For a while I’ve been wondering how conspiracy theories went from: “what the hell’s going on with UFO’s?” to “aren’t Republicans great!” in such a short period of time, but the truth is I know very little about conspiracy theory culture. I typically go out of my way to not follow any of that stuff, so it’s nice to see people who are actually involved with it call out its current level of inane bullshit. From Butterfly Language:
“I became an adult in the early 1990s, when a whole explosion of what could be called “fringe” or “conspiracy culture” was in full bloom. It was a collision of New Agey esoteric teachings, far-Left “hippie culture,” far-Right “paranoia culture,” UFOlogy, wacky Biblical prophecies, cyberpunk, ironic-hip “parody religions,” chaos magick, and so on. If you are not old enough to remember this time—well, I liked it. It was wild, ideas were flying and colliding into each other and mutating, and there probably won’t be another era like it.
Iconic television shows like Twin Peaks and The X-Files were born from that culture. And soon, it infiltrated the mainstream. “Conspiracy Culture”-lite, “alien chic,” etc.
But there was a darker thread that ran parallel to all this—a thread whose collective heart paradoxically leapt at the idea of the approaching new Millennium, Y2K, possible Armageddon. And when Doomsday didn’t happen, but 9/11 did…a whole new phase of “Conspiracy Culture” was born.
At first, this significantly “heightened” subculture—assisted by the rise of the Internet—seemed somewhat bipartisan ideologically. So many people felt shellshocked by 9/11, and the questionable wars that followed. It gets lost in all the daily Trump insanity now, but back then George W. Bush was constantly in the news for doing and saying dumb stuff. Again: a significant percentage of the people who spoke out against Bush back then were of both ends of the ideological spectrum.
But after Barack Obama was elected, things changed dramatically in “Conspiracy Culture.” And what once was a focus on things like corrupt corporations, the robbing of personal freedoms in the wake of 9/11, and the Deep State (the most significant of the essays on this topic, “Anatomy of the Deep State,” coming not from a right-wing website but rather Bill Moyers)—now became a focus on race, sex, religion, culture. “Fringe” topics like UFOs, the Kennedy Assassination, cryptids, and so on were on the wane, replaced with obsessions with Obama, Hillary Clinton, “SJWs,” and on and on.
Here is where things started to turn to shit in “Conspiracy Culture.”
There were also many cases where fringe topics like UFOlogy would get “hijacked” or “hybridized” with this new focus on race & culture. And heck, if we look at the esoteric origins of some of the early UFO “lore”—as opposed to the witness and research stuff being done from the 1950s onward—well, we end up finding fucked-up theories about racial superiority anyway. That’s not to discount the hard work of UFOlogists who want nothing to do with that stuff, but it’s the truth. The Nazis based a lot of their folklore/mythology on these early books that mixed visitors from other planets, Eastern philosophy, and theories of “superior races”; there are even theories that they developed technology that resembled (and might have been mistaken for) UFOs.
Anyway, so we had this radical “split” in “Conspiracy Culture” during the Obama administration, though it only seemed to get really bad by around 2012 or so (which falls flush with my “Year Of The Mask” theory). A lot of the older conspiracy writers/theorists who were more left-wing got massively weirded out by the sea-change in their genre; and some of the more right-wing decided to just take the plunge and go “all in” on the race/culture stuff.
Around this time, I believe, at least one or more “outside interests” decided to get involved with the shift in this subculture, accelerate it, and use it for their own ends. I believe that culminated in the election of Donald Trump and what we have right now.
And what we have is the “death” of that earlier “Conspiracy Culture.”
You can’t operate on a “platform” of wanting to get to the Truth, of speaking “Truth To Power,” of restoring power to the People, and then look at the sum total of Trump and seriously say: “that’s the person who is going to make it all better again.” You can’t pontificate long and hard on the evils of the Deep State and then conclude at the end that a narcissistic millionaire who hires all his family and surrounds himself with the corporate/political equivalent of the Dick Tracy rogues gallery is the Savior.
And yet this is what has happened.”
That last paragraph sums it up succinctly. Look, I’ve heard all your NWO/Illuminati theories, and I have zero clue how supporting Republicans after the disaster that was the Bush administration fits into resisting this supposed agenda in any way. It makes exactly zero logical sense whatsoever and seems to be fueled by little more than base racism.
This guy fails to point out how conspiracy culture was quite obviously infiltrated by the Koch brothers and Rupert Murdochs of the world, maybe because it’s a little too obvious. Again, former Nixon adviser Roger Stone watched the election on Alex Jones’ show, but like most conspiracy shit, stuff that’s right out in the open is somehow of little significance while weird hidden unsubstantiated theories are what’s really important. Which is my gripe with the entire mindset in a nutshell.
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