strip was created by Cuban, Antonio Prohias, who fled to the United States in 1960, just days before Fidel Castro commandeered the Cuban free press.

Spying’s celebrity took a fall with the Berlin Wall in 1989, never fully recovering in the post-Cold War era. Spying saw a brief reprise at the turn of the century with the release of the Austin Powers’ film trilogy, in particular the box office smash, “ The Spy Who Shagged Me,” but in the end, it was Spying who was inevitably shagged by Surveillance.

Unbeknownst to the public, Spy(ing) is survived by Espionage, Monitoring, and Surveillance who, due to security concerns, will not be able to attend Spying’s undercover funeral. Although, survivors will be able to hear Spying’s funeral on a tape-delayed wiretap recording, which will be broadcasted by the National Security Agency via the Guantanamo Bay Radio frequency.

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