I swear the title of this post is not just a desperate attention grab. If that were the case, I would call it My Interview With Justin Bieber which, if it were real, would consist entirely of me slowly disemboweling him while stopping to record his screams. I don’t actually have anything provocative to say, except that EVERYONE YOU KNOW WILL DIE SOMEDAY. That’s not very provocative, but it was a great Flaming Lips song.
Shock is fairly difficult to sustain. Once people realize that you have nothing to say besides the most horrible things you can think of, their attention wanders. Still, it’s quite an effective tool for getting one’s foot in the door. Looking back over my history as a blogger, I see that my greatest hits have titles like “People Who Should Be Dead”, “White People Are Annoying”, “Men Are Idiots”, and “Things I Hate Doing”. Those aren’t my favorites, mind you. I’ve written some more low-key, personal stuff, but it just doesn’t draw in the traffic the same way that “I Am a Lesbian Sex Fiend Who Thinks Goldfish Have Mind Control Powers” does. (By “goldfish”, I’m referring to the snack food, not the household pet. Just FYI.) One of my favorite playwrights is Martin McDonagh, the Irish provocateur who cites Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, and David Lynch among his influences. His most famous work is The Pillowman, a science fiction dark comedy about child murders. No, really. His outlook, however, tends to be fairly humanistic. Not everyone gets what they deserve in a McDonagh play, but they ultimately decide for themselves where they end up, even if they don’t realize that they’re doing it. McDonagh’s message seems to be that if you stick to your principles, you’ll be surprised what happens to you, perhaps even pleasantly so. Then again, you might just get your limbs sawed off or your brains blown out. He likes violence, is what I’m trying to say.
A critic I admire once observed that there is a point in every film buff’s development at which they realize that Oliver Stone is full of shit. That’s probably true. Many of Stone’s movies purport to blow the lid off of some commonly-held belief, revealing the shady conspiracy that lies beneath. In reality, they distort the facts so blatantly as to be almost laughable. That’s why I like some of his early movies. JFK is one of the most purely entertaining movies I’ve ever seen. It’s 200 minutes long, and most of its running time consists of people explaining things to each other, but the time zips by like no other three hour-plus film I can name. Taken as fantasy, it’s really something. What if Oswald were just a pawn? What if Joe Pesci and Tommy Lee Jones were actually acting out ridiculous gay role play scenes while plotting the downfall of the U.S. government? Just thinking about that gives me a boner. (No, not really. How sick do you think I am?)
I have a fascination with conspiracy theories. I know otherwise-intelligent and sensible people who believe that 9/11 was an inside job. On its face, that theory has so many holes that I won’t even dignify it by listing them. Instead, I’ll say that if you honestly believe that the same president who couldn’t even chew a pretzel properly is capable of plotting and executing the murder of 3,000 of his own citizens without so much as a single respectable journalist anywhere in the world catching on and running with the story, you’re stupider than I thought. And believe me, I think you’re very, very stupid.
Conspiracy theories exist even in academia. Shakespeare scholars are no doubt familiar with the anti-Stratfordians: morons and cretins who like to discredit the greatest writer in Western Civilization by claiming that he didn’t write any of the works credited to his name. As with the 9/11 Truth Movement, there are about 5,000 factual and logical problems with this argument, beginning with the fact that Edward de Vere–who is usually cited by the foil hat-wearers as the “real” scribe behind Hamlet, Macbeth, and a zillion other classics–died about a decade before the first performance of Shakespeare’s last play, The Tempest. Also, he wrote a few poems under his real name, and they kinda suck. But that’s just a smokescreen for what the anti-Stratfordians really believe, which is that the son of a mere glovemaker could never be so talented. Can you say “intellectual snobbery”? As with other conspiracy theorists, the anti-Stratfordians count people I respect among their number. It does make me wonder how Derek Jacobi can perform Shakespeare so well when he believes that the man’s entire legacy is a sham. If I really believed that the U.S. government were responsible for 9/11, I would live in an underground bunker and communicate only via carrier pigeon, so maybe they’re just better at compartmentalizing their beliefs than I am.
Well, that’s about it for today. If you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to my lesbian sex parties. (Honestly, if you believe I’m having those, you’re even dumber than the 9/11 Truthers. I’m not a lesbian. I don’t even like cats.) But if you find yourself wondering if the next big news event isn’t just some elaborate sham orchestrated by the five Jews who run our world from a remote cave in Israel or some bullshit like that, consider this: if a shadow government runs the world, it’s doing a really shitty job. Seriously, I could do better than this. Who wants to make me Supreme Dictator?