After reading my friend Mitchel Cohen’s essay on factors affecting how people change their political views, I was reminded of the scene above from Chaplin’s Modern Times (I’m strange that way). Facts alone, Cohen says, are often not enough to change a person’s political views, because the person’s psychological reaction formation simply dismisses the new facts as false propaganda.
I’m a little less pessimistic concerning facts. Generally, I think that facts that challenge the framework of the conversation, or move the discussion to a wider context, some meta-level, can be very useful.
Well, this isn’t the place for that discussion (but see Mitchel Cohen’s excellent series of essays here: http://www.redballoonbooks.org/books/books.html for really deep imaginative thinking about how political change is effected and affected).
But what that conversation reminded me of was the roller skating scene from Modern Times, as well as reminding me of magic and the technology of deception. If you haven’t watched the video above yet, please take two minutes to watch it. Don’t watch the video link below though yet—it’s a spoiler.
Once you watch the first video, consider your feelings about the scene. Next click the link below. I think you’ll enjoy it. Consider what happens to your mindset about the first video when the frame is broken.