Last night Australia paused. Seriously. The whole country stopped. In fact, hackers made sure the whole thing came to screaming halt.
But for those who were able to complete the forms, and those who did it ahead of time, and even those of us who will do it today or tomorrow, the Earth will continue to rotate counterclockwise on its axis, and despite the gravitational proximity to our Moon and our revolution around the Sun, and the fact there are 200 or so other countries out there on our planet all watching the Olympics on TV, I swear to God (or Xenu) we paused.
How do I know this?
Because the Australian Bureau of Statistics told me so in one of their copious TV ads and I saw people actually stop in midair, suspended like … for real.
Now that you know that, I want to run something else past you.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has also promised that the information given to them in the Census from an estimated 9.2 million households will be kept completely safe from hackers and never shared with anyone.
Repeat that to yourself: the same people who told us people stopped in mid-air tell us they will keep all the information you shared about where you live, how many cars you drive, how much money you make, your birthdate, place of birth, where you work, and pretty much what you’re up to during the day completely safe.
I want to let you in on a little secret. Apple can’t keep their iPhones completely safe. Ashley Madison can’t keep its information safe. Hillary Clinton couldn’t keep her deleted secret 30,000 emails on a Pentagon quality server she kept under her toilet seat in her Washington, D.C. townhouse safe.
And if Edward Snowden can get access to anything of yours he would like on his Russian Dark Web eBay account, THERE IS NO WAY A BUNCH OF BUREAUCRATS CAN BE TRUSTED TO KEEP YOUR INFORMATION SAFE!
I see the value in the Census for lots of things like finding out how many people we have so we have reason to shut off immigration, which is why the Census form asked what religion I was and included Islam, but not Judaism.
The country isn’t worried about us Jews. I guess we’re just chillin’ in the shopping malls and cafes. Nothing to see here.
The government also desperately needs to know how many people are working at home vs. commuting, so we can still cancel massive projects like Melbourne’s East-West Link and drop a billion dollars here or there because really, “where we’re going, who needs roads?”
We need to know how many cars are in the garage so the local gang knows how many people to bring by when they’re stealing cars next Thursday after they get their copy of the Census downloaded from the ABS streaming site that will appear this weekend.
And we will need to know if Bill Leak knows who his father is, and what country he hailed from just in case life imitates art. So if you’re still working on your census, online or analog, I know it’s important, I’m happy for you, and I’m going to let you finish.
I just want you to know why you’ll be getting a birthday card from me in a few years on the right day, at your home address, even though we’ve never met.
Bobby Galinsky is a Melbourne-based screenwriter and producer whose films include Dreamtime’s Over, Franz Stampfl: A Life Unexpected (filming), and the upcoming Dust and Glory.