The Goebbels post is about the persuasive power of saying something outrageous and insane, the power or total exaggeration and deceit.
But there is another, different type of coercive power at work, there's evidence of it on my desk from two different directions this morning. One from the New York Post, and one from Triathlete magazine, don't ask. Both concern fundamentalist suicide bombers:
NYPost: Abdu's uncle, Halil Abdu, said militants exploited the 16 year old...'If someone gives a boy something like this, I don't believe he has any sense at all,' he said. 'He is a crazy person. How can you give a boy that age an explosive belt?'
Triathlete: I remembered a news interview with a suicide bomber who had been unsuccessful in his attempt. When the interviewer asked him if he would head into a cafe and destroy everyone for the cause, he said 'Yes.' Then, when asked if he could go into a soccer stadium where his team was playing and detonate the bomb, he broke down in tears and said 'No. I could not do it. That's my team.'
Which is only to say that sometimes one boggles the mind by fabricating imagery of something so exceptional that could never be believed. But other times, times of suicide belts for example, it's by integrating the unimaginable into the fabric of everyday life.Posted by kevin slavin at March 26, 2004 12:36 PM