Now here's something I think we can all agree on, sceptics and conspiracy fans alike.
As those who've read my posts know, I'm what some of you would call a sceptic (others may prefer ruder names). I don't believe in the conspiracy
theories so earnestly discussed on this web site, though I enjoy reading the discussions, and like to stir the pot myself on occasion, just for the
fun of it.
Conspiracy theories have always been big in American popular culture – and right now, they seem to be bigger than they've ever been. They are no
longer the obsession of a small, tinfoil-hatted minority; they've gone mainstream, and not just in the US either. They've gone global. They've gone
mass market. They've gone mass media.
They've gone television.
And it's been happening for a long time. On TV, today, is where most conspiracy believers first encounter their pet conspiracies – sometimes in
fictional form (e.g. The X-Files
), sometimes as credulous 'documentaries' (stand up, History Channel and Discovery Channel, and take your
bows), sometimes as paranoid ravings on talk shows like Jerry Springer's. Any of you can provide better and more contemporary examples than I just
did; I don't watch television, you see, so I don't keep up.
But while conspiracy-specific programming has had its part to play, the mainstreaming of tinfoil hattery by television is actually the result of
something a lot more insidious: the widespread confusion, now evident among conspiracy theorists and ordinary viewers alike, between television and
I suppose I once helped cause this confusion; I am a former advertising executive, after all. But during my 25-odd years in advertising, I always
believed that consumers and TV audiences were more intelligent and perceptive than they were given credit for. I held fast, as many admen of my era
did, to David Ogilvy's famous dictum: 'The consumer is not a moron; she is your wife.'
Sadly, I have lost my faith in that statement. I can no longer attribute much intelligence to the average consumer, the average TV viewer. It has
become appallingly obvious that habitual TV viewing by three generations of the general public has produced a world in which most people can't tell
the difference between the sensationalised, consumerised, art-directed world of television and mass media, and the actual, physical reality their
bodies inhabit – the reality of the objects and creatures around them, of actual events occurring within the range of their own five senses.
When people find the news on TV is as real to them as what is happening in their own backyards, when they think the gadgets and ideas sold to them by
the media are as important as the concerns and relationships that feature in their own lives, they lose their anchors. Clueless and foundering, they
will believe anything, grasp at any straw. They will support the most bizarre conspiracy theories, such as the claim that
the Aurora theatre shooting was the work of the local police chief in cahoots with the
The world is full of real problems. When the general public takes leave of reality, it just makes it harder to solve those problems. Conspiracy
theorists, of course, recognise this; here on ATS, they assert it all the time. Of course, in the view of sceptics like myself, it is they who have
lost their grip on reality.
Be that as it may, you have even more reason to agree with me if you are
a conspiracy theorist. Isn't the mainstream media the source of all
misinformation, distraction and mindless noise, the tool most favoured by the Illuminati/NWO/Rotschilds/Masons/Jews/Bilderburgers/Bohemian Grove
perverts/(your choice of fiend here) when they seek to bamboozle and distract the masses?
Well, then, let's get rid of it, so that the sheeple won't have to graze on lies and propaganda any more, and will be forced to see the truth of that
aliens-abducted-Obama's-birth-certificate theory you've been researching all these years! I may laugh in the face of your theory, but on this, I'm
with you: it's time to slay the dragon.
So come with me, friends, and let's strike at the very root of the evil: let's get rid of television, this monster of misinformation. Let's ban the
box and get people back to the real world, before we all float off on a tinfoil cloud of misinformation, misconception and false aspiration for
Come on, ATS! Let's all speak with one voice for a change. All together now...
BAN! THE!! BOX!!!
edit on 9/9/12 by Astyanax because: of edits.