My surviving grandmother refers to Dinosaur World as “Lieland.” This is because, according to her, according to the Bible, dinosaurs and humans walked the earth at the same time. You can’t convince her that this shit isn’t true. You can’t tell her about the science. The Bible is infallible. It’s honestly a frustrating thing to discuss anything at all with her, as she’ll eventually turn to the Bible as a source. You have to be kind of rude about it, stop her from getting going, or you’ll hear about End Times for fifteen minutes, sometimes longer.
However! I believe in my grandmother’s right to believe that dinosaurs walked the earth with human beings. Who cares? What if it’s true? I don’t know, I’m not a scientist. I’m pretty sure I have a grasp on how carbon dating works, but fuck…who knows? The point is that it’s not important at all. My frustration around her being wrong about this is pure petty annoyance. Is my grandmother kind to people? Yes, I’d say so.
Piggybacking off of yesterday’s rant about induced schizophrenia, I’m sorry to report that my grandmother believes a lot of shit that isn’t true. She doesn’t watch FOX News anymore, she watches YouTube. A lot of our conversations will begin like this: “Baby, you know Bill Gates? The billionaire? Yep, he’s a pedophile.” Well, that’s a bad example, because that probably is true.
Most of the “not true” stuff is Bible/End Times related. Because, I mean, come on. If you’re reading this, I don’t need to get into it.
My father believes a lot of that shit, too, but he and I really click/bond over conspiracy theories, mostly because I think the gist of what he’s talking about is correct, although I find his attachment to the idea of China as the Big Bad to be not a little sinophobic, and of course his belief that Demons Walk Among Us to be completely off-base. Although, damn. Actually, maybe those things are true, too! Who knows/cares?
I give these examples because it’s important to keep in mind exactly who people think they’re talking about when they talk about conspiracy theorists. It’s people like my family, who truly believe that getting a vaccine equals the Mark of the Beast. I just think it’s good to sit back for a bit and wait it out through the 2021-22 flu season, juuuust to make sure this brand spanking new technology doesn’t have any unintended side effects. I’ve seen Jurassic Park. Life finds a way, but so does Death.
I’d like to point you to this great podcast with the great James Corbett, who recently (of course) had his entire YouTube archive yanked out from under him. Years and years of work gone because (of course) he’s “spreading misinformation.” The interview covers the very open nature of conspiracy theories, and the history of progressivism (lots of eugenics!). Corbett has always been abundantly careful to cite his sources, and compiles his documentaries from actual things that actual organizations put on their actual websites. Nevertheless!
That’s what I’m talking about when I talk about conspiracy theories. Of course, not all of these are created equally. The earth isn’t flat, for example (that one I’m 100% on).
The idea of “spreading misinformation” is the most dystopian shit I’ve ever heard of in my life, because, and think long and hard about this: who is determining what is and isn’t disinformation??? You mean to tell me that there are completely objective “fact checkers” out there who have no investment in certain narratives winning out over others? Do you really believe that? For even a second?
Or do you just not care? I’m beginning to think that some of my smarter acquaintances actually don’t, which I respect a bit more. They understand the importance of narrative, and they are completely fine with truths being stifled and lies being made true if the ends justify the means.
I’m not sure about the ends, and I sure as fuck don’t agree with the means.
I don’t want to live in a world where you’re not allowed to say things, not because they’re nasty, hurtful, libelous, whatever, but simply because a massive, powerful complex bent on controlling the world deigns it to be so.
It just doesn’t seem very free to me. I like saying and thinking the things that I want to say and think. It’s built into me, deeply. I don’t just get along to get along. Never have, never will.
I won’t be made to feel schizophrenic. I will simply be able to shrug and say, “well, that’s a bunch of bullshit” and move through life, maintaining my curiosity, my ability to be wrong, but holding fast to some core truths, the major one being that people like my grandmother are allowed to believe wild shit, so long as they don’t act in such a way as to hurt others. And in the meantime, I’m going to have fun.
It’s a beautiful day outside.