Ever been part of one? Ever know anyone who was part of one? Ever want to be a part of one?
Of course not. The first rule of conspiracy theory is conspiracy of silence. And then you have to kill someone or force someone out of office or raise prices or lower taxes. Or raise taxes. Or “remove” “God” from “our” schools. Or bump off an inconvenient President.
Most “conspiracies” are actually a bunch of like-thinking stumble bums moving in unconnected concert. It’s like 15 fiddle players each playing Beethoven’s concerto in 15 different locations. If someone puts them all under one roof, they’re an orchestra. And a conspiracy. But mainly they are just 15 guys with violins, trying the impossible: destroying Beethoven.
The rise of the internet has made conspiracies even more delicious than they used to be, because you can spread the word at the speed of light.
This is not to say that all conspiracies are fake. It’s only that many of us relish the idea that really sneaky people with inordinately large but unrecognized vats of power and evil get together to perform inordinately large and fully recognized acts of malevolence.
All of which makes one wonder why there are no conspiracies for things generally seen as good. You never hear, for example, of a neighborhood conspiracy to dispose of everyone’s garbage before collection day to give the sanitation worker a lighter load.
When every supermarket in the neighborhood puts bananas on sale at the same lower than normal price, it’s attributed to “competitive pressure in the free market” rather than “let’s all give the customers a break for a week.”
Maybe the Air Force just doesn’t know whether there are flying saucers and hasn’t conspired to hide their secret experimental flights or knowledge of landing Martians.
Maybe Bush and the CIA had nothing to do with 9/11 and Jews weren’t told in advance.
Maybe there isn’t an underground military bunker beneath Denver’s newer airport. Or the food industry isn’t making unhealthy stuff to bolster its friends in the pharmaceutical industry. Or water fluoridation isn’t a plot by the communists or the new world order or pagans. Or that there is no “big brother” person or group that forced digital TV down our throats to spy on us.
Maybe the right wing doesn’t have a plan and timeline to force all of us into Evangelical churches.
When was the last time you met a Jewish major banker? An Italian American who was a “made” mafioso?
It’s much more fun to imagine that Kennedy was killed by organized crime, Castro, the CIA or Lyndon Johnson than it is to say, “well, maybe Oswald had an accomplice or two.”
So maybe some of these things are actual conspiracies. But many of them also are based on the wonderful idea that something bigger than ourselves is out to destroy us. Gives us something about which to get hysterical.
--The number 282 is victim of a genuine conspiracy. It has been rounded off the speed of light which is 186,282 mps but commonly stated as 186,000 m/s. If you’ve ever traveled 282 miles at any speed, you know it’s not a walk in the park, even if it’s a really REALLY big park.
I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them.
Please address comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
© WJR 2013
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