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Monday, May 19, 2003

On the staging of rescues


I saw this report yesterday, but was waiting to post until I'd thought about it. But, as might be predicted, many other people have gotten there first.

I tend to keep what Richard Dawkins would call a ridiculously open mind about such things; to use his example, I don't know that there are no faeries at the bottom of my garden, so I'll just believe there are none until I run into some. I read very detailed reports, based on things such as melting points of Kodak film, on how the moon landings were faked, and I'll accept the possibility that it could have been all a publicity stunt; Gotta ask Messrs. Aldrin and Armstrong et al, though, and they seem to be of the opinion that they went there. So, even if the science-talk of the conspiracy theorists is correct, and it's impossible, I'll have to accept that it did happen anyhow. Like how bees fly, even though my biology textbook insisted that it wasn't possible for them to fly (they're too heavy) -- a certain novelist took that idea and ran with it to a world where bees fly because nobody's ever told them they couldn't.

So, I'm willing to accept, if you can show me, that there has never even been a war, or that there is not and never has been any such place as "Baghdad." You'll have a harder time convincing me that no bombs have ever fallen, as I know people whose word I trust who have been there, but I'm open to the possibility that they were reprogrammed to think that, or that it was all staged to look like there was really a war going on when it was mostly sound stage.

I don't think it's likely, though.

Not so for the BBC, it appears.

UPDATE: Even more fun reading is the comments page on that article. My word! There are people convinced that the US decided to target UK forces just because they felt like it (what does that person think the point of that would have been?), who are certain that Jessica Lynch's amnesia is too "convenient" to be true (the US says she doesn't remember it! that's proof they're lying!), who believe all the US media coverage was faked (and who are thrilled that their own country has perfect and unbiased state-controlled media), who feel quite assured that Hollywood (like Clear Channel, I suppose) makes movies because the current administration wants them to instead of because they think the US public wants to pay to see such movies... Wow. Yes, I'll accept that all those things are not *impossible* (like the garden faeries), but (also like the garden faeries) nothing in the world I have experienced leads me to believe there is any likelihood whatsoever of such things being true.

I think it's a good thing I'm not going to England next year; how incredibly detached from reality can you get?

(No, I know they exist on the other side as well -- head over to LGF to see! -- but LGF-types don't dominate the academic world much of anywhere, and BBC.co.uk comment-writers do.)

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