by Scott Creighton
Yesterday I was hanging out at a restaurant letting my car cool down after it was chugging a bit on the road (damn thing) when I struck up a conversation with a couple people sitting there. Very nice people, very casual place. I was actually watching a soccer match between Belgium and Italy in the European Cup or something like that.
Anyway, the conversation eventually turned to Orlando and “ISIS” and all of that.
One of the people I was talking to was a woman. Seems very nice, educated, maybe middle of the road politically, perhaps leaning a bit on the left. I don’t know.
As the discussion progressed, and we hadn’t really gotten into it, I mentioned the fact that the head of the FBI said there had been no discovery as of yet of any communication between Omar Mateen and “ISIS”.
I could tell immediately, this upset this woman deeply.
But I was speaking more to the man sitting there as well and I paid little attention to her apparent distress and I went on too say that both the chief of police from Orlando and the President of the United States had said the exact same thing yesterday morning.
Suddenly the woman announced “It’s too soon. TOO SOON!” and was so clearly distraught that she could barely contain herself.
I was shocked. I shouldn’t have been. That’s on me.
Too soon for what? Was it too soon to talk about evidence being made public by official sources in the ongoing investigation in-spite of the fact that these official sources seemed to want to get that information out there?
Too soon for that?
At first I was taken back by her emotional outburst. And it was emotional. How could people, reasonable people, be so emotionally upset about a developing story that 2 days after it breaks, any accounting of evidence that conflicts with their perceived understanding of the story is immediately countered with anger and resentment? Especially considering the fact that the information didn’t come from Joe “Conspiracy Theorist” or Di$info Jone$ but rather directly from the official sources conducting the investigation.
The power of the media to play on the emotions of their audience is incredible. The news organizations understand this quite well and take advantage of it as they use the time they are provided by authorities to shape various narratives in such a way as to serve the interests of those power structures which rule behind the scenes.
Her understanding of the shooting in Orlando rests entirely on the story about “ISIS” being responsible.After all “ISIS”=Evil and Evil=”ISIS” so it’s horrible but easily understood in that context. You can comfortably place uncomfortable facts and events in your understanding of the world when things are this black and white.
But if you change that perception, if you challenge it, even with information provided by officials in charge of investigating such things, it throws everything out of perspective. And I guess that is what she meant by “too soon”
As she has such an emotional connection to the event, it seems to me she was just incapable of trying to realign that understanding of the root cause of the evil behind the attack without letting the emotional connection interfere with the process. Her ability to understand the event was based more on an emotional context of “ISIS” than it was the facts surrounding the case and it was true to such a degree that she simply didn’t want to hear any relevant facts that challenged her understanding of the event.
She understood the event through an emotional context and therefore any new relevant information had to be screened by the emotions themselves instead of by any form of logical evaluation of the information.
I don’t blame her for that. In fact, I have been guilty of the same behavior.
Many years ago, and I have written about this in the past, I myself was having a conversation with a friend, Jessica. She lived next door. And she started to tell me about this professor at her college that was saying there were serious problems with the official story of 9/11 to which I immediately turned into an asshole and tore her a new one while she tried to calmly explain some relevant facts to me. But I was hearing none of it and for that, I ended up losing a friend.
But I also ended up getting madder as I stewed on it and I decided I would look into these “truthers” (though they weren’t called that back then) so I could debunk their bullshit stories about 9/11.
It took me about 9 months to come to an understanding… that “oh shit” moment when I realized she had been right and I had been dreadfully wrong.
My history of 9/11 Activism from then on is pretty well established on this blog and others (9/11 Blogger for one)
She had moved out before I came to my more nuanced understanding of the events of that day and I never had a chance to apologize to her, which I certainly regret. I would like for her to know one day that everything I did for the Truth movement, as little as it was/is, is because of her and she deserves all the credit for it. I think she would be pleased knowing that.
So I understand this nice woman’s reaction yesterday. I do. Been there myself. But it’s still striking to see just how much emotional context is involved in our understanding of the world around us. I don’t know if it’s a bad thing or a good thing but I do know it is used as a weapon against us sometimes. Not by this woman, but rather by those who prey on us and use our emotions against us to keep us from better knowing just how the world we live in really works.
I remember something about Edward Bernays designing a marketing campaign for the cigarette industry revolving around using “freedom torches” (cigarettes) to get women to smoke back in the day. Women by and large didn’t smoke back then. Wasn’t “lady-like” and the cigarette manufactures wanted them to start because they figured they were missing half of their potential market. So the emotional context Bernays decided that would best suit their marketing was “freedom” and that’s the emotional connection he used to sell women cancer and lung disease.
I wonder if someone had come out back then saying smoking is linked to cancer would have been met with cries of “too soon” by woman hoisting their freedom torches. Probably.
Just thought I would share that with you guys. Was it too soon?