To sum it all up, when it comes to the conspiracy theorists, I think most of these people are just confused. They’re feeling lost in a world that they perceive is changing very quickly. Their frontal lobes are telling them that things are awry, and they’re looking for a way to make sense of the chaos. They don’t have a handy framework to help them figure it out. These theories, like a butterfly seen in a blot of ink, are much more satisfying than the alternative, which is: it’s a bit of a mess.
Seeing a butterfly rather than a blot gives you a plan.
The problem is, deciding that the blot is really a butterfly—which is to say, using critical thinking only to throw away the apparent truth in favor of a much more Byzantine story—is a failure of discernment. It’s deciding to live in a cartoon world, a TV-drama world, rather than accepting life in a real world.
But hey, it’s Friday, and to conclude this little series, I’d like to let you in on some stuff I’ve figured out. I don’t have conclusive proof of any of it yet, but here are several ideas I’m workshopping of who started the so-called pand*mic:
- Facebook: they needed to sell their Portal device, and how better to try to do it than force everyone apart from their families for a while?
- Dippin’ Dots: in a triumph of playing the long game, they foresaw that the only way to offload their underused supercold freezers was by forcing science to create a vaccine that needed below-freezing temperatures.
- HBO Max: found a way to spring into existence in the perfect circumstances to permanently kill movie theaters. Coincidence? Evidently not.
- Fast fashion companies (various): foreseeing their demise due to increasing reports of their social ills and externalities, they now sell cheap masks, no doubt made out of 2021’s line of $5 dresses.
- Yoga with Adriene, the so-called Queen of Pandemic Yoga. Listen to this: in January, 2020 she created a 30-day yoga series called “Home,” celebrating doing yoga at home. Come on. She knew. And this year’s offering is called “Breath,” which is pretty rich coming from someone who we can all tell started a pulmonary disease.*
- Zoom. Obviously.
*I’m sorry Adriene