Nothing like a good conspiracy theory to spark up a conversation and wonder at the world’s unknowns and non existents. It’s a great way to kill time among friends, and appear slickly erudite and rebellious. It’s a lot of fun, and a practical exercise in applied dalliances and either equine or bovine feces.
While both species taste great in your lasagna, a good conspiracy rant is certain to leave some with a bad taste in their mouths, feeling left out, inadequate or ill prepared to argue against the torrent of assertive counter-factual non-evidence that is a proper conspiracy analysis. Political scientists and economists should think of it as a kind of Games (Conspiracy) Theory. That should help.
No one wins by arguing the reality of a conspiracy theory, all you can do is feed the mill of your conspiring foe, and look the foolish square that you are, you foolish square. No, the only way to win a conspiracy argument is to be even more conspiratorial than your conniving co-conspirator.
Lets review a few situations for everybody to relate to, and apply next time you’re sitting around minding your business, and some guy starts a sentence with the now familiar and dreaded: Duuuuuuude…..
Scenario #1-Western Conspiracy against Islam/The Middle East/Arabs/All three
Don’t bother pointing out that all Middle Eastern aren’t Muslim, that all Muslims aren’t Middle Eastern, that all Middle Eastern aren’t Arabs and that all Arabs aren’t Muslim, or that the western powers (or America, but saying America is kinda nineties isn’t it? A modern conspiracy theorist sees beyond national divides to the cultural conspiracy beneath) are actually supporting half the things they are talking about.
Why shouldn’t you bother? Because it’s TRUE, and therefore gets you NOWHERE. His hair is longer than yours, he has never read a paper so he is unencumbered with facts, and if all else fails he will make a joke or mock your naiveté. Don’t go there.
Instead, try this: Agree with him, and then blitz the sucker.
“Come on man, everybody knows that the West created ISIL, and that the AmeriKKK created Al Qaeda bro, and that every regime in the region is a US puppet dude, I mean come on.” (Never mind that some regimes i.e. Syria are Russian puppets, there are absolutely zero conspiracies about Russia, largely because you don’t need any, Russia will either destroy you or not. No conspiracy.)
“But yo, check this out, the US planted these regimes, true that, but check it, who created the United States man? England man, that’s right man. England. Ever wondered why we speak English? Yeah that’s right. But it was Christopher Colombus who discovered the Americas brother, the Big Brother to be you know what I mean?”
“But it was Spain that paid him yo, Catholic Spain bro, the Inquisition dude, the devil in the flesh.” (At this point everybody is nodding their head, not because you’re making logical sense, but because you have used keywords such as: Big Brother, Devil and Flesh together, Catholicism, Christopher Columbus, and AmeriKKK)
“And you know what started the Inquisition guys? No? The Crusades man, that’s right white people man, white people thinking their religion is ok but not Islam yo, just like we do today man.” (You’ve won your audience at this point, you might even get laid, but you’re not out there to ride the conspiracy train for what its worth, no, you have integrity.)
And now Blitz them, preferably leaning in closely, drawing the audience into a tight circle:
“But this is what you’re never told, here’s the biggest lie of all everybody: Christianity wasn’t always violent man, Jesus he turned the other cheek and it worked man. It really did, until the armies of Islam came pouring out of Arabia, conquered half the known world and give Christianity a taste of what it could be if it grew a pair.
That’s what no one will tell you man: it was Islam’s fault all along. The whole time.”
Scenario #1- Possible Outcomes:
You have blown the audience’s mind, and you’ve just turned a couple of hippies into Tea Partiers in the process, but let’s break it down:
Your conspiracy-slinging opponent has been vanquished. He agreed with everything you said so far, and although your conclusion is the exact OPPOSITE of his original argument, he has to agree with your logic, and can’t counter conspire you right on the spot, well maybe he can, you never know, but you’ve given him a good run.
Middle Eastern Muslims in the audience all hate you, but you were under the impression that they blamed you for everything so its ok.
Middle Eastern non-Muslims love you unconditionally; you’ve just described their last seven hundred years of hell.
Atheists worldwide love you because religion sucks, but spaghetti monsters rule.
The women in the audience love you, especially those who understand what you are doing, those are the ones you want to date.
Scenario #2 It’s the Jews man, they’re at it again.
Those pesky Jews. Are they at it again? Again? What are we gonna do about them now?
This is ancient conspiracy terrain, so ancient in fact, that very much like a guy walking on water, turning water into wine and/or parting the sea with a wink, they are now part of the human universal. If it happened long enough ago it has to be true (sorry Mormons), so if people have always hated Jews, well then they must be right, after all look at how Israel behaves today, that’s classic Judaism, right there.
Its hardly a conspiracy at all actually, usually its just plain bigotry, which makes this harder or easier to tackle.
You could start by saying that Israel and Jews are two different things, that Zionism and Judaism are two different things, that about half of Israelis don’t support the conflict anyway, that a quarter of Israelis aren’t Jews, and that there’s hardly enough Jews to run the world full time, but again, why bother with the truth. It won’t get you anywhere.
The sad reality is a lot of people dislike Jews, and so you’re bound to have to jump this hurdle at some point or another, usually often and with a range of different people.
For the sake of brevity we’re gonna focus on Western conspirators and Middle Eastern conspirators.
Apply the Agree-then-Blitz routine which you should be catching onto by now, and try this:
“Dude, Jews have always conspired bro, you’re talking about Israel brother, but you’re just seeing modern manifestations of old truths dude, you’re blinded by the manipulative news media man.” (Arcane knowledge: great conspiracy tinder)
“Look who created Israel brother, the English, yup the same guys who created AmeriKKK, the world’s big bully, you remember high school, kids kill themselves because of bullies man. And you know who was the first western nation to kick the Jews out of their country? England bro, again. See what I’m getting at?” (At this point no one should see what you’re getting at. You’re not making any sense at all, but the audience should be nodding their heads anyway because nothing says blatant conspiracy like two unrelated events six hundred years apart.)
Now you’re in a tricky place because ALOT of people don’t like Jews, so you have your pick of the litter as to how you want to spin this and that depends on the audience:
- If you’re dealing with a western audience, try the following it should blow their mind:
“England then went on to colonize Jamaica, and guess whom the most famous Jamaican is? Usain Bolt? No man, come on. Bob Marley, dude, Bob Marley, you think it’s a coincidence if Bob Marley is half English and sings about, yeah, you guessed it: ZION?!” (Minds: blown)
“Bob Marley dude, Bob Marley, that’s why he had Peter Tosh sing about not fooling people, because he was fooling us all along. Bob Marley bro. BOB. MARLEY.”
Tough sale, but if you’re convinced enough it oughta be sufficiently far fetched to stir doubt, and have them listen to Three Little Birds suspiciously. (You could also try to convince them that the three birds are the four monotheistic religions minus Mormonism, sorry Mormons religion is really all about tenure.)
- If you’re dealing with a Middle Eastern Muslim audience try the following:
Revert to Scenario #1, follow the thread backwards from England back to Islam, then blame it on Islam.
- If you’re dealing with a Middle Eastern non-Muslim audience try the following:
Revert to Scenario #1, follow the thread backwards from England back to Islam, then blame it on Islam, extend it to all Arabs as a product of Arab culture and tell them that they are in fact the original Jews and at worse Muslims themselves. Does it make any sense? No. Does it have to? Neither.
Scenario #2 Option #1 – Possible Outcomes:
Unless there are any Jewish people in the room, you have made negative friends, and everybody hates you, but not so much because you make them look foolish, or beacause you don’t hate Jews, but because you’ve made them doubt Bob Marley. Either way, leave the room, don’t call these people back.
At any rate, you have succeeded in making sure that they will think twice about saying anything when you’re around next time, and likely end up not saying it.
Treat it like the bigotry that it is and tell them:
“Oh, so it must be the Jews who taught you to be that stupid. They did well. You’re right. Maybe I should be worried. Now shut the hell up.”
Scenario#2 Option#2 – Possible Outcomes:
Everybody won’t agree, but people are sheepish and giggle when they see another person get told off, whether they agree with them or not, which is why everything is wrong with the world. You win brownie points anyway.
Scenario #3: All Muslims/Arabs/Middle Eastern are terrorists.
We all know that for facts don’t we? Don’t we?
You could point out again, that all three terms aren’t interchangeable, and that you should really stick to an ethnic group because there’s a lot of Muslims and many of them are inconspicuously white, and that in any group, you’re always gonna have someone too lazy to make it on time to the suicide bombing, so All Muslims is pushing it a bit even without any evidence.
Again, truth doesn’t hurt anybody except yourself, it’s a thorough waste of time, don’t go there.
In this scenario, you are now the Conspirator you were trying to crush in Scenario #1 and tell them that the West is the real terrorist, that they (or we its always good to include yourself in the group of guilty oppressors) are responsible for all the evil in the world from slavery to global warming, that they should be ashamed at the color of their skin and that flag that they wave (whatever color and whatever flag, they will relate anyway), that we’re the real conquerors, that we’re the real terrorists, and they can all terrorize this.
Conspiracy theories can work for you, but only against other conspiracy theorists.
Scenario#3 – Possible Outcomes:
Half the people hate you, but the other half admire your courage for calling yourself out among the oppressors.
Muslims/Arabs/Middle Eastern viewers agree with you, but depending on what religion and what ethnic group/country they are from are still convinced that the other guys from the region are terrorists.
There you have it folks, feel free to improvise on Scenario #1 through #3 because you have a good conspiracy theorist inside you, we all do, and if you’re gonna sound batpoop crazy then be sure its your own crazy.
Some might argue that I didn’t mention Africans or Far East Asians, but that’s because Africans will believe anything they’re told, and Far East Asians don’t care.
And if all else fails: Alien Overlords, Mermaids, Talking Chimps, Lizard Creatures, The Big Bang Theory, anything by Glenn Beck, and Jews.