Sunday, November 4, 2007

What's the Frequency, Kenneth? Part 1

"What's the frequency, Kenneth?" is your Benzedrine, uh-huh
I was brain-dead, locked out, numb, not up to speed
I thought I'd pegged you an idiot's dream
Tunnel vision from the outsider's screen
I never understood the frequency, uh-huh
You wore our expectations like an armored suit, uh-huh...."

---From the REM song

For those of you unfamiliar with the song, or the incident that inspired it, Read up!

No, this is not really about Dan Rather, though he's an interesting case in and of himself. This is about the man who attacked him, William Tager. According to the Wikipedia article referenced above,

Tager later claimed that he had come from a parallel universe some 200 years in the future. He also claimed that because everyone in the future had a double in the past, he had mistaken Rather for his future double, Vice President Kenneth Burroughs, and that he attacked Rather in an attempt to recover the information needed to stop the television signals being sent to his brain and return to his own time


Imagine if psychology were still in the days of Sigmund Freud, and some shrink had to sit there and untangle that mess. What, exactly, led him to believe that he came from the future? Who is Kenneth Burroughs, and why does he think Dan Rather of all people would be this Kenneth Burroughs? How would television signals in your brain prevent time travel? Why would he choose the "signals beamed into my brain" delusion over other such popular delusions as being Napoleon? How did potty training go?

Screw that. What likely happened to Tager was that he showed all the signs of one or more psychiatric disorders, was locked up and put on medication, and any talk about Tager's mother, potty training, or Tager's mother's potty training was done on the back end. Well, yeah---isn't that the way stuff like this gets handled?

Sure it is, so why do people try to minutely dissect the delusions of the "Arab Street" and the motivations of terrorists?

More to come when I've had some sleep.

No comments: