Are They Even Trying Anymore?

After the Key Bridge Disaster and the April 8th 2024 eclipse, I listened to several podcasts on conspiracy theories. A strange consistency emerged that I had also witnessed – it seemed people weren’t really trying to craft conspiracy theories.

Oh there was the usual stuff. The rapture and chemtrails, cyberattacks and secret plots. But it was all things we’d heard before. Some of it, especially the eclipse conspiracy theories seemed laughable like some extremely predictable astronomical event was a magical/occult/divine arrangement that was important for some reason. It was lukewarm and recycled.

There was bigotry and biases, of course, especially in the Key Bridge Disaster. Plenty of racist crap was spewed online about various people and the city of Baltimore. It was no different than any of the racism and bigotry the day before, just shifted around a bit. It was racists being racists because of racism.

Finally, there was a lack of coherence to the conspiracy theories. There wasn’t any grand overarching plan or narrative – even “God” apparently didn’t have one. There was no chart with red string, no colorful complex graphic explaining it all circulating online. It was so low effort.

A lot of what I saw, and what the podcasts I followed saw, seemed to be people essentially tossing out old ideas and biases and calling it a day – or mentioning disconnected points and saying, essentially, “suspicious?” Maybe both if you got some really ambitious person with an online handle like “EagleFlightPatriotAlpha1776” and AN AI avatar with ten-pack abs and thirteen total fingers.

But man, the usual suspects and newcomers to stringing together bullshit weren’t trying. Maybe they were tired, maybe it was just the confluence of events and non-events, but I mean I had expectations. However I wonder.

Is conspiracy theory culture tapped out in America? I mean we’ve done it all, from space super-soldiers fighting reptoids (which are just anti-semetic tropes) to gigantic financial and political conspiracies (which are just anti-semetic tropes). Maybe people are out of ideas, maybe we’ve hit a kind of saturation.

Perhaps people are ALL trying to do the old trick of spewing random things and seeing what audiences want. Maybe everyone wants to get hits by low effort, give in to audience capture, and do whatever. Maybe we’re hitting even more widespread, but lazy grift.

Could it be that current news (Trump, Israel, and Ukraine as of this writing) has sucked all the oxygen out of the room? Has reality occupied too much time of people’s minds?

Were these events just too reality-based to get a good theory going?

Or maybe we’re all just worn out from continuous crap and it’s even hit people who are Too Online.

I mean I’d be glad if Conspiracy Culture is somehow worn out, winding down, and maybe falling apart. Maybe we can get some reality in there But I suppose I have to know what’s going on, just in case.

Which I guess makes me a bit like a Conspiracy Theorist.


The Imaginary Children Bring Terror

Previously I had written how Imaginary Children were important to many a conspiracy theorist. By claiming to save children that didn’t exist – from the not-born, to the not-real, to the in-the-imagined future – people justified all sorts of grifts, conspiracy theories, and so on. “For the children” is both a triggering set of words and a meme because of how common it is.

These phantom children also justify all sorts of extreme responses.

To say one is going to “save the children” is an excuse to pretty much do anything you want – after all, doesn’t everyone want to do that? There’s no amount of money (belonging to other people) that you can spend, no amount of surveillance you can’t do, no amount of arrests you can’t make. “The children” are the ultimate excuse.

And of course for authoritarians, the perfect excuse.

To say one is going to “save the children” also means anyone you accuse of harming them is also undeniably evil. Who would ever want to hurt (the made-up) children but someone irredemably evil? You can do anything to anyone you want if you accuse them of hurting children first, even imaginary ones.

Again, perfect for authoritarians and bigots, but perhaps I repeat myself.

However, even if people are not harming the illusionary children, people who are in the way are still a barrier. If they question you or don’t want to go on a crusade, they’re at best someone to ignore if not outright enemies. Plus you can convert anyone questioning your love of false children into a villain when you need to.

An endless supply of enemies to send minions after.

In fact, to say you’re doing things “for the children” – especially future children – let’s you justify ignoring or creating problems. Ignore climate change, we have children to save. Creating a police state mine just be fine if you’re saving the children. Not paying your workers a living wage is important because your great wealth will be used for the future children – honestly.

If it’s for the children, you can do anything. Also you might just by coincidence become rich and powerful. Imaginary children are perfect tools for grifters, con-artists, and authoritarians.

Again, what’s weird to me, what is hard to understand, is how people can so easily ignore real children. Maybe it’s because real children aren’t perfect, aren’t the right color, and take effort to take care of. Maybe dealing with real children requires one confront the horrible reasons they suffer. Either way, plenty of folks seem to prefer imaginary kids to real ones – probably because they’re an excuse.

It’s up to us to focus on real people, kids or otherwise, because those focused on imaginary children will use them as an excuse to be terrible. It’s important to focus on real people because the people worried about imaginary children will use them as an excuse to be terrible to them.


They Have A Fetish

I’m rather genteel here, but I don’t feel like being genteel about the issue of idiots banning abortion. Abortion is necessary to let people who get pregnant to control their bodies. As far as I’m concerned a lot of the people who want to ban it or limit it extremely are acting out a sexual fetish by creating and enforcing these laws.

Harsh? Cruel? Well if you read this we probably think alike, so you may agree, but look, I’m on a roll here.

So first of all, let’s note that most of the “for the children” claims come from people who don’t give a damn about actual kids. There’s no concern about immigrant children (quite the opposite). No one’s talking about expanding medical care or heavens forbid universal health care. Schooling is treated as just a chance for indoctrination by the forced-birth crowd. Also if kids are LGBTQIA+ then, well, this crew of womb-controllers seem to be happy to let them die.

Since all the reasons for banning abortion as “protecting kids” are obviously not what the control-freaks say, we can focus on the anti-choice crowd’s obsession with controlling people’s bodies. Yes, it’s an obsession, because it’s everywhere in the usual right-wing control-o-sphere. If you’re familiar at all with these right-wing mindspaces, the overwhelming, constant anti-choice repetition is unmistakable. It is embraced, it is, in short, a fetish.

Now the anti-choice swarm ignores people’s right to control their bodies, ignores their choice of medical treatment, and ignores abortion is a lifesaver in many ways. The need of the pregnant people is tuned out. Again, the utter obsession is beyond anything, into the realm of sexual obsession – of a fetish.

Sounds harsh? Not really. You’ll also notice as much as womb-controllers say they’re “for the kids” they are also obsessed with suffering. Most of the anti-choice people also seem to want to “save the children” from assorted imagined Satanists, evil cabals, etc. They’ll talk endlessly about human suffering, and it’s clear they take pleasure recounting how kids are tortured in their imagination. Again, these people have a weird sexual fetish about control and suffering.

And they go on, and on, and on . . .

But all of these people who want to tell people who can get pregnant what to do with their bodies want to do it with force. With the law, with the police, with threats, and in a few too many cases when you really listen with execution. There’s a sick, bloody, need for control and to punish.

So, yes, the anti-choice crowd as far as I’m concerned are sexual fetishists who want to nonconsensually draw others into their obsession. They’re ready to use the state to act out their twisted desires.

Sure, there’s also issues of control and politics, but this stuff goes all the way into weird, sexual fetishism. These people are obsessed, unhealthily so, and to the detriment of everyone.

And, yeah, this isn’t my usual deep discussion. Or maybe it is in a more angry way. But having a bunch of people who can’t confront their own fetishes and who want the police and government to rope us into them? We should be angry.

– Xenofact