Alive as you or me
Says I, "But Joe, you're ten years dead,"
"I never died," says he.
"I never died," says he.
No sooner does something happen in this world, but that it didn't and in a strange quantum physical way, nothing itself is reason to believe something. The bomb wasn't a bomb, the flight never flew, Saudi terrorists didn't hijack those airplanes and neither Jesus nor Mohammad's nephew nor Elvis nor Joe Hill actually died. There are many reasons for it, but Humans being creatures for whom faith is always tempting, need something to anchor it, a substrate to mount it upon like a plaque on the wall. Every article of faith, every statement of belief requires a denial.
The anguish of grief, the horror of circumstances, the shock of sudden change; these things cause us to deny, at least for a time that the beloved leader and voice of God has been murdered and his mission has come to nothing. We see them in our dreams, even when we're awake. But as with any human weakness, the inability to accept invites explanations of why reality isn't real for the purposes of exploitation. We want your support so Joe hill lives on in spirit. Jesus came to Jerusalem to restore the divine dynasty and throw out Rome, he was about mystical forgiveness of sin. The Hidden Imam is just around the corner and will come back to bring justice, or was that Jesus or was that Tammuz? Denial is power, but power over us by someone else.
Why are conspiracy theories cropping up like mold stains after a flood -- even with a level of evidence never before possible? Perhaps simply because of the entertainment factor now that everyone knows everything instantly. It's fun to be the one who knows differently, even though that same thought has caught on with billions of others. Perhaps that's not all. It's easy to postulate that our refusal to see what we saw and heard and experienced as reality is more than some artifact of our human nature and the result of someone elses will to power. Has there been a cult leader, religious or secular who has not suggested that outside influences and conspiracies are trying to delude them? Jim Jones, David Koresh, Kim Jong-Un? But other popular, less dangerous theories, tales of cover-ups from the petty to the gigantic are harder to explain.
That the real cause of Weimar Germany's woes may have been the very patriotism and nationalism and sense of duty that so much pride was taken it rather than some nefarious international conspiracy is an easy explanation for the deadly scapegoating that ensued, but it's hard to see why the US had no sooner landed on the moon but that it never did or why the US got all this interstellar technology from the strangely humanoid aliens but never found a use for it: why the Incas and the Egyptians got help from flying saucers who never left a single artifact behind. yet we believe and passionately.
Is there some vast evolutionary cultural movement toward a neo-Platonic metaphysics wherein reality is unknowable? Is the only reality what we read on the web, on the TV, on the blogs and Twitter? The incessant roar of advertising hype and misrepresentation? Is there some Über-conspiracy universe in which smaller conspiracies bud off without end? If so can we write it off to that pesky human love of being esoteric, hip and just a bit holier than thou or is it a conspiracy by those who benefit greatly from making everything plausibly deniable in their lust for wealth and influence?
George Bush and the Neocons didn't destroy any chance for peace in the middle east. Republican economics didn't cause a worldwide recession, The innocent are to blame, the guilty are not. And We the Believers? Step this way. Work will make us free. Who stands to gain the most from our refusal to consider that what is might actually be what is? Yes, that's rhetorical. World commerce and politics depend on being able to make us unable to tell real from imaginary, freedom from slavery, war from peace, proof from fallacy, science from fable.
- Obama didn't reduce deficit spending, didn't kill Osama bin Laden, wasn't actually elected and wasn't even eligible.
- Americans blew up the WTC -- the kind of Americans we don't like and don't want you to like.
- Obama went over there and apologized to them.
- The Jews screwed Germany with the Treaty of Versailles, not the Germans.
- The Americans forced Japan to kill tens of millions of civilians, they're not to blame.
- Capitalist Roaders were behind the monstrous failures of Mao's revolution and how better to sell it than to attack the notion of truth and the ability to determine it.
The climate isn't heating up, crime isn't on the increase, vaccinations don't work, cell phones are killing the bees. There's a conspiracy to poison Wheat. A 4 door Nissan sedan is really a race car.
We can't know the truth so anything I propose is as true as anything the evidence shows or doesn't show. Cast doubt on reality and the lie becomes credible. It's the old argument from ignorance and as the man said: Ignorance is Strength.
Nothing is true and all things are possible, said Hassan, or so they say. It's the kind of metaphysics in which facts become fungible; wherein is and isn't and might be are the same thing and the transgressors of the world can wash their hands of any kind of causation or blame and smile -- after all, they ask us: what is truth? Listen and Big Brother will tell you.