Saturday, January 1, 2011

Treading the thin MC line

When I was a kid, I was fascinated by the notion of brainwashing. I guess that's probably true for a lot of MC fetishists. Brainwashing was the closest thing we knew to real-life mind control, and ten or twenty years ago, there were a lot of misconceptions about the ways brainwashing could remake a person's mind. Cool misconceptions.

When I grew up, I accepted my mind control fetish as a positive force in my life; but at the same time, I realized that the tales of brainwashing which had fascinated me as a kid were more like real-life horror stories. If the things you find cool in a Stephen King novel happened in real life, you'd be appalled; and some of the things I read about brainwashing happened in real life. In fact, even worse happened.

Now, don't worry; I don't intend to start the new year with a downer post. No, this is a post about treading the thin line between titillating fantasy and real-life horror. I started thinking about this while listening to Muse's album The Resistance, which includes a song called "Mk Ultra." For those of you who don't know, MK-ULTRA was a real program instituted by the CIA to explore brainwashing techniques. You can read more about it here, if you do want to get into the downer aspects of real-life (tragically unsuccessful) efforts at mind control.

But I'm trying to keep this as light as I can. Muse clearly means this song to be depressing, but it can be pretty damn awesome if you're an MC fetishist and just let yourself get caught up in the fantasy elements. Let me show you what I mean. I spent a good half hour on YouTube browsing all the different official and unofficial versions of the "Mk Ultra" video (and, okay, several other Muse videos - Knights of Cydonia is truly cheesetastic). Some of the versions are depressing, some are just plain bad, and then there's this one. It's the most bare-bones of them all, but I chose it because when you've got nothing but the music and the lyrics to concentrate on, you can just enjoy the fetishy goodness of an SF brainwashing and not worry about the deeper implications.

So here you go. Happy New Year!

P.S.: If you're on dial-up or just don't like Muse, you can read the lyrics by themselves here.

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