As a storyteller, an improvisor who revels in the world of make believe, an avid reader of fiction, a lover of sci-fi and speculative genres, I find myself drawn in to the ‘possibility’ of things in a ‘what if’ way. I have been caught off guard more than once by fake news, but on the whole I have been able to sniff it out with a hearty dose of cynicism and the basic tools of google fact checking. But the interwebz is a proper breeding ground for all sorts of tech viruses and people are either susceptible or desperate or a mixture of both. Not that I blame us. In our search for meaning beyond the random and terrifying, there is the dreadful paranoia that we are totally helpless and things are truly beyond our control.
Enter the conspiracy theories. Sometimes they may start off small; a theory may gather a few facts and half facts before picking up the front or back end of a wacky idea and before you know it it is a known truth that Chinese villagers have been mind controlled and have been swallowing bleach. Sometimes they just go huge; there is no actual virus and governments have aligned and are killing off a percentage of the population (I wrote this before I watched the video below).
Sometimes these conspiracy theories leave the lips of politicians like Trump and his Republican potato heads and are dismissed by anyone with half a brain, because they know that Trump and his Trumpets literally cannot tell the difference between truth, data and facts and lies that they actually make up themselves!
Sometimes a friend will say something as a Facebook status update and it will travel the pathways of gossip, find its way into a meme, get itself an official logo from the University of Blahblahblishblah, and then it is suddenly a ‘real and verified’ warning that needs to be shared by all WhatsApp groups forever.
Many of the conspiracy theories around COVID19, particularly the origin of it, carry dire warnings about the who, what where and how. And then there is this.
I was sent this today and I laughed out loud, read up about the guy, scoffed, went back and started watching. And got totally sucked in. Sucked in.
Now it is an hour later and my brain hurts. What do you think guys? I need help of the highest order.