Monday, November 13, 2023


This poster proxy war is an intriguing phenomenon. 

Around our house here in Guatemala any papers attached to a lamp-post usually offer toothsome loans or laments for missing pets. 

Israel’s missing are the human equivalent of the latter, for Jews, but others apparently encounter these posters and instead see something like that meme “This is my cat, he’s not missing, but I thought you’d like to see him”. 

This sort of misinterpretation comes from a flaw in the mindset of the righteous — they cannot bear not being perfectly right and so can’t help but be triggered by this alien ‘propaganda’. 

At university in the pre-digital age, almost all the undergrads at my college had a physical noticeboard on their doors, where people could write or affix notes. One would assume that these have since been made largely redundant by social media, with the effect that in cyberspace you only really get to walk past the doors of people you know and more or less like. 

This is perhaps why old-school lamp-post communication can seem a bit threatening to the snowflakes of today. Constant reminders that other perspectives exist must seem like harassment to them.

And you cannot simply UNFOLLOW a lamp-post the way even I’ve been inclined to do on the interwebs with people enunciating analytically-bereft buzz-terms like Genocide or Apartheid out of their back passages, particularly if I have come to them as a potential customer rather than cult member. 

The key passage in this article for me is the suggestion that instead of going at these posters like Basil Fawlty thrashing an Austin 1100, they could just stick up their own counter-propaganda. 

Aside from the fact that these people have become used to either not seeing the other side’s opinion or just posting some toxic abuse below it, the real problem here is that the poster-scrumplers belong to the semi-covert, zealot wing of the Pro-Palestine movement, currently an awkward coalition of peaceniks and nutjobs. 

The zealots have a sack-load of hidden agendas beneath those calls for a ceasefire or a “free Palestine” and it is just so much easier to try to suppress other worldviews than to run the risk, that in presenting their own, some of the less cuddly stuff turns up on public lamp-posts rather than the echo chambers it usually inhabits.

Meanwhile in New York Vaseline is being applied to many of these posters as a rather cunning way of impeding their removal.

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