|A Lecture by Prof. Malaclypse, VRDET (ret.)
||[18 Jul 2001|06:04pm]
Welcome to this Advanced Indoctrination lecture, intended to cover topics that may get only slight treatment in the Basic lectures you've all taken as part of your joining the Jihad. The Advanced classes are more for your enlightnement than any sort of field procedural, and should be more philosophical in nature. So don't worry about remembering what I tell you if you're stuck in a field op; if you need this data, you're probably in deeper trouble than you realize.
The topic for today is Why The Mundanes Don't Notice Us. Now, you've taken the Basic lectures about keeping the War a secret. You've all heard about the infamous spin duty -- and from the groans I can tell that some of you have done it at least once. What Basic teaches is the necessity of the secret, and procedures on bullshitting the Mundanes. This is not what I'll be talking about. I'm talking about why the vast majority of Mundanes can't see us.
Before we get into that, I'm afraid that I will have to disabuse you of some notions. If this offends, you're quite welcome to get up and leave the lecture hall. Ready? Okay. You are Jihaddi, humanity's elite warriors, gathered together to defend the human race from the evils of the Demon Lord B'harne. You see and participate in the ebb and flow of the War, and can see how it changes life for everbody else on this planet. You are unique, you are special because of that.
But you are not superior. Not physically, mentally, spiritually, morally, ethically nor any other way better than the Mundanes you can meet outside these walls. Sorry. You see and understand the pattern of hidden conflicts, because you've had your noses rubbed into them.
I don't seperate myself from you in this -- I didn't see what was happening either until just before I joined. Nor did any of the other higherups. Just ask them how they joined.
Anyway, all of us followed a similar pattern; we did our ordinary, Mundane things on an ordinary, Mundane day until we saw something or were somehow involved in a Jihad op, and from there our worlds turned completely inside-out. But the important thing to note here is that we weren't aware of the War going on around us until we ran straight into it.
We are like a man walking through a forest, not paying much attention to his surroundings, who suddenly runs into a tree. He smacks his nose on the trunk, jumps back and exclaims "Who put all these goddamn TREES here?!" Yes, it's funny, but it's a good analogy to the Mundane frame of mind.
Part of the secrecy comes from the work of the spin teams -- on both sides. As neither side stands to gain from the exposure of the secret, we work together to keep it. But our current spin teams are a recent invention. Only in the last five or six years have we made an organized effort to control collateral damage. So, the question is "why haven't the Mundanes figured things out yet?"
It's a complex question, and the answer is difficult to distill into a single lecture. But we shall try. Mundanes, like anybody else, generally understand only what they find familiar. The accepted frame of reference out in the rest of the world doesn't include complex battles for the destiny of the human race, alien civilizations, demons masquerading as kidvid hosts, or anything else that we take for granted.
It's a form of willful ignorance, of a sort. For example, take a good look at this room. You see me, your fellow Rangers, the seats, the desks, the stage, the big holodisplay behind me, and so on. You don't see the wires, the pipes, the fiber-optics that make the things in the room work. All around us there are complex interactions and transactions going on all the time, and we never notice it. Such as it is with Mundanes, to a point. We work in the walls, in the shadows. We're invisible to them most of the time, and so they ignore us.
When things stop being invisible and the War breaks out into the rest of humanity, we run into another block; cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance is what happens when you have two things that are "true," but contradictory. You've all experienced it to one extent or another. It's that little "I-don't-believe-this-shit" feeling you get when you first get involved in the Jihad, or you meet a metahuman or an alien, something that makes no sense to you, but it's happening anyway.
There's a legend that when Captain Cook's ships first reached Hawaii, the natives didn't see the big English ships, and only took notice of the explorers when they emabarked on the smaller boats. This is how most Mundanes see us; we don't fit into their regular reference frames, and as such "edit" us out of their worlds when we appear on the street. If a Maenad was to slice up some poor sponge-minion on the streets of a major US city, the Mundane witnesses won't report seeing a shapeshifting creature on the loose; they'll report seeing a dirty hippy waving a knife around.
There are a few people out in the Mundane world that can see the patern of the war. Sadly (for them, at least; perhaps not so for us) these individuals are extremely paranoid. Paranoia tends to bring exceptional perception as well as delusions, and those who spend their lives looking for deep patterns will eventually find them. The problem these poor people have is that when they finally connect the dots and see the full pattern in all it's glory, they will turn right around and blame the War on their favorite scapegoat. The Communists, the Trilateral Commission, the British Empire, the Jews; whomever they blame for all the ills of the world is responsible for everything in their minds. And because of this, they aren't a threat to either side.
And that's why they don't see us; they don't want to see us. They don't want to see and so they decide to ignore us. Those that do see us are regarded as nutcases, and as such are ignored like we are. This is the way the secret keeps itself -- we only need to do spin duty when things get too out of hand. And that's the way things will remain -- unless B'harne nukes Washington. Then, all bets are off.
Thanks for coming. Anybody with specific questions can come up to my office and we'll talk.