Are the in­mates run­ning the asy­lum?

The Press - - Opinion -

I’ve known a few con­spir­acy the­o­rists over the years. ‘‘Con­spir­acy Dave’’ sticks in my mind. A lo­cal at a pub I ran in Lu­ton, not a day went by with­out Dave com­ing in to lec­ture us on what brain­washed twats we were: ‘‘You’re all slaves.’’

You won’t be tend­ing bar for long be­fore you meet a Con­spir­acy Dave and find your­self pinned be­hind the bar while he ex­plains that ev­ery­thing you know is a lie.

‘‘There’s a re­ally good doc­u­men­tary about it on YouTube that you should re­ally watch.’’

Dave was how I like my con­spir­acy the­o­rists. You know the type. They might as well wan­der in wear­ing tin­foil hats, lest we sus­pect them of be­ing nor­mal mem­bers of so­ci­ety.

Now, a few years later, years which feel like they’ve rushed for­ward at ac­cel­er­at­ing pace, we live in a world where the bloke run­ning the New World Or­der has been known to dab­ble in con­spir­acy the­o­ries.

Any­one no­ticed that if you swap the lan­guage of ‘‘rep­til­ians and Jews’’ for the ‘‘global elite’’ it’s easy to get peo­ple whipped up into a frenzy.

One can’t help but won­der if the in­mates might be run­ning the asy­lum.

Nowa­days it’s harder to spot your con­spir­acy the­o­rists. They’re lurk­ing out there amongst us all, nor­mal in ap­pear­ance and em­bold­ened by the anonymity of the in­ter­net.

They don’t wear tin­foil hats. They’re just nor­mal old av­er­age Joes. Tap­ping away in the dark cor­ners of the in­ter­net about how 9/11 was an in­side job and the World Trade Cen­ters were a con­trolled de­mo­li­tion.

At least con­spir­acy the­o­rists are get­ting bet­ter with their gen­der bal­ance. Way back when Con­spir­acy Dave was lec­tur­ing me, I had yet to meet a fe­male con­spir­acy the­o­rist.

All it took was ba­bies get­ting in­volved. Now, it seems a bunch of women have signed up to be an­ti­vaxxer nut­ters. So at least we are headed to­ward gen­der bal­ance with our fringe think­ing.

Noth­ing is too far out these days. The earth is flat. Trump’s hair is a par­a­sitic alien. The Las Ve­gas shooter had as­sis­tance…

What­ever hap­pened to good old-fash­ioned con­spir­acy the­o­ries and the the­o­rists who es­poused them? The moon, the Il­lu­mi­nati, JFK, rep­til­ians and Roswell – that’s where I like my con­spir­acy the­o­rists.

I sup­pose they went the way of MyS­pace and cash and bub­bled back un­der the sur­face with the last cen­tury.

What is it that makes us sus­cep­ti­ble to con­spir­acy the­o­ries? We’re just ad­vanced mon­keys and things like pat­tern recog­ni­tion play a huge part in how we go about our lives. But is the way we’re wired too prim­i­tive for mod­ern liv­ing?

I won­der if it’s the same part of the hu­man brain that makes us sus­cep­ti­ble to other made up things like re­li­gion or hu­man rights that makes us take up these kooky ideas and run with them?

Like the Guten­berg press spread the con­ta­gion of Chris­tian­ity, so too will the in­ter­net spread the gospel of the trolls.

Is there a part of our in-built com­put­ers that be­lieves what we are told? Is ac­cep­tance of in­for­ma­tion eas­ier than a healthy cyn­i­cism, which has to be learned?

I don’t know what be­came of Con­spir­acy Dave. He was just one of many Daves that I’ve had a bar­man/boozer re­la­tion­ship with.

I like to think that maybe the aliens beamed him up and anally probed him, thus con­firm­ing his sus­pi­cions. But in re­al­ity he prob­a­bly just de­vel­oped cir­rho­sis of the liver and died.

I’m just won­der­ing at what point ‘‘fringe think­ing’’ just be­came ‘‘think­ing’’ and at what point this world will go to­tally and ut­terly mad? And once we’re nuts will we even know it?

Tu­atara or alien rep­til­ian over­lord?

Harm­less prank or mes­sages from the uni­verse?


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