Whilst waking up, I watched this old video of Christopher Hitchens talking about the moment Saddam Hussein seized power in Iraq. Not through a junta or fixed elections, but through simple peer pressure. By torturing one person, and forcing them to implicate those that might go against him – Hussein purged Ba’ath. The paranoia of false-but-inarguable-accusation created complaisance and blind allegiance. Hussein sits, nonchalantly smoking a cigar, as people are removed one by one. It’s genuinely terrifying in its simplicity and absolute success: it only took the torture of one person to steal a country. Vague handwaving gesture towards the current trend of uncritical loyalty.
I cheered myself up from that ten minute trauma by watching early-70s Buddy Rich being a sassy prick, all combed hair and turtleneck.
Despite that, the Hitchens clip held a small cloud overhead for much of the day. Yesterday, I was enjoying the idea that while there’s a consensus people are predictable – outcomes generally fulfil existing patterns – they are also prone to chaotic behaviour. People always have the essence of a statistical outlier, to be able to throw a cherry bomb into a situation or create their own multiball environment, to Begbie a snooker hall.
Sadly, when that chaos comes into play, people grab onto the nearest solid thing – for right or wrong. Certainties are emotionally better than grey areas, even if ambiguity has more opportunity.
– Mr Blobby’s house was called DUNBLOBBIN and I can’t get that out of my head.
– Mario Kart Tour on iOS offered light relief.
– Enjoyed being shown the different sets of buffs used for types of spoons.
– Two nurses singing ‘oh Danny boy’ on the ward (yesterday).
– KRC Genk play Bro Hymn by Pennywise when they score (Gabber version by Paul Elstak).
– [album] Buddy Rich, The Solos (live)