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Blog : Posts tagged with 'conspiracy'



In which we make better documentaries

We sat down last night to watch one of the Christmas present DVDs: Arrested Development Season 3. It got me thinking, after yesterday’s post, about pseudo-archaeological documentaries.

I don’t mean Professor Parfitt’s documentary described yesterday, so much as the far wilder theories produced by, say, Graham Hancock, or the many who have followed on from The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail. You know the sort: the sort who will tell you, straight-faced, that the Bavarian Illuminati knew the secrets of the Knights Templar, who had found ancient Jewish documents containing the mystical secrets of Egypt and the bloodline of Jesus, whose descendants formed the Priory of Sion, founded the Freemasons, who preserve the secret that Atlantis was in Antartica, and who hope to return to the French throne as predicted by Nostradamus. And that you would already know all this, if it wasn’t being kept secret by a global conspiracy involving the Pope, the British royal family, and the Bilderberg group. That sort of documentary. The sort which is bound, somewhere, to contain the line: “if the documents we had found in the obscure archive were true, it would mean rewriting the history books.”

Anyway, if you didn’t watch Arrested Development – and not many people did – one of its constant features was a narrator’s voiceover, performed by Ron Howard.* A rather sarcastic narrator’s voiceover, pointing out every moment where the characters lie or make a mistake.** And that’s exactly what all those documentaries need.

Presenter: If the documents we had found in the obscure archive were true, it would mean rewriting the history books.

Ron Howard: But they’re not.

A thousandfold improvement, I think you have to agree.

* who has lately been directing a movie based on a Dan Brown book, so will know exactly what I’m talking about.

** which is rather frequently.

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In which we don’t believe everything we’re told

Or, Pointless Exercises.

Conspiracy theorists are wonderful people. They both entertain and infuriate me at the same time. Entertain, because their ideas tend to be so off-the-wall. Infuriate, because they never seem to realise how wrong they are, or where their logical flaws are. There are so many to choose from, and they will never go away.

Which is why the Stevens report is, as Mohamed al Fayed said, a waste of money. Not because it goes against Mr Al Fayed’s well-known opinion that his son was murdered by secret agents, but because there was never any chance that any of the conspiracy supporters would accept the report to be accurate. “Lord Stevens didn’t hear from key witnesses,” apparently. There will always, according to the theorists, be more witnesses, unconsidered evidence, more secrets to come out, something which will vindicate them. The evidence which supports the sensible answer is always going to be wrong; witnesses the theorists disagree with are always going to be part of the conspiracy themselves.

The whole Diana thing still isn’t over; there are more inquests to come in a few months. It will find, you can be sure, that the deaths were accidental, caused by bad driving. And the conspiracy theorists still won’t believe it.

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Things I don’t need to write

In which this site’s posts are superfluous

I was thinking of writing an exciting political post* about last week’s terrorist alerts, and how I was a mite suspicious of them. But, of course, this being the internet, lots of people have done it already, wondering if it really was necessary to jump so suddenly. Chris from, particularly, was very suspicious of the vagueness of the reports, and apparent lack of hard evidence so far.

Hard evidence may well turn up, eventually. Or, more likely, it may turn out that the plotters hadn’t even made their bombs yet. The government are starting to have a bit of a Boy Who Cried Wolf problem. The more times the police raid innocent houses, or paralyse air travel, especially if it comes at politically sensitive times, the less we are going to believe them.

* well, OK, not that exciting

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