Sunday, October 30, 2005

Witch hunting

Well, Halloween's coming so witch-hunting seems a reasonable topic. Ifeminists flags a couple of articles to whet the appetite. A now 30 year-old preschooler finally comes clean about his contributions to the McMartin preschool trials. Mind you, he's only one of 360.

Mick Hume at Spiked wonders at length why we "believe these anti-human" horror stories such as child kidnapping from the Asian tsunami zone, rapes and murders at the New Orleans Superdome, gang rapes in north England, a child lynching in Yorkshire, child rapes in Essex (UK), etc. None of these actually happened or were nothing like they were portrayed, but that didn't stop the media going loopy and authorities posturing over taking them seriously and throwing resources at them, which made the media all the more interested, which made the authorities take them even more seriously and so on and so forth until everyone looked like a bunch of bloody fools, so they went quiet and hoped it would all go away before anyone noticed which it pretty much did because the public have the attention span (and proclivity) of your average mosquito except for the occasional reporter like Hume or perhaps even an entire magazine dedicated to critical thinking which hardly anybody ever reads anyway.

Hume muses further, "There is a powerful climate of misanthropy abroad today, one which suggests that we should always believe the worst of our fellow citizens" (another Brit who doesn't know he's a subject, sigh), and "it must be these contemporary anti-human attitudes, endorsed from the top of society downwards, which make many seem willing to believe the worst." and finished with "We are in danger of losing touch with the sound instinct which ought to tell us that some stories can just seem too bad to be true."

This is where he and I part company. We never had any such "sound instinct", it isn't in the least bit "contemporary" and misanthropy has always been abroad, there's nothing special about "today". It's standard, in-group/out-group thinking. It's part of the raw material of the human animal. Tribal society was built on defenses against real dangers, real fears. The hero rallies the tribe to take out the man-eating tiger and once he's done that, he's in charge and needs a way to stay there before his cousin sticks it to him with his spear. Quick! Think of another danger, and frighten everyone back into line, and that gossip over there, tell her first, she'll spread it further than I can.

Like rats, we need to climb on top of one another to get to the top of the pile. We'll do whatever we can for advantage, including frighten our neighbors, even while frightened ourselves, to keep the club together and knock the bad guy on the head (even as he wonders what he did). There's no conspiracy, the media and the authorities don't know what they're doing, even while they're doing it. They all think they're good guys, even as they tie the rope and drop the trapdoor. The human animal needs its enemies to stay together, and if it hasn't got any, or enough, it'll make some up. It's a feedback mechanism, damped down only when it goes too far and damages the pack more than it helps. By then, for many, for the real victims, for the "witches", it's too late and the perpetrators, innocent though they may have been, in their own way, can only beat their chests and sigh a regret for a minute or two before shrugging their shoulders and changing the topic.

The McMartin accuser says: "I would love to look at the defendants from the McMartin Preschool and tell them, 'I'm sorry.' "

Too late, mate.

Simulposted at Just Another Disenfranchised Father.


Blogger The Geezer said...

It is not just tribal, bud. It is the way the gub'mint works against the sheeples.

If they ever actually SOLVED a problem, they would be unemployed, so they either have to perpetuate a problem, while chest thumping that they are doing X, Y, and Z to solve it (incidentally requiring more money) or they will have to INVENT a new problem.

Now that the red menace is dead, and we can't scare our children with that, we ramp up global warming, and have conferences, collect taxes, etc. etc. while screaming the sky is falling.

Same with DV, deadbeat dads, and any number of other red herrings.

Yea, the gub'mint learned from tribal leadership, and I for one can't wait to see what tomorrow's manufactured crisis will be.

The Geezer

10/30/2005 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger John Doe said...

I don't think the government "learned from tribal leadership", they are tribal leadership. There is no conspiracy to keep the people afraid, the people are already afraid, and they want something to hang that fear on. The government, the media and your neighbor will happily supply fears just because fear is the engine that drives us, the means to power, and everyone wants power. People are manipulated through their emotions, fear is the strongest emotion, it leaves us the most vulnerable, and is the most useful to whoever wants to pull the strings, and that's everyone.

10/30/2005 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger One man said...

I agree. There is no conspiracy. The degree of cooperation is not possible except in machines. Something as tangible or substantial as a group that could cooperate that well for that long over such a broad range of ideas and distances would be easy to find and destroy. The problem is with how we allow our government to handle their budgets. Every budget is like a feeding parasite. Some are benign or even helpful but they all want to grow. And each budget has a clever person in control of it and how it appears to the other clever persons responsible for increasing or decreasing said budget. The workers responsible for oversight are feeding from the same host. This creates an environment fertile for runaway budgets. They don’t even need to know each other to behave in a way that may seem, at first glace, as a conspiracy. It is in all their best interest to secure the food source.

10/30/2005 02:58:00 PM  

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