28 December, 2006

Thank God for conspiracy theorists

San Diego City Beat

SORDID TALES

I can’t think of a fucking kicker by EDWIN DECKER

Last night blogger Matt Drudge linked to a clip of filmmaker David Lynch talking on Dutch television about 9/11 conspiracy theories, such as how the towers crumbled like a controlled demolition project, or that the size of the hole in the Pentagon was allegedly too small to have been created by a Boeing 757.

Unsurprisingly, Drudge berated him for even considering the theories. I don’t remember exactly what he said, but it was your basic, right-wing, reactionary, “don’t-question-authority” rant you would expect from a Matt Drudge type.

I don’t normally go for conspiracy theories. Honestly, I find your typical conspiracy theorist about as engaging as a stripped clutch plate. But I recognize their value. The conspiracy movement is a vital organ of any healthy republic, and it really just sucks the snot right out of my eyeballs whenever I hear conspiracy theorists being maligned like that.

I repeat: I am not a conspiracy theorist. I rarely suspect my government of conspiratorial monkeyshines. I’m probably the only guy left on Earth who still believes Area 51 is just an innocent government installation that engages in perfectly normal, top-secret military undertakings. But the very fact that I am not a suspicious person is exactly why I thank God for conspiracy theorists. They are ever vigilant, ever watching our backs, ever worrying about attacks on my liberty so I don’t have to.

Yes, of course, I understand the inclination to dismiss a conspiracy theorist. I know they’re as much fun to have around as an empty bag of bean sprouts, but still, is mocking them any way to say thank you? If it weren’t for conspiracy theorists, we’d all still think Nixon was a great president and Soylent Green is made from cucumber pulp and whey concentrate. What I’m trying to say is: Don’t be like Matt Drudge. Don’t be a Conspiracy Theorist Hater.

The Conspiracy Theorist Hater’s first response to a conspiracy theory is to mock it. He will not consider it. He will not explore the possibility of a conspiracy. He will trample on the idea so he doesn’t have to think about the painful possibility, as Drudge did.

The second thing he will do, as surely as cows don’t make crop circles, is to pose the argument that a conspiracy this enormous would be impossible to pull off.

“How could it be possible,” they ask, “that all those witnesses, and all the investigators, and the scientists, and engineers, and the victims families—whose testimonies all add up to the fact that 9/11 was an external, terrorist attack—could all conspiring to lie about it?”

Well, don’t act like it can’t happen. Don’t act like it hasn’t already happened, countless times in history, or that it isn’t happening now, somewhere else in the world. Indeed, even right here in America. I mean, aren’t Americans, with the aid of about half the planet, the purveyors of the largest, most all-consuming conspiracy’s ever conceived?:

The Santa Conspiracy.

We just pulled it off again, a few days ago, on Dec. 25, a quatrillion kids came running down the stairs to embrace the biggest lie of their little lives. I’m not making a judgment about whether it’s right or wrong to let children believe in Santa. I’m just focusing on the sheer scale of it. Think about the planning and preparation and cooperation it takes to uphold the sham that is the existence of Santa Clause. And everybody’s in on it, like a bad Twilight Zone. I mean, here you are, 10 years old, just la la la-ing along in your life, unaware that everyone is lying to you. Not just your parents, which is devastating all by itself, but also your aunts and uncles, and all your friends’ parents, and their relatives, and the mailman, and the nice lady who cuts your hair, and the police, and the president, and Congress, and the media—they’re all conspiring to keep you from knowing the real true truth about Santa Claus.

Et tu, media?

You’d think there’d at least be one rogue journalist who’d write that searing exposé for Highlights magazine. I can see the headline: “Santa a Farce; Toys Actually Manufactured by Planet-Raping Corporations.”

It’s a conspiracy so deep they even got to Hollywood, which is why you never see that blockbuster motion-picture trailer with the guy with the movie voice saying, “In a world corrupted by deception, two boys set out to find the answer to a question that would tear apart a nation: The Da Santa Code—opening at a theater near you.”

It is a conspiracy of such depth it even controls the Internet. They’ve successfully quashed all the Santa Conspiracy websites. How could it be that not even one Santa conspiracy site—with the grainy, hidden-camera footage of parents sneaking presents under the tree, or incriminating memos from a North Pole observation station confirming the absence of any elfin toy sweatshops—remains?

So if it’s this easy to get so many people to collude on a conspiracy of this size for no other reason than to make children happy, then can you imagine how easy it would be to get them to collude for reasons of greed and power?

No, I’m no conspiracy theorist, but conspiracies ain’t as hard to pull off as some people think they are. And if Matt Drudge believes it preposterous that a government could mass murder its own citizens to retain power and wealth, well, then isn’t he just the ideal citizen of that government?

Remember this, people, the next time a conspiracy theorist takes the stool next to you and bends your ear about how our government is using Area 51 to make a bomb that kills people but leaves Christmas decorations up until mid June. Remember all they’ve done for you then. Remember and nod your head in agreement and say, “Thanks, man! Thanks for keeping an eye on that Area 51 for me. I wanted to get out there but I’ve been a little busy lately.” Then buy that conspiracy theorist a drink, then another, and another, until he falls off his stool or passes out (conspiracy theorists are lightweights). Then back him up one more drink and walk out into the night satisfied in the knowledge that you were able to contribute in your own little way.
E-mail ed@edwindecker.com and editor@SDcitybeat.com.

12-27-06
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posted by u2r2h at Thursday, December 28, 2006

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