Before I was a writer, I was just another blogger posting angry rants about whatever was currently annoying me. I wrote under the name The Vampiric Chicken, because I was so cool and original. I was like that flavour of Doritos. Cool Original. I mostly wrote them for my own amusement, I didn’t have or really seek out much of an audience, but in the end I gave them up because they were unhealthy. The problem is, I have two comedy modes. Terrible puns, and angry rants. The puns get the eye-rolls I’m aiming for but the rants went over very well, and got to the point where they were encouraging people to egg me on, which unfortunately gave me all the more reason to spend time in that angry head space, which made me angrier and generally more of a dick. When it comes to that my cup runneth over as it is, and it actually started to make me ill. I’m glad I ditched them when I did and found a new outlet, but I miss them a bit. They were fun until they weren’t.
Well that was a long time ago, and now the vast majority of my writing output is healthy and creative, so for my own amusement (and admittedly a little careful stress relief) I’m bringing back the rants. And the blog, in theory, having slightly withdrawn from social media for personal reasons.
Anyway, enough of the tragic origin story…
I have a special loathing for conspiracy theories.
On the face of it they look so harmless. So someone believes that the government is being paid to use drones to seed the clouds with a special blend of herbs and spices, manipulating us all to go to KFC. So there are people who believe that sheep are actually disguised speed cameras with wool made from the bleached hair of all the homeless people our royal family of homo-reptilians keep eating. Aww. They’re so silly, these people. Doesn’t it take all sorts to make a world? They’re just harmless cranks, aren’t they? The big sillies.
We’re so well connected now that instead of feeling like a part of things we are also at risk feeling cut off, just one little voice in a crowd, a bit player in a cast of billions, and it’s absolutely understandable that some people want to feel just that little bit more special. Some people try to do it through fame, going to talent shows, or putting their ill-advised death metal scream choir dub-step remix of Hark, The Herald Angels Sing onto Youtube in the hopes that someone, anyone will notice them. I’ve trademarked that by the way, you ghouls, so don’t you go nicking my ideas. F**k, The Hellish Angels Scream will be available in time for a run at Christmas number one…
For some people, conspiracy represents an easier route to feeling like they’re a part of something. The world is built on an interplay of systems, from the police and the military to local and national government. From the laws and justice systems that keep our worst impulses in check, to international diplomacy and trade. For the vast majority of us these are things that are happening just over there, in that place where decisions are made on our behalf, and the only interaction we get is to vote, to rant on Facebook about how voting is meaningless, to maybe protest once in a while, or get annoyed and send hundreds of photocopies of your bumhole to your local MP. I’m not legitimising butt-posting or dirty protests as integral parts of the political makeup of this or any country, but when you can’t find the words and the world is squashing you, who hasn’t been tempted to fit stirrups to their scanner and express themselves through blurry rectal photography?
When the world feels like a giant hamster wheel and you can’t get off, there’s a certain satisfaction in at least being the hamster who knows it’s a wheel. Uncovering that truth, seeing the strings, it all allows us to feel in control. They might have control, but at least I know about it. I’m sure these people feel like one day they’ll be able to do something about it. The advent of social media has allowed them to organise like never before, and now every twitchy dingbat in the world can connect via the machine in their pocket, even if the machines were made and distributed by them, and they can see it, but at least they will know that we are not afraid, and we are legion, for we are many, and other lines stolen from biblical verse. Or more likely the Ghost Rider movie that Nicholas Cage made.
Aside from the obvious issues with most of these Illuminati-style conspiracies (if they control the money, the military, the pharmaceutical industries, the internet, the governments, the police, the phones, remote-detonating hedgehogs, mind-controlling chemtrails, water that controls birth rate, our food, our cars, the satellites, what we read and hear and see and feel and think, why the fuck would they need to operate in secret? Surely they’ve already won?) my major issue is that they’ve become so popular. It’s funny to see someone think that Michael Palin is actually a Halloween costume full of squirrels, but it’s not funny to see people claim that children slaughtered in school shootings are made up as a means to take away America’s guns, and for people to abuse and threaten their grieving families. It’s funny if someone thinks the crown the queen wears in public is actually a cover for a heat lamp to keep her snake blood charged up, but it’s not funny that people genuinely believe gay men have fought for equality as a smoke screen that allows them better access to our children.
On top of all that, is how oblivious these people are to what is going on around them. Far from fighting for truth, a decent proportion of them seem to be so hell-bent on proving that Prince Charles has a cloaca that the world’s actual problems just aren’t sexy enough. Tell some of these people that if you press Gordon Ramsey’s nose he’ll unfold into a set of garden furniture and they’ll be straight online to spread the word. Tell them that current government policy has driven people to bankruptcy, or made people homeless, or even sent people to their graves and they’re not listening, because The Wombles are building a nuclear arsenal out of the things that they find, things that the everyday folk leave behind.
A small but vocal and seemingly growing number of us are so distracted by this bullshit that real events, events you can actually evidence and which could reasonably be considered to be at least widespread governmental incompetence or even an intentional conspiracy, that they’re no damn use. The very people so hell-bent on uncovering uncomfortable truths are too busy rolling around in a ball pool full of bollocks to see what’s right in front of them, even though it’s almost exactly what they seem to have been waiting for.
Someone whose benefits were sanctioned away from them starves to death and these people would hardly bat an eyelid, and you might get a knowing look at best. I’m not sure exactly what the required bullshit threshold is, but I suppose if they’d been eaten by a six-foot lizard wearing Air Jordans and a top-hat, they might just about have given a shit.
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