Can People Tell the Difference Between Reality and Fiction? Really?

Republibot 3.0
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One of the neat things about the new "V" series is how - as Republibot 1.0 pointed out in his initial reivew - the Visitors are no longer Nazis (As they were in the original series), they're the Illuminati: They infiltrate, they sew discord, they usurp power. This is a pretty clever way of tying the show's own version of reality in with our 'zeitgeist' - the spirit of our time. Well, the spirit of crazy people in our time, anyway.

I grew up at a time when the Moon Landing was unquestioned. There were paranoid schizophrenics who claimed the government was lying to us about it, of course, there always are, but the nature of their paranoia was different: They didn't claim we never went to the moon, they claimed we were still going, in secret, and confering with aliens there, or about to launch a nuclear war, or genocidally wipe out life on earth and use the moonbase as a Noah's Ark of sorts. Whatever.

So: No shortage of crazies, but vastly more entertaining crazy stories. In the late 1970s, the movie "Capricorn 1" came out - about a faked Mars landing - and suddenly, practically over night, the gibbering schizophrenics changed their story from "We're still going to the moon" to "We never went to the moon."

Think about that for a minute: They're getting their scientific insights from OJ Simpson movies. Mostly forgotten ones, at that.

Similarly, paranoid nutjobs have been claiming that Reptile aliens have been subverting our government for a long time, as a precursor to some nefarious scheme or another (Which, neither here nore there, we probably could prevent if we were still going to the moon! I'm joking, of course). There's nothing new in this - Balloon Boy's dad wanted to start a reality show to expose the reptiles in our midsts, for instance - The producers of "V" have worked this paranoia in to their show cleverly, but here's the thing:

I never heard people SAY this kind of crap prior to the original "V" back in the early/mid 80s. I've spent a lot of time around gibbering schizophrenics - they're entertaining to talk to, provided they're non-violent or you're well-armed - and I don't remember as a 'teen any talk of this sort of thing.

I think this whole "Lizards from Space" Thing actually *STARTED* with the original V. I think the Paranoids picked it up and worked it in to their delusions, and now we've come full circle to the point where their delusions are being worked in to the new "V."