Sunday, July 6, 2008

Hangin' with the Supremes

A colleague of mine at UR's School of Law showed some interest in promoting Second Life for legal studies, so I thought I'd take a look around for him. Here I'm lounging in one of the Justice's chairs in the Supreme Court of Second Life. Though the in-world courtroom was sufficiently grand, it was unpopulated except for the flat justices you see behind me.

And since the Supreme Court recently issued a decision supporting individual right to keep and bear arms, I thought I'd pose with the Supremes with a digital weapon to commemorate the occasion. I'm not sure if they had assault weapons in mind, but the digital gun I'm posing with is all I had in my SL inventory - I hope my pose doesn't elevate our terror threat level!

At first glance, this may seem a silly idea, but the power of image
can be greater than we think - remember the global riots sparked by
cartoon images of Muhammad?

Images can be powerful, even when they are only orally invoked, as long as they have been branded into our minds through repetition.
While some fears are reasonable, use of fear for political and religious manipulation has a long history. I call this the "booga-booga" effect, and I imagine making a series of stick-puppets, representing the most current guilt/fear manipulators, to help subvert their corrosive effect.

Even the simple sonics of potent phrases like...

"saturday night special"

or "terrorist"

or "mushroom cloud"

can have an astonishing and powerful impact
when repeated by leaders because when we hear them the icons of our mind are invoked and these touch us deeply, often below the level of logic...

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