I’ve always been both amazed and amused by conspiracy theorists. I mean, it takes someone with intelligence to create a credible sounding conspiracy theory. It takes time and imagination, and a lot of hard work. Kind of like what it takes to be a clothing designer. You put part of who you are into things like that.
However, while I realize that there are conspiracies out there, I don’t believe they are nearly as prevalent as the theorists would have us believe. Then again, who can blame them. If they don’t believe their own theories, their creativity is wasted. If they don’t create their theories, their creativity will shrivel. It’s really a dead end situation unless they choose a new outlet for their creative energies.
Now a theory usually has a beginning in something that is at least remotely sustainable. Let’s say that I have a theory that President Bush is trying to get everyone to wear only blue jeans. I have to have SOMETHING to base this theory on or it is just a proposterous postulation. So assuming I heard Bush say something about jeans being more comfortable and how they’re such an “All-American” garment, I could think that maybe he really likes them. Then, if my mind swirls around enough, I can realize that on his ranch and when he’s in casual settings, I’ve seen him wear them. Maybe I saw him loosen his tie a bit or something. This would be a beginning to a theory about his preference for them but it’d be quite a stretch to assume he was pushing it on the rest of America.
Oh… but let’s say I heard a quote from a reporter who says, “President Bush’s answer to the question ‘what should the schools require for the kids then?’ was ‘Make them wear jeans and work their debts off’.” I might be outraged and start my theory. No more cute printed twill capris for our little girls. No sundresses or smocked gowns. Nope. This country is about blue jeans. President Bush is trying to make a national uniform!
Now, what happens if I take my theory and run with it? I call the White House and demand to speak to the President about his blue jean agenda. They laugh me off the phone and I scream ‘cover up’. Many different scenarios come to mind as to how I could be further convinced of my theory even though nothing could be further from the truth than my theory.
I could resolve the whole thing by simply calling the reporter in question. “I’d like to confirm President Bush’s comments about wanting the American children to wear blue jeans. In what context did he make that statement?” One of two main things would likely happen.
1. I’d find out that the topic was how to stop juvenile delinquents of wealthy families.
2. The reporter, seeing my foolishness, could have some fun with me and either refuse to answer or give me more ambiguity to wrestle.
Assuming the latter, I would be wise to call the White House and ask to speak to someone about a statement that the President made that you’d like clarified. The clarification would be made and another aimless conspiracy theory would be stopped before it created damage. Can you imagine the man hours gathering petitions against the government intrusion of our wardrobes if someone could actually convince anyone that this was remotely in the works? Think of the work that boycotters have done to stop certain things with the FCC that were never an issue!
The majority of conspiracy theories begin with a faulty premise, too little research in the right direction and too much in the wrong. They are short on questioning the people who can either truly verify the facts or clarify them, and long on that creativity thing.
Wouldn’t it be an amazing world if these people spent their energies writing books, painting, sculpting, teaching, designing, and living?