PURE VITRIOL


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I’m retired and for that reason have few demands on my time. I’m free to waste countless hours trolling through Facebook posts and sifting through thousands of pictures served up by Google image searches to find some to post on Facebook and caption, often to the delight of friends and strangers. But lately I’ve gotten a markedly different reaction to some of the YouTube posts I’ve shared.

I don’t remember how I got started watching these “it’s all a conspiracy” videos, but I’ve seen many in the last few weeks. Most of them are produced by people as lonely and disconnected as me, recording an echoey voice-over in their best fake Rod Serling voice, but others are quite well done, and heavily researched. This is especially true about those that deal with the Kennedy Assassination and 9/11. I’ve found some great ones that demand my full attention and reward me with a completely new explanation for these events, as well as an appreciation for the danger inherent in believing the official explanations offered by my own government.

When I post these on Facebook, I don’t usually even comment on them. It’s just one more item I’ve tossed into the stream that seems to go by more quickly as the number of “friends” I have increases. But the reaction I’m getting from some of these “friends” startles me. Pure vitriol. Rabid scorn. Threats to un-friend me.

Why such a departure from the customary lethargic likes? What button have I pushed? My critics attack everything about these videos, often focusing on production quality, as if that mattered in comparison to the depth of the subject matter. If the World Trade Center buildings were wired for demolition by agents of our own government, it seems that is a heck of a lot more important than the quality of the microphone used to interview firemen after the event.

I imagine within the next thirty years the truth will come to light about these events, and a consensus belief will emerge. It’s been forty years since the fall of Saigon and the end of our debacle in Viet Nam, and almost everybody by now agrees that war was a tragic mistake, as was the eight-year carpet bombing of nearby Laos, a country with no army to defend itself. The amount of unexploded ordinance still on the ground in Laos is shocking, and we are finally starting to feel shocked after our forty-year bout of amnesia and indifference.

So when we finally do realize that the Warren Commission report on Kennedy’s assassination was written by the man most probably responsible for the event, and that the myriad of facts surrounding the destruction of the twin towers had little or nothing to do with Arab terrorists, we’ll probably do something about it, though it will be too late to punish any but the longest-lived perpetrators. By that time the Bush family will be happily ensconced in their Paraguay ranch and the Cheneys and Rumsfelds will be but a bitter memory. Everyone will have forgiven Colin Powell, saying he was a good guy who had been given bad information.

I think the intense reaction to these posts of mine comes from the fact that nobody wants to think about it anymore, because it might require action, uncovering old wounds, changing the way we elect our governments, and that sounds like a lot of work. Far easier to make fun of the whistle-blowers, with their silly YouTube documentaries and calls to action. Lump them all together with the World Will End on September 23rd When A Giant Comet Strikes and Obama is a Shape Shifter videos.

By the way, it’s obvious that few of these YouTube posts have any original content, but are simply the conspiracy equivalent of rock videos, with snippets of horror movies mashed together interspersed with a few words here and there. They most often resemble History or Sci-Fi channel programs, except there is no premise, no discourse, no train of thought to follow. There is no script. They’re simply designed to get the least sophisticated of us to watch for a few minutes, in order to earn their “creators” ad revenue from Google.

I guess I’m a sucker for any old bald weirdo in a Montana trailer playing Dan Rather and giving us the straight dope on some problem he thinks we need to know about. Most of the time the camera is way too close (because it’s also the microphone) and I’ve seen one where the camera was sitting on guy’s chest and it rose and fell with his breathing.

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2 thoughts on “PURE VITRIOL

  1. Dan,
    Agreed. The alternative views to orthodoxy (if nothing else) exercise and sharpen our critical thinking skills. How is that examination/re-examination threatening? And why the hell shouldn’t Elvis be alive and living in Livonia, Michigan?

  2. I have studied the Kennedy assassination since 1966, when Mark Lane’s great book, “Rush to Judgement” came out. I think you can still find every episode of “The Men Who Killed Kennedy”, an excellent British production that got limited release in America. I can still hear Joe Pesci, as David Ferrie, raving about “Triangulation Crossfire!” in Oliver Stone’s brilliant film, JFK. (Almost ruined by Kevin Costner’s horrible acting, but the supporting cast, particularly Pesci, Kevin Bacon (yes I said Kevin Bacon!), and the Late Great Jack Lemmon. Anybody who still believes the L.H. Oswald Lone Gunman Theory, God bless ya’s.

    As for conspiracies in general, one must be cautious, because alienation from one’s fellows and the onset of madness are distinct possibilities.

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