ALEX CHADWICK, host:
Many states watch what people do in public and private. In our occasional feature that we call 2 Minute Noir, producer Tom Lopez imagines a world in which we are all being watched.
Mr. TOM LOPEZ (Producer, 2 Minute Film Noir): At both ends of the block were cop cars, the lights were flashing.
Unidentified Man: The street was blocked off?
Mr. LOPEZ: Right. The street was filled with stool pigeons.
Unidentified Man: Everyone was a stool pigeon?
Mr. LOPEZ: Everyone, I couldn't take a step without being squealed on.
Unidentified Man: How would they squeal you?
Mr. LOPEZ: First, everyone had a walkie-talkie.
Unidentified Man: Walky-talkies?
Mr. LOPEZ: But, as I kept walking, they got more sophisticated, and they were using cell phones.
Unidentified Man: Talking or text messaging?
Mr. LOPEZ: First talking, then texting.
Unidentified Man: To the cops?
Mr. LOPEZ: Some weren't holding any device. They were just talking to themselves.
Unidentified Man: Probably using Bluetooth.
Mr. LOPEZ: But, as I kept walking, they stopped talking. I knew they were just thinking.
Unidentified Man: You knew what they were thinking?
Mr. LOPEZ: I knew their thoughts were being transmitted through implants to the cops.
Unidentified Man: Were they regular cops or Feds?
Mr. LOPEZ: Who knows anymore. I mean, these were my neighbors.
Unidentified Man: You live on that street?
Mr. LOPEZ: Yes. I suspect it was a big reward for the biggest rat.
Unidentified Man: You mean the rat who would rat the most?
Mr. LOPEZ: I mean ratting on somebody, now that I can understand.
Unidentified Man: But a stool pigeon.
Mr. LOPEZ: That's the lowest a human can stoop.
Unidentified Man: So comparing the stool pigeon to a gutter rat. Who's worse?
Mr. LOPEZ: No comparison, you can't stoop any lower than a stool pigeon.
Unidentified Man: So what happened?
Mr. LOPEZ: The alarm went off.
Unidentified Man: You woke up?
Mr. LOPEZ: That's right, that's what I thought.
Unidentified Man: It was a dream? You, you woke up?
(Soundbite of running water)
Mr. LOPEZ: That's what I thought.
Unidentified Man: It wasn't?
Mr. LOPEZ: It was, but now, it's legal to tap my phone, to read my email, to bug my house, and to watch me from satellites and to put chips in my passport and chips in my credit cards. And there's cameras watching me on every street corner. I mean, we're all living on stool pigeon street.
CHADWICK: That's another 2 Minute Noir, this one produced by Thomas Lopez. It comes to us from the new NPR series, Hearing Voices.
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