This could be regarded as a sequel to my post yesterday about people falling for false news, but it has a slightly darker tone.
The internet is full of conspiracy theories. Antivaxxers. Chemtrail believers. Anything to do with UFOs. Coca Cola being flavoured with cells from aborted human foetuses. Planned Parenthood flogging bodyparts to drug companies. Myrrh/turmeric/flat leaf parsley 10000 times more effective against cancer*… You know the score, I’m sure. I have a lot of Facebook friends who are loopy in one conspiracy theory way or another. I also know a couple of real-life CTs.
During the runup to the US election I had one of them banging on about Hillary Clinton being one of the Illuminati, blah blah blah. I asked him how he knew this.
‘I researched it on the internet.’
‘Oh, I see. And you can rely on sources on the internet can you?’
‘Oh I get it. You been brainwashed. You believe the media, don’t you?’
‘Not all the time, no. But I don’t believe the wackjobs on the internet either.’
‘You been fucking taken in like all the rest. Look on YouTube for The Clinton Chronicles. You’ll see then.’
‘I’ve got better things to do with my time than to watch some nutcase on YouTube. Don’t tell me, let me guess. You think Bill Clinton raped and butchered children.’
‘All there on YouTube.’
‘You also really believe that Hillary ran a paedophile ring from the basement of that pizza parlour in Washington, don’t you?’
‘Course I do. It’s been proved. You can find it…’
‘On the internet. Yeah, I gotcha. Can you also find on the internet that the pizza parlour allegedly in question doesn’t even have a basement?’
‘Fuck off. You’re stupid. I don’t want to talk to you.’
‘Then I win don’t I?’
All the examples I’ve given so far are pretty leftfield, total babbling from the sickbed. This one is just plain odd. I have a friend who is absolutely convinced that weather forecasts are deliberately not released in a timely fashion in the runup to Bank Holidays in the UK.
‘But who benefits from that?’
‘Everybody. People make arrangements based on what they think the weather’s going to do. If it looks bad, people stay at home and don’t go out spending,’
‘Mike, the forecast this morning predicted rain on Monday, and it’s only Thursday today.’
‘Yeah, but people have already got organised, too late to change now.’
‘Most people decide months in advance. Do you really think anybody’s going to change their plans now? Anyway, forecasting more than a few days in advance is pretty unreliable. You and I are always taking the piss out of the ‘Arctic blast for a month’ headlines in the Express.’
‘They definitely withhold the information.’
I told you it was leftfield, didn’t I?
*The latest one I’ve found is that eating cottage cheese mixed with flax seeds cures cancer too.