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Monday Night Live

10/31/2013 10:16 am ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014

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CNN and a number of other news sources reported on a telekinesis stunt engineered by he producers of the new version of Carrie. A young girl goes berserk in a coffee shop. "Up against the wall motherfucker" is a good expression for the powers she unleashes. It's Candid Camera and Orson Welles's War of the Worlds, a put on which caused mass panic, rolled into one--since the customers have not been forewarned that the girl and her victim are both actors. A similar stunt, this time taking place in a beauty shop, was engineered by the producers of the television remake of the The Exorcist. CNN then went on to document a spate of other videos used to create buzz, including one in which a murder is taking place in an elevator, with bystanders looking on in disbelief. What does the average person do when confronted by a murderer or someone with telekinetic powers? The answer is that they usually freeze up. The videos are hysterical, but they replay the sad story of our contemporary world in which outrageous atrocities occur and the crowd simply gawks, grows paralyzed or simply walks away. The mock elevator murder was particularly unsettling since it brought back Kitty Genovese, the young Queens woman who was stabbed to death back in l964 and whose screams for help were met with inaction. After the humor of these staged events has past, we are reminded that paranormal happenings are a good description of what is going on in Syria, in Egypt, in Somalia, in North Korea--to name just a few examples of very public bludgeonings from which the rest of the world often turns its head.

{This was originally posted to The Screaming Pope, Francis Levy's blog of rants and reactions to contemporary politics, art and culture}