Joachim bravely delves into the murky world of mind-benders and provides us with a compass to navigate through it all. This is the first part of a series of 3.
Just as fun or better than the real thing, much safer and perfectly acceptable, socially. It can also be defined as watching any of Christopher Nolan’s films. Ideas that basically challenge your perceived reality. Or, sometimes, utter poppycock.
Ah the mindfuck. Given how often illogical statements or ‘tak masuk akal’ statements are made these days, I’ve begun to believe that the only right thing to do is is to be
logical illogical. Let me share some logical fallacies – or what I term as ‘mindfucks’ – in this article. (To be used for good and never for evil, of course.)
In fact, I’ll share seven practical ways you can ‘mindfuck’ a friend/colleague/family member and more, by sidestepping, distracting and confusing the issue at hand. After all, thinking, fact-checking, reasoning and debating are way too much work for the standard human being, anyway!
1. The classic “Fuzzinyzer” (a.k.a fielding often obtuse responses unnecessarily)
This is a classic ‘disruptor’ which takes the wind out of the proverbial sails of your opponent’s argument. It involves a counter-statement that sometimes fries one’s synapses for a bit, yet makes perfect sense to you.
1. John F. Kennedy: Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country! (Cue: Huh?)
2. Random person: Argh! Why are you doing this to me?
You: I say, um, why shouldn’t we all be doing this to you?
3. Random other person: I can’t afford the time or money right now.
You: But that’s exactly why you need to get this!
4. Random friend of random person who knows you randomly: Keep it real, bro!
You: But bro, what is real?
(Examples #2 and #4 need to be said with your voice trailing off and your eyes looking into the far-off distance. The more open-ended the questions and the more philosophical-sounding the statements, the better. This buys you more time so you can change the topic!)
After your blow of gobbledygook, your opponent will be bewildered by your twisty brilliance (you can always cover up by saying you were being philosophical, and start talking about philosophy), or rather, the appearance of the lack of it.
Throwing a mind-bender at your opponent (especially an annoying one), may seem rather ’desperate’ but hey, it may also give you much needed time. While they try to untangle meaning from the convoluted statement and figure a comeback, you could ‘strike’ them with yet another mindfuck. (Unless, of course, they’re too weak-minded to realise what you’ve done, in which case, you should quickly but subtly change the topic to appear as if you’ve already answered or addressed their question.)
To borrow a boxing analogy, ‘duck and uppercut’- i.e a follow-up ‘mindfuck’ uppercut ensures your opponent is off-balance for successive blows to come, setting up the stage for the delivery of your knockout punch.
2. The “Aren’t we all?” that invokes a sense of inclusiveness and belonging
This is a favourite with politicians and leaders who like to rally behind the collective (not to be confused with One Direction, mind) and paint themselves as The Voice (not to be confused with the reality show of the same name, mind) as they believe this validates their views, power or call-to-action over any one particular group; and snuffs out objections before they can even form in the mind. After all, this tactic appeals to that all-encompassing sense of belonging and who doesn’t want to be part of a what’s popular? Who wants to be left out?
Moreover, if tonnes of people are agreeing with this person, there’s always creeping self-doubt that makes one think: “Who am I to say this person is wrong?” Never mind if you’ve shared a dorm room with them before and you KNOW they’re confirmed psychos. The point is, this makes it very hard for people to speak up. (Peer pressure, anyone?)
In Sun Tzu’s Art of War parlance, this is called ‘creating something from nothing’. Assumptions are built into such sentiments in the way that suggests that the person has your trust and is one of you, the premise therefore being,”Why should I debate or try to reason with you when I’m one of you? When I’m your Voice (and the one and only Voice)?”
Such a ‘voice’ will choose carefully crafted speeches heavy in nouns instead of verbs. Example: Instead of “For the next General Elections, let’s vote!” The Voice will instead opt for: “For the Next General Election, let’s be voters!”
So dress the part, sound the part, act the part and let everyone enjoy the show!
1. “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears” (as quoted by Mark Antony in Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare. Act III, scene II.)
2. “Dengan projek yang amat best ini dan yang beramuan beribu-ribu juta ini, kita akan mengukuhkan status negara kita sebagai negara yang maju dan paling ‘best in the world’. Best ke tak best?”
3. “Our founding fathers founded our great nation upon one unshakeable founding principle: Great hawker food and fair and equal distribution of sumptuous hawker-food . Amen, brothers and sisters! As such, we shall march in support of it! Jyeah!”
The world of mindfucks is pretty inexhaustible, really. But for the benefit of your mental health, further articles on this confounding subject will be spread across the week in segments. So, drop by again to learn more about the art of the mindfuck.
(Featured image accompanying article on the main page courtesy of David Creighton-Pester, source: http://bit.ly/10ft0mD)