I read somewhere one shouldn’t make fun of conspiracy theory (posts). Well fuck that – I find them irritating, insulting, and yes – dangerous. It’s remarkable how ‘new-age’, esoteric-driven folk are falling for them. That is a generalization and I hope it’s a flimsy impression on my part.

In Germany – the conspiracy theory merry-go-round has been attracting a mixture of anti-vaxxers, libertarians, and far-right adherents/sympathizers – also people who are simply convinced their personal freedom is being hijacked by an over-exaggeration (by the government) of the actual danger posed by the current global pandemic. The non-wearing of masks represents a fight for freedom and against the tyranny of government – as opposed to wearing a mask being about blind conformity (to TPTB) and fear of going down the rabbit hole.

I don’t believe Bill Gates is an evil mastermind who is planning nanotechnology implants via a COVID-19 vaccination (when one becomes available), I don’t believe George Soros is a Jewish billionaire leading a nameless group of fellow billionaires and oppressors in the establishment of a New World Order. I don’t believe in a ‘deep state’ (in the US or anywhere).

I do believe that capitalism is the dominant economic ‘engine’ powering the global economy and powers, in the meantime, even the economies of Russia and China – but in a different way than in the US or Europe. Historically – it has been common practice for vested interests to exploit everything possible to reinforce, maintain, and expand their vested interests. I don’t need a conspiracy theory to reveal that. I don’t know if the coronavirus / COVID-19 was created in a laboratory or not – I don’t, for the moment, care – what I do care about is that it exists as a virus and has become a pandemic – it has been infecting large numbers of people and also killing large numbers of people. No – I don’t personally know anyone who has died of COVID-19, but I don’t know people who have died from a number of illnesses and I still believe they died, and I am still able to have sympathy and empathy for their deaths. I also don’t know anyone who has died in a car accident – but the same applies regarding sympathy and empathy – and I am all for legally required seatbelt wearing, speed-limits, and a legal requirement not to drink and drive. Those measures do not guarantee the elimination of injury and death – but they attempt to avoid it and minimize it.

This is how I view the wearing of masks. I believe only idiots choose not to wear a mask in enclosed spaces around other people. I believe only idiots join demonstrations to protest the wearing of masks (and other measures taken to combat the spread of infection). Someone reading this may well have decided to join one such demonstration – so yes, I am calling that person an idiot with regard to this topic. In other senses, they may well not be an idiot. I know for a fact I can be, have been, and will be an idiot in certain circumstances. Conspiracy theories are nothing new. I remember growing up in England and even as a child reading a Sunday paper called ‘News of the World’ – a rag filled with made-up news and exotic, sensationalist stories pretending to be news. It was a big-selling gutter press product. A few years ago it was closed as a result of a series of law-suits (phone-tapping became fashionable but was indeed illegal).

There is a collection of boring tropes that accompany many of the conspiracy theory postings/videos/memes – fear, complete loss of control over one’s life, the evil mega-rich controller – intent on more control and no longer being a nation defined threat (unless it is the Chinese Virus). I had a really special and good friend who I lost to the swamp and whirlpool of conspiracy theories – years ago. It started with chem-trails and escalated to a rabid form of Islamophobia. At some point, it loses all breaks and becomes an avalanche of endless memes, videos, accusations, and echo-chambers. The narrative grows into an irritating, insulting, and yes – a dangerous succession of fear-mongering assertions, badly made shot videos, outlandish claims and reminds me of the weird stuff I have read over the years about fascist Germany. Hitler and his fascist killing machine were highly adept at conspiracy theory making – and actually believed some of it themselves. Anyway – I wanted to get some of my aversion to conspiracy theory and QAnon, etc off my chest. What better place to do so than “what’s on your mind …” – Facebook style – or indeed – in a blog.

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