Recently I watched two elderly men at a suburban coffee shop start giggling like schoolboys. A waitress had brought them a slip of paper to fill in, a normal Covid-19 protocol, and they were giggling because they had hit on a brilliant plan: instead of signing their own names, they would sign as “Joe Stalin” and “Lenin”.

They were delighted by their cleverness, but it was clearly a protest, an act of defiance against the Gestapo, embodied by a waitress earning minimum wage who was forcing them to provide private information that nobody had access to except the state and their bank and insurer and gym and literally any telemarketing firm...

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