Conspiracy theories almost always leave me cold. Shakespeare’s works were actually written by some aristocrat dude? Srsly, who cares?? Does a Hamlet by any other name not sound as sweet? Apollo moon landings faked? Yawwwn. If NASA invented the images in order to excite and inspire a generation of American kids to compete scientifically with Commie kids (and to persuade Congress to fork over billions for rockets), well Good for Them!
Most conspiracy theories spring up to offer reassuring handholds to frightened and vulnerable people who are living through an overwhelming river of confusing and terrifying events. Like September 11th. Or the global economic meltdown. Or for the seriously isolated and vulnerable, the election of a guy to be president who had a really really thin resume. No, the Secret Society of Marxist Cannibal Muslims did not conspire to put obama in the White House. The boring old DNC did it.
Conspiracy theories can usually be deflated and debunked by asking who would benefit if the theory were actually true. If the answer is no one, well it’s probably a kooky conspiracy theory. If the answer is The Secret Cabal of Super Rich Dudes Who Rule the World, well it’s probably hogwash too. I mean, if the SCOSRDWRTW has actually been in charge since the get go, then that means Life As We Know It is not really different from Life As It Actually Is. I’d rather learn how to knit, or surf, than spend time obsessing about that.
On the other hand, once in a great while some kooky, whacked-out, totally tinfoil typa theory will be put forth by some clown on the internet (what? where else would a conspiracy theory come from?) that makes me sit up, pay attention, and start fiddling the old antennae. Such as:
“I still believe that OWS is astroturf – not all the members but the leadership. The goal is to dissipate progressive energies and focus their anger on the GOP. They’re not supporting him [obama], but they aren’t opposing him either. And next year they’ll be voting for him because “The Republicans are worse!“™
Damn, but that makes perfect sense to me.