Fart Power: there is hope after all!
by happy jack Thursday, Dec 14 2006, 5:48am
A woman with an attack of flatulence recently forced a commercial airliner to the ground after other passengers began to complain of sulphur fumes in the cabin! True story, but I wouldn’t attempt to convince the sceptics, too hard! [See link.] There is power in them thar farts, and you’d better believe it – for more reasons than would be immediately apparent.
Ever since childhood I have been in shock and awe of the power of farts; a fart can empty rooms, lose friends, disrupt board meetings, cause uncontrollable mirth and NOW force commercial airliners to the ground! If that isn’t the epitome of asymmetric power then please cite another example, I’m sure we would all like to know!
Those of us who are familiar with the sequence in the movie ‘Blazing’ Saddles chuckle whenever anyone raises the fart sequence in conversation. Who could forget director Mel Brooks’ cowboys taking their plate of beans from the ‘chuck’ wagon and farting all the way back to the camp fire. That particular clip has been immortalised, its power to affect human emotion/behaviour persists!
A number of converging factors resulted in a fearful America grounding one of its internal flights; nonetheless, it was an innocuous fart that was responsible for grounding the jet. Most professionals would attribute the incident to mass or group hysteria; behaviours with which the infamous propagandist, Herr Goebbels, was extremely familiar. Goebbels was known to frequently quote from one of his favourite texts, The Crowd (1923) to illustrate the absolute moronic nature of the masses and the ease with which their behaviour could be managed. I’m afraid the veracity of his claims and his methods of mass manipulation have been verified as the historical record would confirm. It was exactly these same behaviours/crowd hysterias that grounded the American airliner.
A public whipped into a fearful (terrorist) anxiety by neo-con strategists presents an easy target for ANYONE familiar with classic techniques of crowd control. Priming a population with classic manipulation strategies is a two-edged sword, conservatives beware! Post-modern methods of juxtaposing meaning-laden signs and symbols in order to effect changes in attitude or to alter 'world views' has proven extremely effective; the combination of post-modern techniques with classic behaviourist principles results in an exceedingly effective method of population management.
The following is a quote from a previous post:
“Recently, an innocent balloon prompted the evacuation of a number of Washington office blocks; the American people have contracted Bush’s fear virus; or more accurately, the strategy of (neo-con) propagandists has backfired. It is now evident to everyone that the world’s most powerful military is unable to deal with (micro-warfare) the small specific attack.”
One can only wonder what would occur if a group of post-modern artists, hacks and propagandists united in the ‘unholiest’ of all unholy alliances. Imagine combining an Orson Wells, War of the Worlds, scenario with a 'flatulent, balloon-carrying terrorist'; the effect it could have on a highly anxious and reactive population beggars the imagination.
Today's art of reality is the result of juxtaposing incongruous elements to produce mayhem, chaos and mindless unreason; nothing is safe!
The Crowd, Gustav Le Bon
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