At some point in the Harry Potter series when Harry is being unjustly defamed, Mr Weasley says to him: ‘As the Muggles say, truth will out!’ Speaking as a Muggle, I used to think ‘truth will out’ too but now I’m starting to wonder – will it? And if it does, will it make any difference? If people are so mired in alternative scenarios, will anything convince them that they’re wrong? Will anything change the minds of Trump supporters who still believe, despite everyone saying in tones of increasing weariness, ‘there’s no evidence’, that the election was ‘stolen’? Who believe that like King Arthur (only much less noble) Trump will return? It’s hard to imagine the Donald chuffing along banging two coconuts together and telling his citizens in mild tones, ‘I am Arthur, King of the Britons, come back to rule you all’ but I’m sure that’s what his supporters expect to happen any day now (for coconuts read private jet, of course). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITJFfUptaGo
Over here there are signs that the appeal of Johnson is losing its sheen. But will the truth about this government ever come out? And if it does, will his supporters believe it? And what about those who think Covid is a hoax? Will anything convince them?
I think at this point we should turn to C S Lewis. In The Last Battle he shows how a group of dwarfs, by being determined not to be ‘taken in’, refuse to believe the evidence of their senses and instead reconstruct it in some other way. When they are given a delicious feast, rather than accepting this as a sign of their mistake, they persuade themselves that they are in fact eating scraps from a dungeon floor; they literally cannot see the light because they believe themselves to be in the dark. https://thetalkingllama.wordpress.com/2013/10/04/dwarves-in-the-stable-the-prison-of-closed-heartedness/
This is exactly what happens with prejudice. Say there is a general opinion that women can’t do bricklaying. Does this opinion change when a woman builds a wall? No! She is categorised as unnatural, not a ‘proper woman’. When a person’s mind is made up – or to put it another way, when prejudice is ingrained – not even a whole building site full of women will change it. On the other hand Murray believes he can win his second round match and he wins it – though not before putting himself and us through the wringer as he usually does. So if seeing is not believing, maybe believing is seeing?
What I am seeing but not believing is this sodding weather. It’s June, FFS, and it’s 14 degrees! I think I’ll decide to believe that it’s 25 degrees and sunny. Will that work?