By Bob Rafto
A recent study found that clowns are considered the creepiest profession by members of the public along with taxidermists, sex shop owners, funeral directors, taxi drivers and the unemployed.
“Creepiness is something distinct from fear,” David Livingstone Smith, a professor of philosophy from the University of New England, Maine, told Late Night Live.
“We feel fear when we have a sense that we are in danger, that there is some actual or impending threat.
“But creepiness is an attitude of simultaneous fascination and repulsion.”
The study found creepiness to be, by an large, part of the human response to the “ambiguity of threat”.
When it comes to the creepiness of clowns, Dr Livingstone Smith suggests it is all about their painted faces.
“Their fixed facial expression is mask-like — it belies that characteristic of a living breathing human being,” he says.
While notions of creepiness tend to be considered trivial, Dr Livingston Smith says the things that inspire a sense of creepiness — the grotesque, the non-human — have been used throughout history to persecute groups of people.
“Many of the worst atrocities that human beings have ever perpetrated on one another — Nazi Germany, Rwanda — have involved dehumanisation,” he says.
“We make monsters of those we dehumanise. They become all the more disturbing, all the more threatening and that elicits harsh, degrading, deadly behaviour toward them.”
It’s very creepy that Pauline, I believe, has fused threat and creepiness together to demonize Muslims.
Muslim women wearing niqab or a burqa would not be unlike clowns where the real face is hidden and to quote from the above paragraph, “it belies that characteristic of a living breathing human being”.
Pauline considers Muslim women to be a threat and has called for a ban on the of wearing burqas and niqabs in public places. Someone should tell Pauline that the garb was designed for public places.
The questions I pose are:
Is Pauline Hanson dehumanising Muslims?
If so, Dr Livingston Smith’s assertion is very disturbing.
“We make monsters of those we dehumanise. They become all the more disturbing, all the more threatening and that elicits harsh, degrading, deadly behaviour toward them”.
Mosques have been fire bombed, angry and violent protests have occurred against the building of mosques, and ‘Sharia law is coming’ is spread all over the net. How it’s coming and how it will be implemented is not disclosed, but it’s coming.
An ‘RSL war memorial has been demolished to erect a mosque’ and the outrage was immense. Shame the story wasn’t true. And then we have the ‘capitalist Halal’.There are a lot more stories, like Muslims taking our jobs, and so on and so on ad nauseum.
In my opinion we are dehumanising Muslims and at the same time priming hot heads to possibly commit terrorists acts against the Muslim community. And the hot heads were evident to see in recent demonstrations.
To put this dehumanisation into context, a poll showed that 49% of the population was in agreement with Hanson to ban Muslim immigration. She thought she was robbed (in the poll result). “It should have been a lot more” she moaned.
She may be right, and she is leading the charge to take us on a dark road to the future where intolerance will be the norm against any minority who does not conform to our (or her?) customs and beliefs.
Unfortunately Hanson and the LNP will ensure the dehumanising of Muslims continue, not for the good of the country, but so that they can keep fuelling a base of xenophobic voters for personal gain.