Hit-and-runamuk: rants and whines from the Conspirasphere
Even though, like most people, I spend more time reading real news, the media Conspirasphere always offers an interesting diversion from the daily dose of sad, heart-breaking and/or outrageous headlines from across the globe. Part of the entertainment factor with these things is in wondering what kind of sad, heartbreaking and/or outrageous personal bias is going on in the heads of people who seem rabidly devoted to spreading conspiracies. Depending on the source and the manner they are offered conspiracies can be ugly or just plain lame. Unfortunately, no matter how ridiculous the conspiracy theory is, the person who has created and/or perpetuating the theory often truly believes what they're saying. Now while some conspiracies may be constructed on certain elements of truth or fact, and a rare few have even turned out to be true, in all too many cases the foundation is simply cynicism, paranoia or bias. And nine times out of ten the more of a celebrity the conspiracy-spewer is the more likely they're going to find a welcoming audience for their charges.
The last month has been a fecund one for the Conspirasphere and following ditties are a few of the more eyebrow-raising ones I've come across. And at the end of the list you will find a poll where you can vote for which one is this month's biggest ManBearPig.
definition of ManBearPig
ManBearPig is a term used from an episode of the animated TV show, South Park. In this episode the show's parody caricature of Al Gore arrives in South Park to promote "ManBearPig Awareness", Gore convinces the kids of South Park that MBP is a terrifying monster that poses a global threat. But later, in order to prevent the discovery it is all just a hoax, Gore pretends to kill the unseen beast -whilst endangering several of South Park kids in order to do so. Gore hails himself a hero though the kids realize now that he is just a pathetic liar and hoodwinker. The viewer is left with the distinct understanding that the closest thing to a real ManBearPig South Park or the world had to fear was it's creator.
This month's Hit-and-Runamuk selections from the Conspirasphere
Janeane Garofalo says Herman Cain is being paid to deflect Republican racism
Appearing on Countdown with Keith Olbermann (now airing on Current TV), actress Janeane Garofalo recently accused Herman Cain of being paid to run as a GOP candidate. Her theory alleges that the Republicans are trying to disguise their inherent "racism" by offering up a black contender. She went further into speculation by claiming, “There may be a touch of Stockholm syndrome, because anytime I see a person of color or a female in the Republican Party or the conservative movement or the tea party, I wonder how they could be trying to curry favor with the oppressors? Is it Stockholm syndrome or does somebody pay them?”
This isn't Garofalo's first political diatribe. She once said that seeing the American flag insults her. And last year the outspoken liberal actress made headlines with the claim that the Tea Party was all about racism: "Let's be very honest about what this is about," she said. "It's not about bashing Democrats, it's not about taxes, they have no idea what the Boston tea party was about, they don't know their history at all. This is about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up."
Ms. Garofalo's allegations -however steeped in paranoia they may be- at least are consistent. She levels her assaults at Conservative, Republican, Independents and basically every non-liberal voting American alike. But while even the most delusional American has the right to voice their views, I can't help but wish media forums like Current TV would at least try to temper the propaganda with a modicum of civility. Throwing out malicious, unsubstantiated allegations is intolerance, straight up.
On video: Janeane Garafalo accuses Herman Cain of being a paid "Uncle Tom"
Christine O'Donnell accuses Piers Morgan of sexual harassment
The former Senate hope-for and self-hailed "nationally recognized political commentator and marketing consultant" splashed into headlines last year with the announcement she had once dabbled in witchcraft. Her confession made for sensationalism throughout media land, not to mention it upset potential Wiccan voters by her clear confusion of real witchcraft (wicca) with Satanism. In August O'Donnell made fresh news with her St. Martin's Press release of her book, Troublemaker: Let's Do What It Takes To Make America Great Again.
This last week O'Donnell appeared for an interview section with CNN's Piers Morgan. O'Donnell, however, became agitated when Morgan began asking questions about the subjects covered in her new book. In fact she became so agitated that she accused Morgan of being rude and proceeded to walk off the interview. Later appearing on NBC's Today show O'Donnell claimed Morgan acted creepy during his interview, and further accused him of trying to sexually harass her. She has contended that Morgan would never bring up such questions with other political figures such as President Obama or Joe Biden.
If Morgan's guest had been one of these other political figures, then his line of questioning would have certainly been out of line. But O'Donnell has already made a name for herself as an opponent of masturbation, and she did write the darned book to which he directed the majority of his interest. I'm sorry, but nowhere in that aborted interview did Morgan act like a horny cowboy trying to pick up the last eye candy in Dodge. Morgan asked O'Donnell about topics she had previously seemed eager to voice her views on. So while I'm no big fan of Morgan I found O'Donnell's behavior was adolescent and the allegation of sexual harassment totally unwarranted. In fact, her general behavior in this situation came across as -to use O'Donnell terminology- creepy.
The Blame-Israel-for-the-Oslo-massacre conspiracy theorists
These individuals are too numerous and in some cases too shadowed by anonymity to list here. But according to the basic premise the Jews are responsible for the Oslo massacres of last month. After reading and re-reading some posted examples of these theories I understood the basic conspiracy: that Mossad and/or the government of Israel have long been up to their collective eyeballs in the cloaks and daggers in the aim to stop the spread of Islam in Europe, and that accused mass murderer Breivik didn't act alone. According to varying speculations Breivik was either recruited as a killer because of his pro-Israel fundamentalist Christian sentiments or he voluntarily took the rap for a crime he didn't commit in the effort to cover up for the real masterminds. Either way, for the die-hard believers the mass killings in Oslo last month were calculated atrocities authorized by some Israeli faction with Muslim blood slated on the agenda.
This is the conspiracy theoretical game at it's most old school. It ranks up there with postulations like the Arnold Swarzenegger was being groomed as the next U.S. president theory and the rumor that Barbara Bush was Bat Boy's biological mother. As satisfyingly fun this game may be for some, the passing off of sensationalistic tales as undeniable truth poses potential dangers for the rest of the world.
Chef Anthony Bourdain accuses Paul Deen of having unholy connections
This one smacks of pure professional jealousy, yes, but I included it here for the sheer audacity of outrageous denunciations Anthony Bourdain has recently lavished on popular TV chef, Paula Deen.
In an interview with TV Guide Bourdain proclaimed, "The worst, most dangerous person to America is clearly Paula Deen. She revels in unholy connections with evil corporations and she's proud of the fact that her food is f---ing bad for you. If I were on at seven at night and loved by millions of people at every age, I would think twice before telling an already obese nation that it's OK to eat food that is killing us. Plus, her food sucks."
For those who don't know who the heck Bourdain is, he is first and foremost regarded as a chef in his own right. He also enjoys a celebrity with his Travel Channel show, No Reservations, which features him traveling around the globe to sample culinary cuisine not usually familiar to modern audiences. Over the years Bourdain has experienced some very non-contemporary dishes such as a warthog's rectum, uncooked cobra and raw seal eyeball. He also maintains the nastiest thing he's ever eaten is a Chicken McNugget. Besides being a chef and culinary expert Bourdain is also known for his past drug use and years of hard drinking. He also dabbled in professional writing with the release of the controversial and raunchy, Kitchen Confidential.
Now while Bourdain may think of himself as the Ernest Hemingway of the culinary world, I just can't see where he has much room for criticizing Paul Deen or most any of his other popular colleagues. If he'd picked on a master chef who specializes in boiled sea slime, hippo butt pie or tarantula popsicles I could give his rant some credibility. Heck, that British road-kill connoisseur known for his rat stew is a more fitting rival to pick a fight with. But complaining about food that is tasty, satisfying and not teeming with salmonella is just bad form, Mr. Bourdain.
At Aspen conference a former U.S. Vice President wears out the "b.s." word
Earlier this month Al Gore joined in the Aspen Institute media forum, "Networks and Citizens" to address the problem of manmade-climate change naysayers. In true ManBearPig fashion Mr. Gore spoke at length about the many, many, many wrongs committed by those who disagree with his politics and climate change science. His speech was notable not only for it's breadth, width and long-winded length of allegations but also for his choice of vocabulary. Apparently former Vice President Gore believes that punctuating every other world or so with vulgarity will get the message over much faster and more effectively than talking with a civil tongue.
With a continual barrage of "Bullsh*t"s Gore not only mesmerized his true believer audience but drafted the soundbites into viral legend.
FYI - Al Gore is co-founder of Current TV, the network that airs Countdown With Keith Olbermann -yep, the show Janeane Garofalo appeared on with her Herman Cain conspiracy allegations. What a small world, eh?
In the following video soundbite Al Gore discusses an alleged pseudoscience conspiracy with punctuated incidences of "Bullsh*t".