In 1890, not so very long ago, the Ghost Dance spread across America’s Great Plains. Shamans told a broken Native American culture the dance would eradicate white people and that dead Indians would rise from the dead and return
to their former idyll. The belief spread but, unsurprisingly, lost its verve when its prophecies were not realised.
It is polite not to scoff at another’s beliefs but, even at this remove, the idea of a dance driving genocide and resurrection on a grand scale seems as desperate as it does bewildered. That our culture has for centuries promised a different kind of resurrection must, however, temper our judgement.
It might be polite to temper our reaction to those who have tried to destroy 5G technology, particularly two masts serving hospitals in Donegal, because they, in their wild imaginations, link 5G with the spread of coronavirus, but that would be a rejection of science on a Trumpian scale. This apophenia is straight out of the anti-vaxxers’ daft playbook and should be consigned to its rightful place in history along with those betrayed, heartbroken Ghost Dancers.