Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Schlesinger Twins: Why am I reminded of the Emperor's new clothes?

Wikipedia. The phrase "emperor's new clothes" has become an idiom about logical fallacies.[28] The story may be explained by pluralistic ignorance.[29] The story is about a situation where "no one believes, but everyone believes that everyone else believes. Or alternatively, everyone is ignorant to whether the Emperor has clothes on or not, but believes that everyone else is not ignorant."[30]


  1. What a lovely movie!
    Have you all watched it?
    Isn't lovely to be able to escape from the real world and to for a little while to
    escape from reality. Listen to what we
    want to believe, because it suits us. It
    makes us feel good and we feel comforted living on an imaginery world just believing whar we are told!

    Alas..... but then there is the reality!
    We are told and made to believe that two little boys living in Vienna speak three languages! We have now seen
    videos seeing and hearing that these
    little boys, Sammy and Benjamin
    Schlesinger. Would someone please
    tell me at five years old what language
    they are speaking and why I am unable
    to understand a word of what they say!

    Am I the only person who doesn't
    understand what is going on in Vienna.

    Pleaee tell me there is nothing wrong with me as I just don't understand.

    Perhaps Dr. Schlesinger and Rabbi Biderman you can help me to
    understand. Perhaps it is now time for
    you to wake up from your imaginery
    world as it is plain for us all to see that
    these two little boys are not not
    thriving in your care as we care being made to believe!

    Am I the idiot here. Please explain!

  2. thx for the clip, DT. What's the name of the original movie?

    Danny Kaye was a delightful actor whom I haven't thought about for decades...

    1. have no idea - just picked this off of youtube

    2. The movie title is there! "Hans Christian Anderson", made with the effervescent Danny Kaye (David Daniel Kaminsky, his parents of Ukrainian Jewish origin, emigrated to USA) in 1952. I remember it well from my childhood. In 1952 Danny Kaye was quite something in those times!

      But what relevance does the story about the emperor's new clothes have in Vienna in 2014? Rachel Levy has talked about reality and imagination, which hits the nail on the head. The emperor in the HCA story neglected his duties to spend his money extravagantly on fine clothes that he foolishly delighted in showing off. 2 swindlers who called themselves weavers came to town and had a ball making clothes that became invisible if worn by anyone who was dumb, incompetent or absolutely out of their depth in their position in society.

      They succeeded in fooling the not very bright but extremely vain emperor by pretending to make him gorgeous clothes when in fact they were invisible. The emperor donned them and paraded through the streets ("The king/emperor is in the altogether..."), making himself the laughing stock of the town. A small child suddenly shrieked, "But the emperor has nothing on"!

      So perhaps we could draw a parallel and say that a doctor is like the emperor, normally greatly admired by his subjects, or in this case, patients, friends and family, but the question is whether what he has had created around him is really of any value. In the case of the emperor - his invisible clothes, and with the doctor, a complex framework of lies and corruption (re the boys) and verbal abuse (as seen on this blog).

      And while the grown-ups in the town all commented on the imaginary fine clothes - for fear of being thought dull or incompetent - it took a small, innocent child to recognise the truth and proclaim it loudly ("The emperor has no clothes on!"). Maybe these grown-ups were similar to the Jewish community in Vienna, acting as if what was imaginary (the mother's so-called mental illness, for instance) was reality. But the twins, young, innocent and distraught as they are at having been deprived of their dear mother, recognise the truth, as all can see who have ever been with them at the moments they have had to part company with her, always for an indeterminate number of days.


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