I just finished watching "Room 237," a documentary deconstructing the Stanley Kubrick film, "The Shining." It is a thorough and detailed exposition of the various theories about the "actual" meaning of the film that have drifted around the internet for a number of years now. These theories range from the movie being an oblique statement about the genocide of the Native Americans, to an allegory about the human capacity to forget atrocities committed in the past, to--I kid you not--Stanley Kubrick's subtle confession to having been the filmmaker hired by the government to fake the moon landing.
The documentary is highly entertaining and--as my twitter friends in the UK would say--a load of utter bollocks. Even still, it's worth watching.
In fact, I highly recommend it, and not simply for the entertainment value of listening to these very thoughtful, very passionate people detail their intricate theories about the film. It is also fascinating as a case study of that element, buried deep in our mammalian brain, that compels us to seek out patterns in randomness, and experience comfort and satisfaction in their discovery--even if the discovered patterns are false ones.
|We are particularly aware of faces.|
|The patterns we see often depend on what's on our mind...|
|Yep, you're screwed.|
|Blessed are the meek, for they are gullible.|
|Passion of the Toast|
It cannot be mere happenstance that the presidential motorcade planned a route
through Dallas that took it past the building where Lee Harvey Oswald had recently gotten a job. A great man like John Kennedy could not have fallen victim to the hasty machinations of a born loser like Oswald merely as a result of chance. No, the CIA planted him there. The terror attacks of 9/11 actually were a conspiracy among the perpetrators, but not a satisfying one. Surely this was a grand plot; a "false flag" operation, diabolically planned and executed.
|Former Doctor Wakefield, Quack Emeritus|
|Fancy a bit of the ol' ultra violence?|
The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies---How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths - Michael Shermer
Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time - Michael Shermer