The Need For Conspiracy Theories

Believe it or not, but sometimes I actually wanna write about something other than comics. I know, scary thought. So let’s talk about the internet’s favorite past time besides kittens and boobs: conspiracies.

Conspiracies have always fascinated humans. The thought that someone could have come up with a highly complex plan to create a false flag operation to invade a foreign country for its natural resources. And why yes, I am talking about 9/11. But here’s the deal: most of the conspiracy theories that people talk about and believe to be purposefully created are not such events. And the thought that nothing of this event, to stay with the example of 9/11, that at no point the US government was in a position of absolute control, that some demented extremists, who had set their mind to their perverted task, were just able to take two planes and fly them into nerve centers of American life, commerce and defense, that frightens people. Fear. The main reason for the existence of conspiracy theories.


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Conspiracy theories are a coping mechanism. I have often heard from people about their fear of the puppet masters, the secret cabal of shadowy figures that meet in some castle high up in the Swiss mountains and decide the destiny of the world. That our existence is dictated by them, that every facet of human society is guided by them, that all the atrocities are explainable, have a reason, that might frighten people, but I believe it also comforts them, thus the reason for the conspiracy to begin with. Because I believe that there is one fear that is greater than the secret cabal of secret world rulers who are really secretive: the idea of no puppet master at all.

Scene from Avengers: Age of Ultron, captioned

This is truly my greatest fear. Imagine for a moment that all of human society is a bus slowly driving towards a ravine, as satirist and comedian Volker Pispers once said, but now imagine that no one is actually driving, yet the bus is still driving towards the edge and we can’t, or rather won’t, do anything about this. The idea of a puppet master, though frightening in its own right, is also comforting because it absolves humanity of both its own fault in current disasters. The current conflict in the Middle East was not caused by short sighted European and American interventionism and terrible reshuffling of the world regardless of ethnic lines during and after the Versailles Peace Treaty, done by people who really hadn’t the faintest idea of what they were doing, it was the puppet masters. 9/11 didn’t happen because of gross negligence on the part of security agencies and terrorists who really set their mind to the task and succeeded to outfox a security apparatus that, until then, was though to keep its populace safe. Better to believe in a puppet master and blame once actions on him, then to realize there are no strings, there have never been strings, and all that happens is random or self-inflicted.

How To Be A Pro Business Selfish Socialist

Here is a secret I got to tell those of you who do not believe in social security, free college tuition, unemployment benefits, and the minimum wage: being a socialist does not have to be about being selfish and giving back to the community. No, these programs are, in fact, beautifully shrewd and pragmatic. I love ‘em. Do I do so because I like some bad apples coasting on benefits or because I want to join them? Do I do so because I enjoy a tax money subsidized affordable university education? Maybe. But here is why I think everyone should approve of these welfare programs: because they are so inherently, beautifully selfish. But first a history lesson before everyone thinks I’ve been replaced by a lizard person from the 5th dimension.

 
The one step program of creating a welfare state: be selfish.

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Bernie Sanders Is The Deep Space Nine Of American Politics

Deep Space Nine is my favorite Star Trek show and the only one I would consider “good” in the same way I would consider any TV show to be actually good. It is also a TV that, at the time of its release and even today, is considered somewhat of a redheaded stepchild in Trek circles. had continuously low ratings when airing besides The Next Generation and even Voyager. Voyager, of all shows, that’s like getting told Lex Luhor’s haircut is better than yours. But I digress. Deep Space Nine has since seen critical re-evaluation and a vocal minority of Trek fans considers themselves to be “Niners” meaning they are exclusively DS9 fans and can’t identify with any of the other Trek shows. And one could easily, at least when writing for this “fascinating” website write here, easily come to the point where one can use Deep Space Nine as a metaphor for Bernie Sanders.

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Eery similarity: Odo from DS9 and Senator Bernie Sanders

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Why Counter-Terrorism Shows Like 24 And Homeland Don’t Work

24. Homeland. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Quantico. What do all of these shows have in common? Besides prettier than real secret agents? They all, basically, focus around the idea of counter-terrorism in some way or another. Jack Bauer, Carrie Matheson, Phil Coulson, Alex Parrish, their entire calling in life is to snuff out the latest threat to American interests. Sometimes an Allie may be in danger but, come one, we all know that it’s really all about the good old US of A. 

And for a time there, that made sense. It’s become a cliche to say it but 9/11 has really changed everything in the West, and in the US in particular. Not since Pearl Harbor, which wasn’t even on the US mainland, have Americans been attacked at home. The World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf Wars, all of them fought in the distance, and in many ways it was impossible to tell it was war at home. 9/11 changed that. Paris and Brussels are changing that right now in Europe. Vulnerability is something even our high powered armies with precision missiles smarter than the average middle schooler, and what not, cannot make us feel safe at a concert or some other big event anymore. So, like always, we took to fiction to cope with this. Jack Bauer can take out two terrorists threats in a day all without sleeping, going to the loo, and reading the Geneva Conventions. Carrie Matheson can track down Not-Bin Laden in a couple of weeks by connecting all the dots. Phil Coulson… does stuff with Not-Mutants. And Nazis. And something is happening on Quantico but that’s not been spoiled by pop cultural osmosis yet so why spoil it here. In real life the big three letter alphabet agencies were not able to protect the citizenry even while happily undermining basic civil rights for privacy and person-hood.


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