Monday, August 01, 2011

Operating on a Media-Created Holodeck: Youth on Utoya Island walk to their death

Richard Landes

I went to see the movie Samurai with an Israeli friend who had just spent a semester teaching at Williams College in MA. When we left he referred to the scenes in which the Tom Cruise character is haunted by dreams of the massacres of Native Americans that he had participated, and said, “my students at Williams think that that’s what the Israeli army does. It’s a testimony to the power of the media that such profound distortion of reality.

The comments of a survivor from the Utoya Island massacre made an interesting remark that illustrates the problem (H/T: My Right Word)

“Some of my friends tried to stop him by talking to him. Many people thought that it was a test … comparing it to how it is to live in Gaza. So many people went to him and tried to talk to him, but they were shot immediately.” It illustrates the point I made at opening statement at Second Draft (cited by Breivik):

Since the MSM are the eyes and ears of civil polities, and no creature blind and deaf to key data from the world about can long survive, we consider the cleansing of our mediated “doors of perception” a critical task in the years and decades ahead.

These poor youth were operating on (at least) two major misconceptions: 1) that Israelis are like Nazis, and 2) that talking is enough to change a monster. Putting the two together led them to make a fatal error in reasoning. It’s as if they were operating on a radical leftist holodeck… but they weren’t.

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