Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Hey, I'm going to write up something, maybe a series, about things you always thought and were told were true by the media and education, then found out they weren't. Like... the Kent State Massacre was a bunch of Nixon troops sadistically killing flower-loving peaceful hippies. Or that silicone breast implants killed people. Or that Iraq never tried to buy yellowcake uranium.

What, you thought that stuff was all true? Just wait.

But if there are any of these stories you know about, let me know in comments, and I'll research and run with them, too. There are a lot of these out there. Things that were common knowledge, everyone knew... and were false.


Rollory said...

On topic, Gov. Allen of Virginia and "macaca": this is and always was an incredibly blatant lie. There is no word "macaca" in French. There is the word "macaque", which is pronounced exactly the same as it is in English, seeing as how the English stole it. As a general rule in French, trailing 'a' vowels are dropped for silent 'e'. Whatever Allen had in mind when he produced that combination of sounds, it was not and could not have been a uniquely French racist insult that he learned growing up in his irredeemably racist childhood. The French definitely do have racist insults, and lots of them. "macaca" is not one.

I say this as a native French speaker and a non-fan of Allen.

Off topic: I finally got The Old Republic this past weekend. I completely retract my earlier comments about it, which were based on insufficient time with it in the beta. This game is an absolute blast. I can imagine Star Wars mythology being redefined to center around this side of it, with the movies and Luke Skywalker becoming a footnote. As someone who grew up on Luke, that's heresy - but this game is really, really good.

I am not convinced that their subscriptions won't suffer a catastrophic dropoff by the six-month mark. But we'll see.

LordSomber said...

"Hey, I'm going to write up something, maybe a series, about things you always thought and were told were true by the media and education, then found out they weren't."

The Gell-Mann Amnesia effect:

"You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. [...]
In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story-and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read with renewed interest as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about far-off Palestine than it was about the story you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know." -- Michael Crichton


Rollory said...

Oh, another: the four stages of grieving - denial, bargaining, etc. It's all bullshit. She faked her data. Everyone accepts it as true because it sounds good, but there's no actual evidence for it.

Philip said...

Just one :

New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina.

Marie said...

The lie of the "split personality."

Low fat diets being good for you, eggs being bad, butter better than margarine.

In the 1970s we were seriously warned about The Coming Ice Age.

Also, the Population Bomb (Ehrlich).

Anonymous said...

How about, why the Peace Corps was created and it's underlying reason for being.

Christopher R Taylor said...

Thanks everyone, if you can think of any more let me know!

Rollory said...

Regarding N.O. and Katrina: back when I used to read Vanishing American a few years ago, she had a pretty interesting piece about how the initial reports out of there were full of specifics: names of people raped and killed, specific descriptions and counts of dead bodies, direct quotes from the male British students who had formed a ring around the female students in their group while in the Superdome, and so on. Then later when people started saying "the initial reports were all an exaggeration, it wasn't that bad" they never revisited the specifics. V.A.'s argument was that it _was_ that bad, but the truth is racist, so the media had decided to cover it up. I don't know if that's what Philip has in mind, or if he's arguing the precise opposite - that the initial reports were all entirely faked, and that all the names and specifics were made up out of whole cloth. V.A. was claiming that the earlier, specific reports were more credible than the later "don't worry, nothing happened" ones.

Either way, one must find which is the lie that got pushed.

Christopher R Taylor said...

Almost all of those stories were specifically withdrawn and corrected, but not very publicly or as widespread as the original outrageous lie. You have to ask yourself: who gains from the story being told and who gains from them being suddenly covered up? Who would do that, and why?