Tuesday, May 13, 2008

What is this May 13 anyway?

The topic May 13 is almost a taboo; it is a subject that stirs up different level of discomfort in most people. But how many people really know what it is, how many of us actually lived through the horror of it?

It happened when I was 9 years old, and my only memory of it was a few blissful days of no school and no homework. The incident was very insignificant in terms of human suffering. It was infinitesimal compared to the Japanese occupation, which has long been forgotten in our collective memory. But why does a small incident like May 13 get stuck in our collective psyche with such stigma? Yes, there were social and political ramifications – but how many of us really – I mean REALLY – took time to understand the cause and effect of it?

I would like to suggest that most of what we think we know about May 13 are mostly false, and most of our emotions associated with May 13 are mostly irrational. They are the results of almost 40 years of insidious propaganda. We were constantly being bombarded with threats about it repeating, each time with some new connotations added, until it became a boogeyman that everybody feared or hated but nobody knows exactly what it is.

The nature of the human mind is that we are extremely vulnerable to propaganda and brain washing techniques. Read the following article: 'We can implant entirely false memories'

"We can easily distort memories for the details of an event that you did experience," says Loftus. "And we can also go so far as to plant entirely false memories - we call them rich false memories because they are so detailed and so big."

Powerful emotions, it seems, can both reinforce and weaken real memories… And false memories, once accepted, can themselves elicit strong emotions and thereby mimic real ones.

The impressionability of the human mind is a crucial survival mechanism, for without it we would not be able to assimilate a vast amount of information within the rather short human lifetime. But it also renders the mind extremely easily exploited.

The human mind can be manipulated not just in terms of believing in falsehood. Witness the trial of Altantunya, observe how the trial process and the media were being manipulated. A hideous high profile murder could have been erased from the collective memory of the whole nation in the matter of months if not for the timely reminder of our true champion Raja Petra Kamarudin.

Human being can be driven to mass hysteria very easily as well. For example it only took one person waving a weapon, followed by a few provocative slogans chanting, and the country is divided and driven into hating each other. It is as irrational as the hysteria generated from a rock concert!

Today is the 39th anniversary of the May 13 incident. Frankly this date holds no meaning to me whatsoever. For one thing I had always refused to believe in the racial hatred propaganda propagated by the Barisan Nasional government. I had always been driven by my yearning to reach out to another. I have been to many countries and made many good friends of people from different races. Skin color and trivial cultural differences has very little significance in the face to face, heart to heart relationship to another human being.

39 years is long enough for a lot of things to be forgotten and forgiven. May 13 would have been long forgotten if not because of the constant instigations from certain unscrupulous parties.

Any form of mass communication is extremely effective in influencing the population, and our mainstream media have been subverted into senseless propaganda machines for propagating all sorts of lies. It is time for the rakyat to stand together to put a stop to these bullshits.


Humble Voice said...
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Humble Voice said...

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