The images of a mob invading the Capitol looked surreal to me, as I was watching it on CNN –Trump-declared snake den of fake news- from the cozy comfort of my coach. It looked like a badly enacted B-movie, where terrorists are allowed their 17 minutes of destructive fame, before Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, or Jason Statham blast them into oblivion. You know, Rambo style, with more firepower than an attack helicopter, bleeding very manly, and writing literature history with poetic four-word-sentences like “out here , I am the law”, or “Hasta la Vista, baby”
Only, the expendables did not show up this time. The National Guard was nowhere to be seen as the Capitol Hill police and a handful of secret service agents tried to protect congress representatives and senators. O, and a vice-president. It seemed unreal that the same United States that steamrolled through the Nazi defenses in 1945 was on the brink of being unable to defend the core of the national democracy: the Capitol. Defend, mind you, not against a well-trained, willing to die, highly efficient terrorist sleeper army, but against some middle aged, red faced, overweight dudes in badly adjusted camouflage gear, and a guy that came dressed as a bison.
I am not going to go through the why, the how… Not going to preach that words matter, that words are weapons. I am not even going to point out the crushing responsibility of Him Who Shall Not Be Named, the only one-time president that was impeached twice, in firing up his supporters. There have been tons of posts on that, and history will be a relentless judge.
fake memories: Bladerunner
The scene reminded me of Bladerunner. Ironically the science fiction movie was projected around 2019… It features humanoid robots, implanted with fake memories. “…attached to the emotions driven from the implanted memories and a sense of false purpose driven from those feelings. Even fake and implanted memories can evoke real emotions, and that is what is important here. It’s not a question about what is real, and what is not. It’s a question of focussed empathy.”
Even the fake, constructed stories based on demagogic rhetoric, trigger real emotions. And uncontrolled, petrol fueled emotions make mobs do real stupid things. Like attacking the Capitol, dressed up as a bison…. and thinking you will get away with it.
Roy Batty’s death soliloquy evoked that « all his moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.” The people involved in the Capitol attack have no such luck. They will be remembered by history, labelled as “domestic terrorists”. Most of them are slowly wakening into a shocking reality: that actions have consequences.
I do not want to the bringer of bad news… but Mad Max was set in the reality of… 2021.