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Monday August 13th 2018Tim Candler9

 

      Less than a hundred years ago there was an advert for a brand of lighter which included the expression "a flick and it's lit." A catchy phrase designed by bright young minds to entice an innocent customer into choosing a brand of lighter which I think was called Ronson. "What's this got to do with Q-Anon?" I hear the call. The answer can be found in a word that emerged in the 1960's which took it's cue from a 1930's movie called Gaslight. The movie was about a devious husband who in the course of being up to no good had decided the drive his wife insane by persuading her that she'd lost touch with the real and had become delusional. The word Gaslighting is hard to avoid, you can't really get up in the morning without experiencing an attempt designed to manipulate the way you think, but in the long list of civic horrors Q-Anon stands alone because in a sense we are all adherents to one version or other of it. We all believe something and when our beliefs are challenged we can quickly be persuaded to believe things that cannot be true.  What's the matter with you - just look at symbol for the United Nations, the earth is very obviously flat and if the earth wasn't flat and saucer shaped, you'd fall off it.

 

Past

    All very well getting worked up and over excited around ideas that suggest reality is virtual, that nothing is real outside of quotation marks, it's a mental stage upon which we prance, and yet thinking that way is a luxury best left to the common rooms that serve latte. One view is this. Generations ago we lived in tropical trees, we built well appointed and comfortable nests and we were blissfully happy unless one of our number chose to look beyond our horizon in the search for something else. Usually we'd do the right thing and toss such a character out of the nest, let him or her fall to a horrible death as a warning to others. Then our trees began to die and reality suggested that if our being was to survive we'd have to find new ways of being. It was the horizon that beckoned, an impossible place, flat treeless and without hope. It wasn't a genetic change that permitted us to adapt, it was the confluence of our being confronted by reality, a moment of truth rather than anything that made any sense. Boldly, with just the occasional gnashing of teeth and some grumpiness, we ventured forth into an unknown future. Q-Anon, if you ask them, will tell you everything's under control and going exactly according to the plan that's far too complicated for simple voters to fully comprehend. Me, I'm not convince. Incidentally, the Ronson lighter from a secondhand stall cost six pence, it needed unavailable parts and it never lit, it's a purchase that will live in infamy. 

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