univie 3/2021 SCREEN - Magazin - Seite 7
to cognitive biases, falling for pathos generated by politicians, explaining how the scapegoat strategy was working
creating hate and fear. To no avail. The relationship with my
dear relative suffered, sometimes she hung up the phone on
me, sometimes we didn’t speak for some time …
What happened was, I travelled to my home country in
December. This elderly person I am talking about had locked
herself up, sadly, she had had at that point no physical
contacts with family and friends for some eight months.
I felt it was necessary for me to be there and I stayed for two
months. The ‘news’ about the malevolent democrats, the
lying press, and conspiring billionaires began to fade away.
I did have my hand unsubscribing her from very dubious
Then, one day I heard she was telling a friend on the phone:
‘We were deceived‘ … What a relief! At last, the only remaining problem was the pandemic.”
Mag. Gisela Ruiseco, Barcelona
Absolventin Psychologie, Eventmanagerin und Essayistin
Foto: © Mostviertel Tourismus, schwarz-koenig.at
A PERSONAL CASE
“Throughout the months of the pandemic, I have seen how
a very close, elderly person from my family has sank deeper
and deeper into conspiracy theories: Bill Gates and vaccines,
Trump as savior and leader of the new era, the democrats,
mostly Hillary Clinton, involved in pedophile rings, etc. I
got videos and messages, mostly per Whatsapp, every day.
Horrible stories about children being raped and all the media
hiding everything from us.
I have worked on discourse analysis, analyzing texts coming
from the far right mostly, and am very sensitive to political
propaganda creating a scapegoat. I am also a rather rational
person. So I spent my 2020 pandemic year flabbergasted in
incredulity about the preposterous lies circulating everywhere, and also shifting from pity to desperate rage against
my dear, helpless relative. I used up lots of my time looking
for, reading, and sharing information: to show that there were
critical media that would not hide scandals, pointing out at
the real scandalous events coming from Trump’s administration. I tried to reason, painstakingly dismantling the lies, again
and again. I went on explaining that humans are subject
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