Thursday, February 15, 2018

Calm Before the Stupid

Donald Trump may be a bad president for many people, but the one group that he has consistently delivered for is conspiracy theorists. I don't mean the garden-variety "big business is colluding with the government to make money" kind of conspiracy theorists (those sorts of conspiracies happen all the time), but rather the complete and utterly batshit insane variety. More and more implausible allegations come to light every day. Is it fake news, or is it just flat-out stupidity? I expect that you already know my answer to that question. I recently came across an article about a conspiracy theory floated last year called "The Storm." It was a sort of meta-conspiracy that set the bar quite high for future efforts.

Part “Pizzagate,” part New World Order, and part hyper-partisan wishful thinking by defenders of Donald Trump, “the Storm” is a sprawling meta-conspiracy, with actors ranging from Hillary Clinton to model Chrissy Teigen, in which everything you know about the current investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and potential collusion with the Trump campaign is upside down.

Special counsel Robert Mueller, in this alternative universe, is in fact preparing to indict hundreds of Democrats (including Clinton, Barack Obama, and financier George Soros) and Hollywood celebrities for their roles in a massive worldwide pedophilia ring, operated by “globalists” who are conspiring to destroy Trump — and that the president himself is himself masterminding this “countercoup.”

“What we have come up with is a possible coup,” explained conspiracy theorist David Zublick in a late-November video, “not against Donald Trump, but by Donald Trump, working with Robert Mueller to bring down the Clintons, the Democrat Party, and the entire U.S. government involved in pedophilia and child sex trafficking.”

In just a few short weeks, the theory has grown from a handful of posts on fringe Internet chat forums to become the overwhelming obsession of nearly every conspiracy theorist in the business, notably Alex Jones and his Infowars operation, as well as social-media figures such as Liz Crokin. In addition to being a constant focus of discussion on Infowars, dozens of YouTube videos and thousands of Twitter posts exploring various facets of the conspiracy, and presenting the usual dubious “evidence” to “prove” it, have shown up on the Internet.

The origins of “The Storm” lie in Trump’s cryptic remarks on October 6, saying that a gathering of military leaders represented “the calm before the storm.” When asked what he meant, Trump responded: “You’ll see.”

I have to admit that I really don't understand this mindset at all. First off, the obsession with the Clintons remains as ridiculous as it was back in the 1990's, even though now Bill can never run for president again and Hillary's poorly-managed presidential campaign was very likely her last. Second, I also find it bizarre that it's not enough for right-wing kooks to just disagree with the political agenda of the Democratic Party like regular right-wingers do. Instead, for them the Democrats have to be involved in (imaginary) stuff that's sick and evil.

But really, few politicians are evil at all in any metaphysical sense. It's not that they're good either, but rather that they pursue their own interests and the interests of their big donors, which are usually one in the same due to the size of those donations. It is completely reasonable to be skeptical of the Clintons because of how they ran the Democratic Leadership Council in the 1990's - you know, something that they really did - and entirely unreasonable to be down on them because of "Pizzagate."

And I'll repeat this one too, because I guess I need to keep saying it - they are no "Illuminati occultists" running the world. I think that whole idea comes from thinking that liberal politics and evil and occultism is evil, so obviously they must be one in the same. But there are barely any occultists anywhere. Even out of the couple thousand "witches" who tried to bind Donald Trump, you won't find many real occultists. Most of them were self-described "activists" who were doing it as performance art based on "the archetype of the witch."

Even a "binding spell" approached that way is neither magick nor occultism, and it doesn't conjure any paranormal forces at all. It may be empowering in some sense and garner some media attention, but that's it. When you can't even find a significant percentage of occultists among people who are willing to burn a candle against a president they hate, that says what everybody who has ever tried to make money selling occult books can tell you - statistically speaking, there are barely any occultists in the entire world.

Oh, and occultists are mostly not rich either. If they were, they would be more willing to pay for things instead of pirating books because "all occult writers make tons of money." That's a whole other misunderstanding of the way things are, and I think a good case can be made that it's bolstered by the kooky worldview that rich, evil occultists are hiding around every corner trafficking children and performing (entirely ineffective, from their descriptions) rituals with high gross-out factors. Or fundamentalists who believe goofy things like if you just say the Lord's Prayer backwards, the Devil will appear and give you a million dollars.

Oh, and if you still don't believe me, read the last paragraph of the quoted section. October 6th of last year. In other words, all this "storm" nonsense was supposed to happen months ago. And none of it did. Even the article I am quoting here, "exposing" the whole thing, is a month old.

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