The trouble with conspiracy theories is that they often have something plausible to a post-60s generation. Prior to that era people were basically gullible… In films, bad guys were always punished, as were bad women, and even when the police were corrupt, they’d meet a sticky end. We were expected to trust the Establishment, work hard and we’d get ahead.
Now, we’re more cynical, so it’s easy for a conspiracy theory to take hold because we want to believe that someone’s actually got some plan and that they’re in control even if we don’t like it. At least, when we stop THEM, the good people can take over.
And when people march in the street protesting that we should watch out because governments are taking away our rights, I have to admit that I would be prepared to join them if only they’d mobilised when we allowed anti-terror laws to turn into the sort of country that has secret trials and various other things which take away the very rights that we’ve had since the Magna Carta was signed by that English king who had worse people skills than Peter Dutton.
And when people suggest that we shouldn’t trust Big Pharma because they push a lot of unnecessary things on us, I could agree were it not for the fact that some of the people who called COVID a hoax decided to stop doing so after the sort of life-changing epiphany that is also known as dying from it.
Ok, I know what you’re going to say: If things have changed, why do we still have the same forces of evil being elected? Where’s the socialist utopias? Why do people elect billionaires who tell them that they can’t trust unions? Why isn’t something done about climate change? Why did Barnaby Joyce complain about government being in his life just before he become one of the leaders of said government? Why does Matt Canavan open his mouth to say things when the only good reason he could possibly have is to eat? Is there ever a good reason to name someone George when George the Third was mad? Is there a reason for the existence of Clive Palmer apart from the obvious reason that he makes me feel like it’s possible for any idiot to sway a large number of voters so long as he enough money and a refusal to acknowledge copyright laws?
Yes, these are all good questions.
I suspect that the answer is that the right wing have grabbed hold of the conspiracy theories that made paranoid people vote for left wing parties or refuse to vote at all and swept them all up into things like MAGA or QANON, or, even worse, the Scott Morrison fan club.
Sky After Dark presents theories that would be more at home in the sort of undergraduate newspaper that was started by university students who felt that the one run by the student union was too far right because it merely advocated for the overthrow of the system and didn’t have a clear agenda for mandating anarchy with rules that would prevent a new hegemony from taking its place. Once upon a time, success was valued by the Murdoch empire but to get a gig on Sky After Dark you merely need to be shunned by your party, lose an election or have criminal charges laid against you at some point in your life.
Pauline Hanson – the Liberal who lost preselection because she revealed her party’s intention to attack immigrants and indigenous people before the election ruining Howard’s intention for it to be a happy surprise for all those racists who’d been silenced by people who didn’t understand that being a Liberal entitled one to be, well, it just entitled one, didn’t it?# – went so far as to tell us that she wouldn’t be vaccinated and that it was her right to die from COVID and, on that, who am I to do anything but support her?
And then it become clear…
COVID is a left-wing plot to get rid of the people silly enough to listen to conservatives who tell them not to get vaccinated thus reducing the number of people prepared to vote against their own interests… Ok, it’s a bit harsh like the Stalinist purges and Mao’s cultural revolution but that’s what the left is like!
Yeah, quote that previous paragraph at some anti-vaxer and watch the whole conversation change. Ok, they won’t agree, but then you can just have fun using all their previous arguments against them. You know, like when the same people who argue that people didn’t die of Covid-19 they died with it and it wasn’t the cause of death, turn around and try to argue that this person was vaccinated and they died so it was probably the cause of death and not the fact that they’re parachute failed to open when they were learning to skydive…
# For more on the subject of entitlement, I am working on a book called “Go Ask Alex”, which tells the story of how a very promising Liberal’s leadership was ruined when he found that the jokes that went down a treat with his friends lead to an addiction to being humorous which meant that he made fun of domestic violence. After that it was a long sad decline, leading to him being a figure of ridicule, even for those in Liberal circles. In his final years, he was reduced to writing columns in the media for no other reason than to make his colleagues look less ridiculous.
Like what we do at The AIMN?
You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.
Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!