Sunday, October 30, 2005

Witch hunting

Well, Hallowe'en'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 Hate Male Post.

No comments:

Blog Archive