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Listening to :
Nick Cave : Murder Ballads

Reading :
Defying Hitler

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Weirdest Dream lately :
I dreamed I was on the "other side" when my Dad was passing. I spoke to him and made sure he was okay. Then I woke, and knew he was gone. 30 minutes later, we got the call from the hospital saying that his blood pressure had crashed in the last 30 minutes.

Currently working on :
A BTVS related story called "Long Goodbye" which deals with a member of the Watchers Council being vamped as part of an experiment.
Also completing my nanowrimo effort.



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A blog for that outspoken and aggressive member of the Buffy Bulletin Board.
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   Sunday, March 23, 2003

Psychic Resistance

No, I'm not suggesting the Iraqi people try to resist invasion by Uri Gellar methods. It's a term I've heard used to explain the mental resistance people have to ideas which go against their own beliefs.

Beliefs are funny things. We hang onto them so fiercely because they are the bedrock of our perceptual framework. To challenge them, is indirectly, to challenge everything we believe.

Take religion. Parents often pound that shit into your brain when it's still soft and immature, and it forms a part of the bedrock of your belief system.

Let's face it, there's nothing more crazy than religion. The idea of a supreme being, which has no real evidence for it, is a nutty idea. What makes it even nuttier is how many people are convinced that out of the thousands of religions in the world, they were lucky enough to have been born into a family which brainwashed them with the RIGHT one.

As a sceptic who has debated with creationists in the past, and as an atheist, there is nothing so galling and impossible as trying to challenge a persons core beliefs like religion.

I can see why it works on kids. They're young and impressionable, and have no idea how the world works. How else do you think they accept such equally preposterous ideas as the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus?

It seems that people have to grow out of these delusions on their own. They can't be forced into it. The question is, how do we know we are victim to these crazy core beliefs? Just how many of us REALLY try to challenge our core beliefs, and see if they stand up to a little outside scrutiny?

Here's a few we might look at.
1) One man can make a difference.
2) It is possible to achieve your goals through peaceful protest and mass demonstrations.
3) Our governments run our countries.

And an extra two for the Americans to think about.
"We are the good guys."
"Israel is a poor country, a victim, that needs our help."

Those three beliefs above are ones I know I internalised, along with my religious upbringing. But as I got older and more cynical over the years, I came to the conclusion that (1) was designed to make the people who wanted change stand up singly before organising themselves, making them easier to identify and deal with.

(2) Ghandi was always cited to me as the example of how this was so. But really, has anyone OTHER than Ghandi ever succeeded at this? Is it possible he was the exception rather than the rule? Is it possible that other forces behind the scenes were really behind Englands withdrawl from India?

As an example of this, a friend was talking to me recently about protests in Ireland. Ireland has been a refueling spot for American planes for a long time. And the citizens of Ireland, ostensibly a neutrality, objected to this. All the peaceful protests and demonstrations had no impact. Instead, it was a combination of a few concerted individuals who frequently broke into the airport, and damaged the planes, who made the difference.

Either by attacking the plane with hammers (allegedly causing 500,000 dollars worth of damage) or by spray painting the windsheild of the cockpit. The airlines decided it was too risky and expensive to stop at Shannon, Ireland, so they are now flying to refuel at Frankfurt, Germany instead.

It's made me think about things. That's always a good thing.

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