I’m a sucker for a good conspiracy theory and partly blame a lifetime of conditioning from Hollywood movies. Certainly fact is stranger than fiction, which has made diabolical stories more plausible and the older (hopefully wiser) I get the more cynical I become. The risk however is letting information, whether it be theory, thesis or journalism take total control of how I think about life in general, since I’m too sensitive and impressionable. Over the years I’ve recognized my own weakness to sensational journalism and conspiracy theories.
On the opposite side of this argument is the fear of “wearing rose colored glasses” when looking at the events taking place in the world. Now a days it may even be dangerous to be completely ignorant to certain information. As in so many things, there’s a happy medium. For me however I find it best to keep pessimistic views about the world to myself and attempt to share mostly optimistic thoughts and ideas in my communication, which doesn’t mean that I stop reading or learning about troubling concepts, just that I choose to emanate those that are good, helpful and positive.
Occasionally I can be drawn into conversation related to the dark side of human nature, world history and politics, as I seem to have amassed a large repertoire of theories, concepts and beliefs, many of which I’ve embellished or connected to other theories and share with people in a certain sequence to add more plausibility. It’s amazing how these sorts of discussions can become so enthralling, it’s like becoming a screen play writers brainstorming with fiction writers and journalists. However, at the end of the conversation no topic has more clarity, there’s perhaps less truth than before and the entire mental exercise was just that – a mental exercise.
The Internet is the perfect breeding ground for conspiracy theorists and great for feeding the paranoia that lays waiting inside all of us. Birds of a feather flock together, so imagine how a theory can spin out of control? Add to that the very real possibility that if any conspiracy theory strikes too close to the truth, then the best way to discredit the information, is for the purpertrator to add more layers of misinformation onto the top of the original theory, and make it even more fantastic too, so the entire message becomes bizarre.
There’s one source of information, that ever since being introduced to, over ten years ago, I’ve respected because they provide reporting on stories from the dark-side, with a style and by people who would be considered (by anyone) as Journalists. Sure some of these journalists are muck-rakers and chase after the bad news, but let’s face it, someone needs to, just glad it’s not me. I don’t devote much time to reading information from reporters covering (or uncovering) the stories that the main stream news organizations won’t touch. Although having once worked for Washington Post (as a consultant) I know that they’re not too hesitant to go after a dark scandal on occassion, however for the most part the editors won’t permit clearance to report on any of the nastier unsolved news-leads. That’s where Mother Jones comes in, picking up on the story where the others left off.
Yesterday I discovered a new Mother Jones article, written by a very credible Journalist that certainly connected some dots for me. The story contains perfect villains and has a great conspiracy theory title called “The Swift-Boating of America” by Greg Grandin.