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If they are sorcerors, why don't they turn their assassins into frogs?
July 12, 2001 3:59 AM   Subscribe

If they are sorcerors, why don't they turn their assassins into frogs? Gotta love flimsy pretext.
posted by Ezrael (16 comments total)

 
I forgot to mention I saw this on Newsblogger. Sorry.
posted by Ezrael at 4:00 AM on July 12, 2001


quick! send 'em some tricked-out playstation 2s!
posted by techgnollogic at 4:50 AM on July 12, 2001


since when have 11-19 year olds been "very young boys"? are old boys in their 30s?
posted by andrew cooke at 6:23 AM on July 12, 2001


40s or so; until then, everything's a youthful indiscretion.
posted by headspace at 8:10 AM on July 12, 2001


quick! send 'em some tricked-out playstation 2s!

You may joke, techgnollogic, but you're exactly right. A little more knowledge of modern science would go a long way to diminish the role that superstition plays in some African societies.
posted by jpoulos at 8:23 AM on July 12, 2001




Sending them Playstation 2s won't teach them about modern science. "Look! There are demons inside the magic box, painting pictures on the screen! Obviously sorcery!"
posted by kindall at 8:51 AM on July 12, 2001


While it's easy to make fun of people's belief in superstitions, I wonder if this will turn into their "Salem With Trials". Will there be plays using this a setting for a discussion on future persecutions?

It always fascinates me to imagine what event of our day will make up the history of the future.
posted by betaray at 9:05 AM on July 12, 2001


A little more knowledge of modern science would go a long way to diminish the role that superstition plays in some African societies.

Wrong tree.
posted by Mocata at 9:07 AM on July 12, 2001


I was just about to say something about how despite all the modern science AND Playstation 2's we have in the US, we still have to put up with creationism, astrology, power crystals and so on and so forth... interesting link, Mocata.
posted by techgnollogic at 9:17 AM on July 12, 2001


I like the way Amazon.co.uk says "This title is usually dispatched within 2-3 days" rather than "This title will ship within 2-3 days." Even though the US wording would probably be understood perfectly by UK readers, Amazon has probably found that "dispatched" feels more comfortable to local buyers. Man, those guys are almost fanatical in their attention to detail. I continue to believ they will end up ruling the world.
posted by kindall at 9:25 AM on July 12, 2001


While the killings may have begun with the intention of ridding the district of sorcerers, he said it was likely some of the victims were killed simply because they were wealthy and owned possessions or land sought by others.

More playstations = more wealth = more killings. Sure, there are more than a few gamers out there willing to risk their lives for a PS2, but probably not in Africa.

As far as the assumption of science makes superstitions go away is just silly. Lots of westernized cultures still carry superstitions. Its like the old prediction that science would make religion obsolete by 1970 or so.

Considering the traditional religion is Islam in Congo, this is probably nothing more than a well paying Jihad.
posted by skallas at 11:19 AM on July 12, 2001


What I said: A little more knowledge of modern science would go a long way to diminish the role that superstition plays in some African societies.

What skallas said: As far as the assumption of science makes superstitions go away is just silly.

Note the difference?

The idea that learning the facts of how the world works doesn't eliminate the need for people to make up their own is what's silly. What would it take, then? Are you suggesting these African cultures are just incapable of modernizing?
posted by jpoulos at 4:13 PM on July 12, 2001


The idea that learning the facts of how the world works doesn't eliminate the need for people to make up their own is what's silly.

Superstition certainly isn't a cosmology. Superstition is everywhere, be it a rabbit's foot or a black cat crossing. Perhaps a modern superstition like the blood-type matchmaking that's popular in Japan is more to your liking.

This is all really besides the point, the real contributor to these killings is economic: zealous Muslim kids making a little money on the side. I'm also curious how a 'sorcerer' is defined in a Muslim culture. Sounds like more like a modern day "witch hunt" than some grand assault on some occultists by innocent kids deluded by their lack of science.

If anything this reflects the larger issue of the fundamentalist element of Islam having no concern for the life of an infidel.
posted by skallas at 5:17 PM on July 12, 2001


It's not like we here in the US are pastignorance and superstition.
posted by Zettai at 8:44 PM on July 12, 2001


I think the idea that these people are really convinced that their victims are indeed sorcerors is incorrect. Granted, I do not live there, have not been raised in the culture...but in general, if a group is believed to truly have mystical power (like the Leopard Societies were) then they are not targets for brutal murder, but fear.

Like I said before, I suspect this is but a pretext for the brutality and covetousness of all men, in this instance.
posted by Ezrael at 10:58 PM on July 12, 2001


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