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Personally, I Think the Carnies are Behind it All: Conspiracy Trailer

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Trailers | September 18, 2012 | Comments ()


conspiracy-header.jpg

I used to love conspiracy theories, I loved the way they found secret worlds within the one that we know. Spooky Mulder was my man. Conspiracies are a phase that one goes through of thinking about the world, like reading Ayn Rand and having your mind blown right up until the point you remember that a moral society doesn't derive from people being dicks anymore than good cuisine derives from throwing feces in a blender.

Conspiracy theories are appealing because they make the world make sense. They take seemingly random or inexplicable events and tie them into a cohesive whole. It's an exercise of faith more than anything, because they are premised on the idea that any contrary evidence is merely evidence of the cover-up. But in all the protestations of the terrible things that the have uncovered, conspiracy theorists are at their root taking comfort. They are screaming into a complex universe that things are much simpler. In that way they are no different than those who try to tell us that the world is six thousand years old.

The truth is far more terrifying to confront: there is no one in control. This world we see is mere anarchy, the aggregated total of a billion small decisions by small people.

Here's the trailer for The Conspiracy, which is making the rounds on the festival circuit at the moment.

My favorite conspiracy theory is the one that argues that "Star Trek" was a psychological operation designed to brain wash Americans into following the pope. Because there is a massive correlation between "Star Trek" viewing and attendance of Mass, right?




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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • Dragonchild

    OK on conspiracy theories.

    Conspiracies, however, happen every day. The textbook definition is pretty straightforward -- more than one party collaborate in secret to deceive the public. In private sector, that's called a weekday. It happens at low levels with routine regularity; am I supposed to believe these people magically discover honesty when they're given more money and power via promotion?? It rather annoys me when people use the word "conspiracy" to DISSOLVE suspicion, as if the mere accusation that a bunch of liars who like to meet in secret actually met in secret to plan a lie is too preposterous to consider. It's left people searching for different words to frame the issue when the original word should work just fine.
    I will say there's one reason why most "vast" conspiracies, aren't -- the two ingredients to a conspiracy are dishonesty and secrecy. There's plenty of dishonesty in the world, but most of it isn't a conspiracy because they don't even bother to hide it. It's a matter of public record, but everyone knows the public is too busy posting on Internet blogs about entertainment to bother. Um. . . never mind.

  • "It’s an exercise of faith more than anything,"

    Believing the Warren Commission Report on the assassination of President Kennedy is an exercise in faith in a government that doesn't deserve it. Believing powerful people do not form themselves into groups and secretly conspire to acquire more money and power at the expense of the many is an exercise in faith. Believing massive corporations who own the news media allow truly 'fair and balanced' coverage is an exercise in faith.

    Believing a criminal conspiracy such as the Kennedy assassination succeeded and has born rotten fruit down to this day is an exercise in critical thinking.

  • "Which one of us is really crazy?"

    You are.

    I have to wonder, would there be as many crazy conspiracy theorists if bullhorns were more expensive? Or would they just switch over to cheerleading megaphones? It would be vastly more entertaining to see a disheveled crazy person shouting about the Illuminati or Knights Templar or C.H.U.D. if he/she was doing it into a wooden horn with a bedazzled hornet on the side.

    "C-O-N-S, P, I, R-A-C-Y! Shout with us the crazies' battle cry!"

  • The Heretic

    Regarding conspiracies, I'm of Machiavelli's school of thought presented in Discourses. The reason why most conspiracies fail is if there are too many conspirators, news will inevitably leak out. And if there are too few conspirators, the odds of success becomes too monumental. Therefore, the claim that 9/11 was an inside job is exceedingly improbable, if not impossible.

    I'm not ruling out the possibility that Cheney had secret meetings about oil in Iraq. That is highly likely. But the true motivation behind the invasion of Iraq was Bush's desire to rearrange Middle East politics as a feather in his hat. Bush Sr already knew that getting rid of Saddam would be the worst way to gain access to Iraqi oil, because chaos thrives in a power vacuum, not a potential ally.

    Conspiracy theorists (CT), armed with the dark side of reasoning, always insist upon the existence of a malicious culprit, be it some secretive cabal, communism, the Defense Department, the Mafia, int'l bankers, Jews, Arabs, capitalism, the patriarchy, CIA, etc.

    For the CT, there is no such thing as "circumstantial," never mind the post hoc, ergo propter hoc. The blame is always readily available, and must belong to the current target for suspicion, who may possess the motive to pull it off. CTs are folks with overactive imagination but limited philosophical sensibilities. They are of the conviction that everything that happens must happen for a reason, and that reason is inherently malevolent, one that evokes fear, loathing, and hatred.

    However, this assumes things never just happen. We have an aversion from recognizing tragedy, which is the disagreeable fact that life is tragic: nobody and nothing is responsible. We would much rather claim that someone must pay for this, for someone must've been behind it all. In American culture, the popular n legal ideology upholds the notion that there are no accidents, and there's always someone to blame. Tort cases indicate a recent trend.

    Another aspect of this denial of tragedy is the phenomenon of entitlement. The irony is that while we are quick to blame others for general misfortune, we are just as quick to reject our own responsibility, for both our misfortunes and those we inflict upon others. If I'm suffering, its not my fault! Therefore, I'm entitled to compensation. The assumption is that we are owed a good life, a happy, healthy n comfortable one. If happiness is not present, then someone's at fault. Get my lawyer on the phone.

    The mythology of Horatio Alger is a classical example that in America, life must be fair, so the good will prosper, or that those who prosper must be good. Hollywood happy endings nurture this dogma, and such movie plotlines are expected in real life. But we live in an indifferent universe, where nobody is to blame, and even the "acts of god" aren't truly acts of God.

    Funny thing about a recent program on PBS that totally demolished the conspiracy notion that the moon landings were fake was the dogmatic stance of the skeptics. Even when ironclad evidence was demonstrated to these conspiracy theorists that their convictions were in error, it had little effect on their beliefs. Lesson? Rational thought is not as persuasive as emotionalism, entertainment, alluring sound bites and sensationalism. There's no point in ever debating conspiracy theorists. Such people have a perverse desire to be deceived.

  • Fredo

    Conspiracy theories need no proof to exist. They are like anaerobic bacteria -- deprive them of oxygen and they'll still find a way to cause diarrhea.

  • linnyloo

    It's like conspiracy theorists see everything as confirming their conspiracy -- even a lack of evidence. (There's no evidence... because someone DESTROYED IT!) ...this is why I teach disconfirmatory reasoning as a logical basis for making decisions. It's not perfect, but it does help identify questions that you can't even test to begin with.

  • lowercase_ryan

    So a paranoid Blaire Witch hunt?

  • Guest

    "A moral society doesn’t derive from people being dicks any more than good cuisine derives from throwing feces in a blender."

    That ^ is a thing of beauty, but not as beautiful as your second paragraph. Le clap de golf.

  • While I to some extent agree about the ridiculous nature of a lot of conspiracies and their comforting nature, I think the constant overt ridiculing they get and the obloquy they suffer serves an insidious purpose.
    It serves vested interests to have the most out-there, batshit insane conspiracies and their proponents take centre stage, as this just means that the straw man can be easily knocked down.
    Yes, the Universe is fundamentally random and chaotic, and yes, conspiracy theories do provide a framework on which we can rest some beliefs; even if those beliefs are based around sinister, shadowy groups exerting subtle control to achieve terrible ends. But those groups do exist, and they're not controlling the Universe, just corners of our little world. No, they don't meet once a year in a shadowy room, wearing goat's skulls and drinking out of ivory cups. Why would they do that when they can hide in plain sight, wearing perfectly acceptable, everyday outfits and talking about ideas that, to a person not desensitised to their fundamental concepts, would seem completely abhorrent?
    Here's where I lay my cards on the table and declare interest: obviously I'm talking about modern capitalism and its outgrowths. This system, despite claims to being a pure meritocracy, is by its very nature a conspiracy. The first bunch of enterprising thugs to have climbed a ladder aren't going to leave the way open for others to climb up behind and unseat them are they? No, they're going to burn the ladder down. And, without moral judgement poking its nose into things, this seems like a perfectly rational thing to do within that paradigm.
    But this will happen in almost every system; capitalism is in my firing line mainly because it is the dominant power at the moment. And because it is - annoyingly so - still very clever and practiced at presenting itself as benign and fair, while at the same time shooting down and tarring anyone who might point out that a few vested interests acting together to achieve a mutually beneficial goal might not be such an outlandish idea as a mental conspiracy theorist.
    A lot of them might be - correction: ARE - mental, but they are also harmless. So leave David Icke alone. Noone's gonna be harmed by him thinking about cabals of lizards all day. Focus instead on the all-too human cabals who do actually run things - yes, sometimes ineffectually, but almost always pretty selfishly and malevolently.

  • BlackRabbit

    Yeah, until some poor sucker decides to "bring the system down" by killing lizard-men. Fear of conspiracy can lead to action pretty easily.

  • Yes, tis always a danger. Though a relative rarity, and with - as cold-blooded as this sounds - a bodycount that is far less than the continuing, daily savagery that the system perpetuates.
    I'll tone the rhetoric down now, lest I start sounding like a SWP street hawker.

  • so, now it's a conspiracy that wealthy powerful people control wealth and power?

  • Of course.
    It's a well-known fact Sonny Jim that a secret society of the five wealthiest people, known as The Pentavirate, run everything in the world, including the newspapers, and meet triannually at a secret mansion in Colorado known as "The Meadows".

  • Milton Friedman

    Capitalism, in itself, isn't the evil and isn't responsible for much of what is wrong with the system. Being able to translate the fruits of capitalism is. Being able to translate money into power in such a way as to effectively burn the ladder, influence barriers to entry, and influence political leaders to chose the correct winners and losers is the problem. Crony capitalism is a disaster and, in my opinion, no better than any other economic system. As soon as something other than the free market has influence over an enterprise's success or failure then the system falls apart. That's when things get too big to fail. How many policies have been justified by the counterfactual, "things would have been much worse". Really? Would we really have been destroyed if a big bank or two failed? Sure, things would have been difficult but how much better spent might government money be in dealing with the aftermath of a bank collapse rather than in trying to prevent one. We don't know the answer to that but at least there you're returning money to the citizens who paid it in (and will pay it in to service the debt). And GM, the big success, is also a collossal failure. We bailed out an auto company that is still underwater. Better put, we are paying close to $75/hour (wages,benefits, retirement benefits) for a job that has a present value of $10/hour. In addition, we had to disobey some laws and ignore the basic contracts that define the values of investment, like the capital structure. UAW equities, and common stock got fulll value, ie, didn't go down to recovery value as it would in the event of bankruptcy, while senior credit got written down. That's not how it is supposed to work. Before the senior credit takes a hit of any kind the equity goes to 0. Equity is supposed to be what's left after paying off everything else, but in this case they got paid first. This is a very clear case of choosing winners and losers. Winner, UAW, losers, everybody else. My point here is why do we jump through all these hoops so that an auto company doesn't fail if the value of the jobs saved (including the businesses that provide parts, etc. to GM) is less than the value of the bailout? If we're really concerned about the workers and the community then hand them the money. It would have been cheaper to stroke a check for the next 5+ years of wages to every employee at GM and thier parts manufacturers than it was to bail out the company. If we don't think that's enugh time for GM to restructure and become viable, or for thier competitors to gain the market share and hire the workers back then why are we making cars at all? What a waste.

  • Indeed, though I'm not too pleased to see you back from the dead, Milton (even though it does reaffirm my theory about you being a zombie), I of course agree with you on a fair amount there. +2 for points, -1 for name = +1 overall. :)

  • Milton Friedman

    I never actually died. Huge conspiracy.

  • I KNEW it

  • Well...you've just given me a masterclass in succint expression, dude. Consider my barrage redundant :)

  • oh i quite liked your elaboration and elucidation of what i lazily voiced in meme speech

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