Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Art of Disinformation

Back in Old Japan the ninja were masters of disinformation, purposely perpetrating and perpetuating rumors about themselves until the fearful commoners actually began to think that ninja were strange creatures with supernatural powers. They are master manipulators, the shinobi. For god’s sake, just look at the image they retain today, hundred of years later! They’ve got quite a public relations team—people love them, despite the fact that they were, put simply, ruthless mercenaries.

And now they’ve come to New York, the heart of disinformation, where the media never rests, where rumors of all kind constantly fly. And just when our city’s gossip was growing stale, when people were forced into obscene focus on celebrities, along come the ninja.
The question isn’t how the ninja will take advantage of the digital age and the new culture it’s spawned, but how they won’t—whatever they want us to think of them, we will end up thinking. If they want us to think that they are a joke, a hoax, a rumor, then that is what we will think and nobody will take believers seriously. The truth of their existence will only be further clouded when it becomes popular to make ninja hoax pictures and videos. People have a natural desire to fuel the fire.

Once the media actually becomes savvier to the new NYC ninja infestation, I think we’re all doomed. The truth will never be uncovered under the weight of 9 million sensationalist liars. This is, after all, the city where a famous person can’t eat a burrito without it turning into some sort of gossip soup filled with confusion and lies.

The tragedy will climax when real sightings, and real photos, and real videos are released, and nobody believes they are real due to the quantity of hoaxes. It is in this way, that a ninja can not only be seen, but caught on tape, and still not reveal the clan’s existence in the city. It is in this way, that the ninja use disinformation in the modern day city—more effectively than they did in feudal Japan—so effectively that nobody even believes they are real.

--Manhattan Joe

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