The Way of the Word

20. January 2011

Conspiracy Theory

Misanthropy week continues. There are some things that you need to remember, always:

1) You need to pay very close attention to how a politician says something, instead of what they say. Back in 1989, then-Chancellor Helmut Kohl told the press that they would not raise or create new taxes to pay for unification. The way he said it made me think that, “Then they’ll call it something else.” It turned out I was right: a few months later, they annouced the “Solidarbeitrag” (Solidarity Contribution) to pay for it. Technically, it was not a tax raise, and it was not a new tax.

2) When a government has found a way to worm its way into your wallet, they’ll keep their fingers there forever. The Solidarbeitrag was originally supposed to last five years. That was in 1990. Last year, 2010, the government announced that they might be able to do away with it in 15 years. Perhaps. Don’t bet on it, though.

3) It doesn’t matter who you vote for, because they are all controlled by the same campaign contributors, sponsors and lobbyists. And you don’t get to vote for those.

I’m a cranky old man, and as such, I reserve the right to be upset about the generation that follows mine. The kids whose only ambition seems to be to find out how drunk you can get without falling into a coma. The kids who don’t want to make any effort to succeed at anything, because they’re spoiled brats who expect to be handed everything on the proverbial silver platter. The other kids who know that there is no silver platter, so their only ambition is to beat up as many people as they can get away with. All of them aren’t really interested in getting an education. Half of them believe they won’t need one, the other half belives it won’t do them any good anyway.

If those brats are the future, then we’re even more royally screwed than I already thought. But then again, that’s what our parents probably thought about us, and look at how we turned out.

Okay, their fears were totally justified, doesn’t mean that ours are.

Okay, whom am I kidding.

The thing is, however, that this is exactly how the politicians, or rather the corporations that control our politicians, want us: uneducated, ignorant and unthinking. Because if you’re not trained to think for yourself, you’re much more easily manipulated.

The corporations and the politicians, they want us stupid.

I’m sure you know the feeling: you’ve seen a movie or a TV show, and you thought, “Wow, that was so bad, I feel my braincells dying.” Don’t tell me you didn’t notice that movies have gotten increasingly stupid over the last few decades. And don’t get me started on TV, specifically the so-called reality TV. If you get your news from the internet, you probably know the phenomenon that you half-glimpse something that sounds important, but by the time you manage to move your cursor it has already been replaced by the latest celebrity gossip and you can’t find it again because it had originally only half-registered on your consciousness anyway. Even if you manage to avoid all those traps, there aren’t just all those pundits/commentators out there who tell you what and how to think, there are also all those who listen to those commentators who told them how and what to think, and who cheerfully spread that gospel, and you’d better listen to them or else.

You know what? If I were conspiracy minded, I’d smell one. (For the record, I’m not. I like conspiracy theories, but mostly as fodder for story ideas.) I’d look at the schools, how they are ideologically influenced, and ideologically influencing. They promote boredom, not curiosity, they don’t encourage the kids to think and to find things out for themselves. Rather, they encourage the kids to not think for themselves, to just accept whatever crap they’re fed. The media promote that way of life. Its not important to think, to be critical, all that is important is to look good, to be wealthy and famous. Someone has it better than you? Keep your place, but do be envious. Listen to the politicians who control your world. You’re not sure who you can trust? Trust that pundit on that TV station that tells you how you should see the world, just like everyone else in your peer group. Don’t think, they know better. Trust them. Sure, that politician over there seems dumb as a doorknob, and her only qualification is that she used to look pretty once upon a time, but you can trust her, she parrots the same stuff that your pundit says. The pundit who is paid by the company that owns shares in the companies that pay for the politician’s career. Of course the politician will later repay those generous contributions, either by elevating the corporation’s leaders into government, or at least by looking away when those corporations do something that would get you locked up for life and beyond. Because, hey, that corporation paid for the politician, and should get their money’s worth, right, and besides it’s far more valuable than water or land or some dumb fishes, or even you, or how much were you worth on the stock market today?

As I said, if I were a conspiracy theorist, I’d smell a conspiracy behind the rise in stupidity of the human race.  But I’m not a conspiracy theorist. There is no conspiracy. We’re doing it to ourselves, and those who can simply exploit what we do. Because exploitation, that’s what they do best.

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