Sunday, 31 May 2015

Razor sharp

The final scene fades in and the lone gunman cautiously approaches the Mafia don, who is alone at his desk and unaware of the presence of his stalker. The camera zooms in, the intruder filling the frame and a single green blink is seen from the dial of his wristwatch before the focus is pulled quickly out, the point of view retreating vertically upward, beyond the boundaries of the room, revolving to zoom in to a satellite. The signal is bounced twice before reaching Langley, Virginia, where a team of operatives study flashing screens. An alarm sounds and a red button is pressed.

In the grounds of the godfather’s residence three armed guards are simultaneously despatched by unseen assailants and a shadowy figure approaches the ground floor window of the Don’s study. We see the Mafia boss and behind him the stalker. A door bursts open and the main lights are turned on. Two others enter the room and cover the stalker whose pistol is aimed at the crime boss’s chest. One is the FBI field agent who has been pursuing the stalker. The other is a British under-cover cop. The gang boss grabs his pistol and shoots the intruder; the Brit shoots the FBI guy. The cop nods at the don, holsters his pistol and exits. [Roll Credits]

We are left thrilled and disturbed; what have we just seen? Wait, the Brit was working for the Mafia all along? But why then was he seen at the marina in a previous scene? And how did the disgraced FBI man get his badge and gun back? And who, exactly, was the would-be assassin working for? More questions than answers and a plot as full of holes as an Aero but a strangely satisfying outcome. Before we have tried to unravel who did what to whom and why, our memories start to become hazy and we bring our own focus back to the here and now; work, family, money. We were entertained for a couple of hours, but now it is back to reality

Twisted tales, conspiracy theories, shadowy forces controlling our world – we love that shit. But the truth is usually much more mundane. The boss isn’t trying to get you constructively dismissed; he just doesn’t like you. The Jews, sorry ‘Zionists’, didn’t carry out the attack on the Twin Towers in a complex operation twenty years in the making; the jihadis really did just fly airliners into them. And Cultural Marxism isn’t a coordinated plot involving millions of teachers, councillors, police, judiciary and trades union placemen; It’s just what we call the mess of an outcome of years of misguided beliefs in ‘fairness’ instead of pursuing higher expectations.

William of Ockham’s fourteenth century hypothesis lex parsimoniae or ’law of parsimony' states that among competing hypotheses that predict equally well, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected. What has become known as Occam’s Razor states that "Other things being equal, simpler explanations are generally better than more complex ones." It is a principle I like to remind myself of, once in a while, in order that I don’t get carried away by the outlandish conspiracy theories that permeate the Internet like a gullible plague of grasshoppers.

Only joking - the world really IS run by shape-shifting giant lizards!
Keep. It. Simple. Stupid.

And thus to the forthcoming EU referendum. Prepare for smokescreens, a never-ending hall of distorting mirrors and unsubstantiated, complex ‘explanations’ about how everything is interconnected and like a game of Kerplunk, if we vote to leave the order of our society, nay the very fabric of our universe will be rent asunder. The EU question is not about benefits, nor is about immigration and freedom of movement. It isn’t about red-tape business regulations, the European arrest warrant, nor human rights. It isn’t even really about trade. It is about one thing and one thing only. Sovereignty. As more and more big guns get embroiled in the whole affair, forget that one, important, simple thing and you may as well step into your own shackles. Believe in simplicity, believe in Britain and vote out.

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