"At the end, he gave me a choice - between a life of comfort... or more torture. All I had to do was to say that... I could see five lights, when in fact there were only four."
"You didn't say it?"
"No. No... But I was going to. I would have told him anything... anything at all. But more than that - I believed that I could see five lights."
I haven't blogged often these days for personal reasons and because I lacked inspiration. Not that there haven't been enough subjects to blog about, it's just that they mostly comment themselves and the purpose of this blog is not to provide a daily chronicle. Therefore I only make an entry if I have a larger philosophical idea to accompany the current events. And so it happens that I do now...
The above quote is from yet another episode of "Star Trek - The Next Generation", "Chain of Command", a two-part episode from Season 6. In it captain Picard was sent on a secret mission to destroy a Cardassian compound. Unfortunately, Picard was caught and the Cardassian commander subjects him to torture. Torture scenes are an hommage-remake of Orwell's "1984", specifically the part where O'Brien asks Winston Smith how many fingers he is holding up. Series creators even managed to cast a duo of Patrick Stewart - David Warner which gave a performance (almost) at the level of John Hurt and Richard Burton.
The dialog above happens at the very end, after Picard safely returned to the Enterprise(sorry about the spoiler) and recounts his traumatic experience to Counselor Troi. In the safety of familiar surroundings and free of torment, Picard remembered what was the most terryfying thing about it.
Nine years ago a lot of Serbs after almost a decade of torture were ready to say anything to make it stop. After it didn't many turned to despair repeatedly asking why the torture continues in spite us telling the torturers what they wanted to hear. Their goal, however, is not that we say what they want to hear but that we truly believe it in our hearts. Until that happens they will never have completely conquered us. That is why they continue to torment us. Until we actually believe we could see five lights and begin loving our Big Brother.