The title of this piece is a flip of an old adage. Those of us who are not paranoid “conspiracy theorists” often look in feigned indifference to those who promote wild theories in things like the Kennedy assassination, the World Trade Center Disaster and now flu shots. My irritation is that while I generally do not believe in these “conspiracy theories”, I even more critically think these distract many often progressive activists from real and much more dangerous conspiracies.
I have always thought about this, but with this years’ flu season and the push for flu shots it came back with a vengeance as I see the flood of posts from those advocating that the flu shot is some type of scam, or worse a corporate plot. People I know and respect are spending large amounts of energy arguing about the flu shots, while many real “conspiracies” are getting much less airtime. The people and institutions behind these real conspiracies are just laughing their heads off as they see energetic, well-meaning, often politically progressive people expend their energies and investigative skills on things like flu shots, the Kennedy assignation and the World Trade Center disaster.
As a progressive I truly believe we do live in a world of conspiracies. However they are very complex and not as sexy as those that are getting the bulk of the airplay. These include the banking cartel and how they manipulate money and the markets to their advantage, the military industrial complex that keeps us “at war” and spends more here in the US on armaments than the next 15 industrial countries combined. The medical/pharmaceutical industry that has Americans spending about twice per capita of what other industrialized counties pay for medical care, yet somehow we are at the bottom of almost every objective measurement of health. Lastly, dear to my families heart, is the school testing movement and union busting conservatives that have ginned up fears that our schools are at an all-time low and only high stakes tests and charter schools can save our children. However most of these in positions of power have children in private schools that have almost no high-stakes tests, but to hear more of this go to my mothers blog at www.deborahmeier.com.
Every time I sit with someone who starts to go on and on about the World Trade Centers or similar conspiracy they will point to “studies” and websites with pictures and other proof validating their claims. In this new digital world there will almost always be someone out there with some type of credentials who post something from about every angle of any issue. However many people lack the skills to sift the wheat from the chaff and find ways to get to truly reliable unbiased sources, or better yet, first person expertise. My uncle is an accomplished architect and has spent much of his life with engineers. When I spoke with him about the WTC tragedy he said in his circles it was clear that these planes with their thousands of gallons of fuel provided sufficient power to start a chain reaction that led to the destruction of the towers and other nearby buildings. When I talk to my doctor and doctor/neighbor, both who happen to be about as non-interventionist as possible, both say it is clear most people should get the flu shot. Is it possible this is some type of Manchurian Candidate plot to inject everyone with some mind control medicine? Well if so, for those of us who have had any fluoride in their water it is already too late.
The bottom line is that I actually think the true conspiratorial cabal may actually foment these wild theories and certainly revels in those wasting good energies chasing ghosts. There are real conspiracies, they are just not as deliciously sweet as the sugarcoated inanity that consumes far too much of our airwaves. Now the hard part is to try to find ways to make these real conspiracies more digestible. Any ideas out there?