Only in America.
I was watching TV last night, somewhat hung-over from the all-night fancy dress drink-a-thon birthday party I'd been to the previous night/morning and stumbled across Channel 4's documentary series 'crazy rulers of the world'.
The show was about experiments the US Army did into physic warfare. This started as a sort of 'hippy adventure' of one disillusioned Vietnam general and ended up actually being taken seriously by certain people in high authority.
The hippy general (who I thought sort of looked like an evil version of Mork) gave a report to top-brass which had a cover on it similar to that prog-rock band yes and had badly drawn cartoon pictures inside it of people in crappy futuristic white and silver uniforms holding lambs and wearing speakers that would blast out 'calming music' to the enemy. Brilliant! Imagine being in a trench with bombs blowing up all around you and all of a sudden, some would-be-Abba-tribute-band turns up and starts dancing around with lambs and trying to give you a hug... talk about mind-f***s!. I wouldn't know weather to shoot them or wet my pants laughing.
They started with experiments like trying to stop the heart of a goat using mind power and trying to walk through walls (I was laughing my ass off a that one), they called it 'project jedi'. They also experimented with some practical pressure point self-defense stuff. I don't think there's anything 'magical' about pressure points, but they do work. Remember the feeling when you bang your funny bone on the edge of a table? That's a pressure point. I got punched there once by accident and it ached like hell for about two weeks.
In last nights episode they covered subliminal messages and brainwashing. Apparently the US Army noticed that certain sounds and frequencies could be used to affect the mind! They noticed that a lot of helicopter pilots had crashed in Vietnam for no apparent reason and many of the survivors said they remembered feeling sick and dizzy just before crash-landing. They found the reason was the strobe effect of the sunlight through the blades, which reached a certain frequency and sort of shut-down the brain. The 'non lethal weapons' department is looking into creating a weapon that effects the brain and just shuts you down. Scary stuff.
Since then, the army have been doing some pretty strange things like blaring out relly loud music and bright lights in Waco and throwing Iraqi prisoners into shipping crates and playing 'Barney the dinosaur' to them at high volume, over and over again. At first I thought this was kind of funny, until i saw the pictures of the people really suffering and then I kind of felt a little sick. Just because you don't slap them around and break their toes with hammers like the 'good old days', still doesn't mean you're not being sadistic evil bastards.
But apparently, the guy who stopped the goats heart died of a heart problem some years later, so I guess the goat fought back! I wonder if before it died it said 'If you strike me down I will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine! Baa-aaaah'.
Rest in peace, Jedi Goat.