Sunday, January 22, 2006

Monsters behind the lampposts

Tim Neale has a very good post on Two for Tea.

It begins:

When I was a child of four or five, I woke one evening and screamed the house down. My mum came into my bedroom to see what all the fuss was about. I had had a nightmare and was convinced there were monsters in the street out side my window. My mother opened the curtains and challenged me to show here where the monsters were.

At first I thought they might be hiding behind the lampposts. An idea which my mother found very amusing. Eventually I had to admit that I could not see any. Maybe it was the feeling of safety that having my mother around induced. Or maybe it was the self evident lack of monsters that did it. Either way I soon forgot about the monsters and went back to sleep.

And ends:

I wonder what Blair says to his kids when one of them complains about monsters outside the bedroom window.

Something like "As no one can prove there are no monsters behind the lampposts I will have all them all removed. If anyone complains that we are now living in the dark I will make it very clear your freedom to be safe from fear has to come first."

In between he muses:
Modern western leaders can be split into two broad categories. The ones that use visions and dreams to lead their people away from fear towards justice and liberty, and the ones that empower fear and ignorance to lead their people back into the dark.
His analysis has a lot in common with the argument of Adam Curtis's documentary series The Power of Nightmares, which I have written about several times.

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