"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Monday, February 25, 2013

Conspiracy Theories - Little Green Men

I am friends with the former police chief of a small town in Alabama who told me that the strangest case he ever encountered was the one he named ‘The Conspiracy Theorist’.  Denzel Mackey ran Bride & Groom, a specialty shop catering to the across-the-tracks trade, and stocking clothing not much different from any of the thrift stores in town.  A lot more white lace and shiny tuxedos, but the cheap crinoline and cardboard-stiff formal jackets were not far from the quality of the ten dollar three-piece suits and faded housedresses on the racks at Lorman Home’s outlet. 

Denzel had owned and operated the store for twenty years and had bought it when the town had been prosperous – not exactly booming, but doing well enough with the paper mill, community college, and state police training center.  In those days all the retail spaces were filled with gift shops, restaurants, stationery stores, barbers, and law offices, people still preferred to shop downtown than in the soulless malls on 50 out towards the airport.  There was no longer a butcher, grocer, or florist in town – these had long ago had ceded ground to the supermarkets and chains along the highway; but when Mackey decided to invest in the downtown location, things looked pretty good.

He, like the remaining downtown proprietors, was not so sure any more.  The theory was that the renovated apartments above the retail would generate the commercial demand that would lead to a revitalized economic center, but judging by the low-end spenders who frequented the shops on Main Street, the end of downtown was coming soon.

No one really knows how conspiracy theories or who starts them.  There are hundreds if not thousands of such theories out there, many of which are reasonable enough to attract otherwise normal citizens who are simply disaffected with Washington, the powers that be, corporations, the environmental lobby, gay rights activists, or politically correct educators.  These loyal but angry Americans have not gone off the deep end, still have their marbles, but believe passionately that they have been betrayed, left behind, and marginalized.

My cousin’s husband started in on illegal Mexicans a few years back.  In his opinion they were not just a drain on public resources – which they were -  but were a pestilential virus that was oozing, creeping, crawling, across the border and would soon take over California, the United States, and our way of life.  His premise was sound – that illegal immigration strained public resources and that the current stop-and-deport program was not working – but the extension of that initial reasoning into the netherworld of illogical hysteria was not.  These wetbacks, greasers, and spics were responsible for the degradation of American (white, Protestant) values, depreciated American culture (English), sucked tax dollars out of hardworking native-born Americans, and were all in all a blight on society and a pernicious, insidious force of destruction. 

When he got started on illegal Mexicans he went apoplectic – he spat, foamed at the mouth, went alternatively red and blanched white, got a crazed look on his face, a demented about-to-go-postal manic ferocity which lasted until his rage was spent.

I call him part of the illogical center, and nowhere near the fringes of conspiracy theorists.  At least he started from a reasonable point of view which was quickly distorted by his rage and antipathy.  The conspiracy theorists, however, are very calm, collected, and organized in the exposition of their ideas.  For example, I met a man in Mississippi who told me that he was a writer, and that his current project was to investigate the side effects of fluoridation.  I immediately engaged him, saying that my hometown in Connecticut had been one of the first to fluoridate their water, and if there were any slow maturing negative side effects I wanted to know about them. Was I at greater risk from cancer? Would I go progressively blind? Would my grandchildren be born with genetic defects?

No, he said, nothing like that.  “But you are a liberal, aren’t you?”  I didn’t put two and two together and replied that at least compared to Mississippi I definitely was.  “It is because of the water”, he said and explained that the Soviets had learned from the Nazis that fluoride was a potent chemical that could addle the brain in one particular way – it made you more susceptible to Communist propaganda.  It was no surprise that I was liberal, he said, because my water had been fluoridated in the 50s.  It was surprising, however, that I appeared so moderate in my views, nothing like Obama and his claque of ‘progressive’ sycophants who were out to destroy the country.

Now, according to my friend, the police chief, this was still within the realm of the sane.  There had always been questions about the possible side effects of fluoridation on bone density, kidney function, and a number of other physiological aspects of the human body, so it was not illogical to expand the inquiry to other areas, such as mental function and psychology.  Add to that already potent cocktail the invasive power of government which, after all, engineered the whole fluoridation effort, and you have a conspiracy theory.

“I don’t have a problem with these wackos”, said the police chief.  “Nor with the millions of people who believe that Obama is a black nationalist, African socialist, traitorous usurper, and Destroyer of Democracy.”

I added that I was getting a bit worried with the rise of wackos who believe that homosexuals have banded together with environmentalists and United Nations operatives who, using subterfuge, foreign operatives, disaffected ex-mujahidin, Jews, and the Rockefeller banks are setting up a gay caliphate as autocratic as any Islamic republic.  Once the gays come to power, they will enforce buggery, ban heterosexual marriage, dismantle the private sector, and force everyone to learn the Bible from a Sapphic and Lambda Rising perspective.

“That ain’t nothing” growled the police chief,  “Wait ‘till you get a load of this”.  He went on to tell how the mild-mannered Denzel Mackey went off the rails.  He started with the Obama birther thing, moved on to the Washington socialist conspiracy, branched out to include the Trilateral Commission and the international Jewish conspiracy, internationalist plotters, and Norwegian Socialists.  “That still was OK”, said the chief, “But when he went extra-terrestrial, I began to worry”.

Apparently Mackey had fallen under the influence of the Roswell 500. These conspiracy theorists were not content to ascribe the progressive deterioration of American values to human beings – the political, economic, and social holocaust that was in the making was far beyond anything that ordinary people could engineer, so there had to be a higher power responsible.  They told about the super-sized figure drawings in Nazca, Peru which could only be recognized as human representations if seen from on high, for example, from an airplane. That is, there had to be some extra-terrestrial civilization which had come to Earth, sent us a signal, and were now finally acting on it.  The Nazca figures were a warning which we never heeded, and now was the time to pay for our ignorance.

Once again, the police chief gave a tolerant nod of understanding to the process of the addling of poor Denzel’s mind.  In his view, the jump from human depredation and subterfuge to the intervention of an alien power was not illogical.  If one thought that what was happening was cataclysmic and apocalyptic, there was every reason to believe that it was caused by higher, more powerful forces.

“Remember the original movie War of the Worlds where the aliens came down to earth in spider-like pods that spewed fire and destruction?  This is what Denzel began to worry about.”

It didn’t end here, however.  The Obama Administration and its socialist, gay lackeys had concluded a deal with the aliens to scorch the earth and rid it of all conservative, God-fearing, Bible-believing, patriotic Americans. What would be left would be a grand Universal Socialism, a neo-Marxist idyll that would include all beings known and yet-to-be discovered. 

“Have you seen Arnold in the Terminator movies?  OK, then you get an idea of what Denzel Mackey was thinking about when he started to stockpile AK-47s, grenade launchers, Glocks, Uzis, and bazookas.  He would be John Connor and he would fight the alien invader and save the world.

“Believe it or not”, added the chief, “In his mind the aliens were actually large green lizards, not too different from the ‘gators down here.  They controlled the death rays in the pods through thought control, and when the killing was over, they would slither down inflatable slides and feast on the charred remains of the human race.”

Here the police chief stopped his story and started laughing.  “If his arsenal wasn’t so fucking military”, he growled; “And if he wasn’t so fucking scary, the made-for-television movie would have played to millions of households all over the South”.

“How did you catch him?”, I  asked.

“He gave himself away by putting up ten huge satellite dishes on his roof. They were so heavy that the top of his shithole cracker rambler started to cave in.  He installed prison-quality lights on a high chain-link fence around his property, and bought five mature Dobermans to police the perimeter.  We put together a SWAT team, bust in on him at 3am, and found enough weapons to arm the Contras.

“His house was typical wacko, unhinged muthafucka. He had just about every right-wing, Tea Party, extremist screed that ever appeared on the Internet pasted on the wall.  His desk was piled high with posters, CDs, and pamphlets all warning about the coming Alien/Socialist invasion.  Each pile was topped with 16-round assault rifle magazines, 12-gauge shotgun shells, pistols, revolvers, and shillelaghs to keep the papers in place in case he opened a window and the wind blew in.

“Over the entranceway was a huge picture of a 20ft ‘gator, mouth open ready to snap shut on its prey.  It was big, real, and scary.  This is what that motherfucker dreamt about”

I know the world is going to end sometime, and I have to rely on science fiction and American conspiracy theorists to suggest to me how.  I guess being incinerated then eaten by 20ft. green lizards that look like our swamp ‘gators is as good a way as any.

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