Main Laser Guided Amnesia Discussion

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07:47:38 AM Nov 13th 2013
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Are there any examples of this trope being deconstructed? It seems like the ability to rewrite a person's memory, and possibly rewrite who they are as a result of the experiences they've had, would be the perfect fuel for Fridge Horror. The only example I can think of is in the Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality where Harry is terrified of the memory charm and considers it abhorrent, but I'd rather see the full implications of the trope. I think it would be similar to the The Matrix or the SCP Foundation where all of human history might be a lie and the world we live in is basically a prison. The issue then is how to justify it in a way that makes sense, which would be difficult.

Of course, it would be even better to see a Reconstruction where it was shown that our lives still matter and people still have free will even with The Masquerade in place. I figure a setting like that would have witnesses who actually want to forget what they saw, meaning hypnosis would work, so they could move on with their lives. HPMOR also places a limitation on the memory charm where you can only erase experiences, no the emotional effects of those experiences, which I like. The only problem is how even that would still be effective in the Information Age where social networking, surveillance, and sousvellience are common.
12:08:58 PM Nov 13th 2013
Plenty. Offhand, I can think of Buffy and Young Justice, where a character erased the memory of a fight from the mind of their lover. Angel had a situation where a character's memory was erased, which led to him repeating past mistakes (including fighting so hard to get his memories back... even though he wouldn't want them in the first place). Even Men in Black deconstructed it, with Jay wondering how many time's his mind's been erased (plus the second movie pointing out what can happen if you need that information back).

Long story short, it has been deconstructed.
08:45:05 AM Nov 14th 2013
I do plan on watching Young Justice, but Men in Black is way too lighthearted to be a deconstruction. Jay asks if he's ever been neuralized very briefly and it's never addressed afterward. I'm not just looking for the implications it would have on a character, but also the world as a whole. Having a character find out that their memory has been altered is something I can see in Total Recall, I'm looking for a setting where memory modification is taken to its logical conclusion instead of just a plot device.
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