Friday 5 September 2008

Oh, Really…?

The ‘Telegraph’ has an interesting article on Northern California teacher Ron Jones’ social experiment - known as the Wave - in April 1967 at Cubberley High School, and the new film of the same name by Dennis Gansel to be released in the EU (though it has yet to find a US distributor).

This seemed quite a telling observation:
The director reveals that he had to sharpen his movie's ending after observing young audiences giving the salute at test screenings. "They thought it was cool and iconic. The Wave is about fun and creating a community and I believe that's still appealing. There is a strong urge today for a big idea that is bigger than yourself. Not necessarily fascism; it could be, say, the Green movement."
Yes. It could indeed


DJ said...

Hey, a 1960s social experiment that showed AmeriKKKans were hovering of descending into fascism. Who'd have thunk it?

Spare me. Besides, it's not like there's any evidence that Teach is an agenda-driven kook is there?

on Jones, the teacher, had arrived there straight from training college. He soon became famed for his unorthodox methods: making students at the almost all-white school use different toilets to demonstrate apartheid, for instance.Zzzzzzz.....

Longrider said...

Jones' background is irrelevant. The experiment spoke for itself; that subtle peer-group pressure can create a fascist society. All you need is identifiable "outsiders" to target and you are away. That Jones used KKK influences was simply using the cultural background of the country he was in. Similar experiments elsewhere (there was a prison one done as well) demonstrate how easily we can lose our empathy for others.

The use of child spies (or should the be heroes?) by local councils shows just how easily this can happen. People are not recoiling in horror at the use of paid council snoops. The bastards are lining up to join.

Jones' academic or political background therefore, does not undermine the point that he makes - but then, that's why ad hominem is a logical fallacy.