Sifting Through the Rubble: The Value of Conspiracy Theories

I have a vague love for conspiracy theories that doesn’t really go beyond my typing of sentences like this, but what the hell, let’s go with this. Whenever I’m in Borders or Barnes and Noble, I always peruse the conspiracy theory part of the magazine section (Borders has a better one in case you’re wondering), and one of these times I got to wondering: Why do all these mainstream book outlets, these chains of inoffensive commerce, sell all these seemingly underground and venomous publications?

I didn’t have an answer. I also don’t really have an answer for the rhetorical question that is “what do we make of conspiracy theories?” The crap, the downright incriminating vomit that these magazines put forth will literally blow your mindâÂ?¦if you take them seriously. I am not surprised at all when I hear about some conspiracy theory nut who goes crazy and pulls off some really strange and brainless antic, like the dude who lit himself on fire at Ground Zero.

The biggest problem with conspiracy theories, and conspiracy theorists for that matter, is the vast and uncontrollable amount of them. There is a conspiracy theory for everything and there is no greater place them for them to thrive than right here on the internet. Forget Borders or even your local, ultra-liberal bookstore, those outlets don’t hold a candle to the flammable shit that gets spread on the web. There are literally thousands of agendas, groups and factions who all have something kooky to say. These websites and organizations have one common thread though, they want your readership.

Not you specifically, but as many people as they can muster up, because the more people who sympathize with their cause or, better yet, back it the better. Soon I will be writing an article that specifically deals with the phenomenon of collegiate professors supporting 9/11 conspiracy theories, and that’s exactly what I mean.

As soon as these conspiracy theories become legitimized, the sources behind them are validated. It doesn’t mean that these people are right or that there is even a speck of truth to anything they say. Once these little magazines get national attention they can sell them to Borders and Barnes and Noble and away we go.

I’m not saying that there is no truth to some of these conspiracy theories, and at the very least they make for a very interesting read. The problem with the rise of conspiracy theory magazines is the same one that afflicts the mainstream press. There are simply too many different versions of the news. Everyone has an agenda and sadly, I don’t think there’s a whole hell of a lot we can do about it.

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