Registered On: April 2, 2014
Thanks.. some good comments above.
True, it’s part of being human to enjoy a good story and let your imagination rip. In the past there were all sorts of mythical tales and legends which tried to explain things – to do with spirits in mountains, planets, gods and so on… then came the bible, and later on came other types for entertainment only, like Robinson Crusoe… before storytelling expanded with different genres like horror, sci fi, crime and so on.
Thing is, that people normally grow up to separate fact from fiction unless they’ve been told otherwise by parents and elders from an early age, like with the bible and religion in general. But if you were born into a family with the ‘full strength’ variety of religion, it can leave you dependent for life.
Yet, while most of us don’t have a problem separating obvious fact from obvious fiction, growing numbers do seem to have a problem separating the two. For some it’s a bit like hypnosis. Remember those Derren Brown shows, where apparently normal types were apparently put under a spell to say and do all sorts of outlandish things once they heard key words, sounds, etc. In the recent past the word ‘Brexit’ became a kind of special word which prompted a willingness in some people to mouth and repeat all kinds of gibberish.
And now it’s as if thousands if not millions have accidentally fallen under a spell which even they themselves aren’t aware of, and don’t even think of themselves as deluded or lying. (“The hypnotized never lie” – wasn’t that a line from a Who song?)
Maybe it’s due to the persuasive presentational style online, of say, Alex Jones, David Icke and co, who often sound like convinced and convincing evangelical preachers, particularly in America.
And if you like or need simple explanations for often very complicated phenomena, coming from apparently simple, straightforward, wealthy, ‘regular’ guys like Farage or Jones or Trump, it helps.
And coming unfiltered through social media from your Aunt Doris, or from apparently regular guys who support your football team, even better.
I suppose suspension of disbelief is also reinforced when those simple explanations come from official sources, like the government. This particularly applies to those with strong political convictions – like tribal Tories – for whom politics is like religion. And, politics has become a bit like religion in recent years.
Maybe politics always was in danger of becoming like a religion for some people, like with Nazism, or Mao’s communism, where people are unwilling to see any other view except that of the party, and what it says and does.
I mean, some will now actually believe a Scotch Egg is a substantial meal, simply because a government minister said so!
But I’m not sure we’ve nailed this. Any more food for thought?