Saturday, October 16, 2004

Conspiracy theorists abound

First there was my professor and his theory on the Russians.

Now there's the guy from Starbucks.

I was sitting in Starbucks on Thursday morning, about to start studying some finance theory, and just off the phone with my mom after discussing the debates, when this guy at the next table over asks me who I thought won.

Well, this sparked a nice, normal discussion for about a minute. The kid was normal looking - in his early 20s I'd say, with a laptop, button-down shirt, conservative haircut - basically, could pass for a young republican. All of the sudden he informs me that there are rumors going around that Bush was doing coke during the debates. Well, I simply blinked a couple of times, smiled, and suggested that perhaps he was just grinding his teeth.

Nevermind rational explanations, as I was to realize - we had entered the realm of the wacky. This guy then proceeds to tell me that September 11 was engineered by the administration, and after I express indignation and immense skepticism, starts spewing 'facts'. For instance - the Pentagon was not hit by a plane but by a Cruise missile (snopes has done a good job debunking that one, if you still believe it), there were bombs going off in the WTC, because otherwise the buildings couldn't have collapsed, and that many eyewitness accounts of hearing these bombs (would that be earwitness?) were suppressed in the week following 9/11. He quoted the names of several firemen and others who had reported hearing bombs. None of my suggestions of 'maybe the noise was from the sound of steel girders' snapping' were acceptable to him. Oh - and the WTC fell without any resistance - it was physically impossible unless the floors were detonated.

Apparently, he's been driven to research this for the past three years, and cited audio evidence of the 'bombs'. I'd hate to be the one to break to him the possibilities of photoshopping, audio-editing, and other elements that can easily make any situation look more suspect than it is.

I did inform him that I thought he was wrong - he was forgetting the role of the Russians. At this juncture, the guy looked at me with confusion. Five minutes later, I'd briefed him on Russian sponsorship of international terrorism - planted the seed of fear and doubt in his already addled mind. That should keep him busy for a least a couple of years more.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What brand of tinfoil was his headgear

12:02 AM  

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