Conspiracy theories are just no fun anymore.
You hear about one today, and it involves some paramilitary cosplayer who believes the government has implanted a chip in his left nostril that tracks his Cheetos consumption. Not only that, the Deep State is plotting to take those Cheetos away.
He joins other paramilitary cosplayers, and the next thing you know you have people hoarding crunchy corn puff snacks and engaging in a violent uprising in the name of “freedom.”
It wasn’t always like this, though. There was a time when conspiracy theories were mostly harmless and, sometimes, even amusing.
The first one I remember vividly involved the moon landing, or rather the “faked” moon landing as the tin foil hat crowd would have you believe.
Yep … according to conspiracy theorists of the day, it was all just an elaborate ruse. There was no trip to the moon, just a trip to a movie studio in California where it was all staged.
It was one small step for man, one giant leap for Orion Pictures.
There was even a history teacher at my high school who was a moon landing denier.
Although it was fun to talk about and inspired a great movie, Capricorn One, I never believed the non-believers – not for a second. The fact that astronauts came back with rocks and not green cheese was proof enough for me. Plus, I watched Walter Cronkite cover the event. Uncle Walter would not lie to me.
And let’s face it – had the landing been faked, the production value would’ve been much better than that grainy, black-and-white stuff we had to look at. And James Arness would’ve played Neil Armstrong.
I guess since we had now traveled to another world it stood to reason that a conspiracy theory involving aliens would pop up. Thus, there were those who believed the government had already made contact with extraterrestrials.
Actually, this conspiracy theory is still very much alive and got a boost a few years back with the infamous “alien autopsy” footage. Supposedly shot at Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947, it was part of a TV special in 1995 hosted by Jonathan Frakes, who played Will Riker, or Number One, on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Although I’m a Trekker and I want to believe (that’s a Fox Mulder/The X Files easter egg, by the way) this autopsy was basically just a big pile of Number Two. The filmmakers eventually admitted to “recreating” the actual footage, but I doubt seriously there was any actual footage to begin with.
Anybody with walking around sense knows that surgical instruments manufactured on earth cannot pierce the skin of alien life forms; only special alloys made by a race of robots hailing from the planet Vortek can do that.
And remember the discovery of mermaids? Not Daryl Hannah, who played a mermaid in Splash, or the Little Mermaid, who played a mermaid in, well, The Little Mermaid, but that weird looking thing shown in Mermaids: The Body Found. It was a mockumentary, but presented in such a way that it was easy to think the filmmakers were serious.
And let’s face it … millions of people are – how can I put this delicately – stupid, so it doesn’t take much to make imbeciles buy into nonsense.
Frankly, I was never one to believe mermaids roamed the sea. The bottom half of the body being fish-like and the top half being humanoid makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. A real mermaid would have a fish-like top half and humanoid bottom half. Otherwise, how could they breathe underwater?
Myth-makers need to do a better job of thinking these things through.
Of course, there have been all sorts of conspiracy theories over the years, ranging from Bigfoot to Elvis Presley faking his death to chemtrails to Batman and Robin being a good movie.
All enjoyable to talk about, but all completely absurd.
Regardless, I miss the days when we could yuk it up over silly speculation. After all, idiocy can be amusing – right up until people start believing the government is after their Cheetos.