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Date: 31/07/20

Now You See Them, Now You Don't

The current circumstances in the world lead to some rather surreal situations.

As regular readers will know, I'm a big fan of baseball and it was frustrating that the new Major League season was unable to start on time at the end of March.

Finally, the new campaign got out of the blocks last week (although in a massively revamped and curtailed form, which may suffer further abbreviation if the situation in the US gets even worse than it is already). This meant that I was able to begin getting my daily fix of highlights and clips from MLB.com.

Looking at one of Thursday night's picks - from Boston's game at New York Mets - I noticed something very odd indeed.

Here is a still from the home run that Christian Vázquez of Boston hit over the left-field wall at Citi Field in Flushing, NY:

screenshot of a crowd in a ballpark

Viewing that segment of the clip again, I was slightly bemused as to why, when the visiting team had just taken the lead, the home fans were jumping up and down in delight. I was also taken aback by the clear lack of social distancing involved in letting several thousand people into an arena and have them sitting in such close proximity to one another.

My suspicions were rather more than heightened when they showed the replay a few seconds later:

screenshot of empty stands in a ballpark

The thought that an entire ballpark full of people had suddenly been Yezhov'd was somewhat disturbing before it occurred to me to watch the whole clip again. Closer inspection showed that the whole crowd was moving up and down in a most unnatural manner (i.e., not jumping, just moving up and down in perfect synch).

Yes, this was entirely an illusion, digitally created to give the appearance that the fans were there cheering their team on (even if, as I said, they were cheering the wrong team in this instance). There weren't any real people there at all, merely a pre-recorded re-transmission from the days when people could actually get out and watch a ballgame, but this was made manifest only when the overlay was not run over the replay.

So far, so artifice; and something of a step up from other clubs who have been content so far to populate the seating of their own stadia with cut-out figures, leading to the amusing sight of batted balls - fair or foul - occasionally taking out a 'spectator' like one of those fairground games of old where you had to throw a small ball at a head-and-shoulder figure and knock it over to win a goldfish (something which would be positively actionable these days, as Greater Gammonia seems to have a law on its books about "...failing to meet the needs of a goldfish" - see here).

But there's a sinister element to all this - not that the Mets are guilty of such an intent in this instance - for clearly, if one could give the impression of something being there when it was not (a sort of anti-Yezhov, as it were), then it would have a wide variety of applications in misleading the public, especially in the hands of the unscrupulous (which element of humanity is in no danger of extinction). Consider if you will the possibility of future rallies in the re-election campaign of Donald J. Fart-euphemism being portrayed as having several thousand people in attendance even if the hall itself was practically empty (I believe that his fanbois at Fox News (sic) are already pondering the possibility of this). Or that a rally for independence in Scotland was attended by an equal number of 'unionists' (this would merely be an extension of what the colonialist media in Scotland have already done more than once in print and on air with the resources already available to them). A Global Potemkin Village may soon be at hand.

(We can at least take some small comfort from the fact that there is currently no technology at a sufficiently advanced stage which could make Joe Biden look coherent, or even compos mentis; nor give an air of competence to the régime of Bloody Stupid Johnson over here, despite the official media trying their poor best to present such a picture with what tools they have).

And all of this would pass muster in the eyes of those who are easily distracted and have short attention spans; sports fans, television viewers and Americans generally. Those who are more watchful could then - by those with power producing apparently convincing visual evidence - be dismissed and denounced for being the anti-patriotic degenerates and wreckers that they would so obviously be.

That we must be watchful is, of course, a given, for these implements of deception are entirely held in the hands of those who already have power and want either to retain it or to extend it further; and they are not short of allies among the Great <insert name of corporate state here> Public™. Constant vigilance, today more than ever, is the sole guarantor of what 'freedoms' we may still have or, at least, be permitted to have.