On Hippies and 9/11 Conspiracy Theories

“The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance – it is the illusion of knowledge.”
– Daniel J. Boorstin

A few minutes ago I received an electronic letter inviting me to a presentation on… and I swear this is real…  “the ONENESS of LIFE“.  It started out pretty reasonable- problems with media, education, structures, leaderships, dilemmas presenting possibilities of their collapse, and et cetera.  From this followed ideas for change and resolution through alternative media and educational reform, which struck as naive-but-sane.

And then: “Most of you probably already know there is LIFE beyond the Earth in the stars“, and I’m thinking “oh jesus fuck he’s a Scientologist”.  And then I read the line that came right before that.  Because I’m dyslexic, I guess.

Most of you probably already know that 9/11 was a lie“.  It was at this point that I realized it was possible for me to take this letter less seriously.  My first thought was “wow”, followed by the confusion of how this had anything to do with the rest of the e-mail, followed by another head-shaking step backward from my faith in humanity.  Either the fine chap who sent me this is completely detached from reality or has reason to think that most people feel certain enough to “know” that the 9/11 attacks were “a lie”.  Just to be safe, I feel compelled to prepare for the improbable latter.

I think most North Americans are generally bored, and somewhere in between ennui and imagination, I can understand the appeal of these kinds of constructions.  To be fair, here is the extent of the entirely speculative “evidence” presented for these arguments, to my awareness.

Loose Change | Zeitgeist | 911Truth.org

The idea is that the 9/11 attacks on the world trade center were “a lie”, that is it was set up by the American government with controlled demolitions explosives inside the building.  It’s a pretty exciting idea, even if you’ve never set foot in the U.S. or known anyone who lives there.  It’s the stuff of Ian Flemming, that evil megalomaniac despots in the highest seats of power are using mind control and death rays to take over the world.  Who wouldn’t want to buy into that?  V for Vendetta is one of my favourite films!

Alas, if only we were brains in vats.  Many independent institutions and organizations have physically disproved these kinds of ideas with the help of experts from the fields of engineering, architecture, pyrotechnics, mathematics and physics, but this should probably be redundant; the real problem for the 9/11 conspiracy theory is the problem that it means tens of thousands of average, everyday construction workers, policemen, firefighters, paramedics, bystanders and public officials kept one of the greatest lies in their country’s history a secret.  For no personal gain.  In the most hyperpatriotic nation in the world.

The attacks did happen, and though I don’t find it personally exciting to my enmity (I thought those “I <Plane> NY” T-shirts were hilarious) I can understand how these allegations of 9/11 being a lie could be significantly damaging to the emotions and psyches of people who lost people they loved.  In addition to being completely retarded.

To perform an immediate 180 degree turn, there is some evidence for considering that there could have been something fishy going on.

The Project for a New American Century has been and continues to be one of the most influential groups for policy making in the U.S., and to summarize and simplify heroically, the 9/11 attacks and Iraq War drew out as if strictly following the PNAC principles and objectives like an actor reading a script with the occasional ad-lib.

This is what can be called circumstantial evidence.  It “makes sense”, and the possibility that Cheney, Wolfowitz, Kristol and Rumsfeld met privately with Bin Laden in a dusty Afghan shack or a fucking submarine or something, would seem to be cognitively balanced with reality.  This would hardly make 9/11 “a lie”, it would only mean that there were a few white people involved in the killing of other white people instead of only brown people.  Why is that so much more terrible for some people?

The bottom line is that there’s really no solid or even solidish evidence for any of this, and therefore to believe it is simply a demonstration of what a person desires to believe.

And this brings us back to hippies, but first let me state my personal definition of the word.

Hippie: n [hip-pee] a sampler or dilettante in a cause or belief system who relegates the dilemmas or devotions of others into their own distractions.  See also: Hippiness, Hippie-esque, Hippitastic.

I see the population of “The West” as inclusive of two types of hippies, what you could call minor and major for want of better terminology.

Minor hippies practice astrology, believe in fairies, drink yerba tea, see auras and/or do kundalini yoga.  These hippies are fine, I can love and respect these hippies.  Theoretically I would respect them more if they weren’t hippies, but you take the crazy with the fun.  The defining characteristic of a minor hippie is that their practices are exclusively internal; they don’t really affect anyone else.

Major hippies are defined by the externalization of their dilettantism, and can be identified by their adornment in little rubber bracelets which indicate the dilemmas they choose to distract themselves with.  Also beware of anyone who drinks fair trade coffee, drives a hybrid, wants you to give peace a chance, or who is proud of anything they have done for its vague and indirect effects that they can’t actually explain or demonstrate… to be safe you should probably also avoid anyone wearing green.

If you encounter the major hippie, there are some basic things that you should know to avoid an excruciating and condescending lecture, or at the very best, a boring conversation.

  1. Do not indicate ignorance on any issue, problem, dilemma or cause.  Not even imaginary ones- just play along.  If you do show the hippie that they can “teach” you something, it will prompt the hippie to bore you with endless overviews, simplifications and snippets until you pass out from boredom.  If this happens, the hippie may shave off your hair to give to PETA for human-fur coats.
  2. On the other hand, never allow the hippie to realize you actually know something about any issue, problem, dilemma or cause in question beyond the shallow drivel they get from Keith Olbermann and the Utne Reader.  This capacity to make the issue real for the hippie may spook them into blindly fleeing from the situation, possibly hurting or even killing themselves by running in front of a canola-fueled bus or something.  Remember, hippies are people too.
  3. Don’t make sudden eye or hand movements, as it may cause the hippie to attack.

Major hippies are some of the most dangerous people in the world, because they habitually construct these hazy clouds of trendiness and pseudo-compassion for causes and dilemmas they haven’t bothered trying to understand, thereby creating the illusion of support and awareness for any dilemma in question.

Why would the Canadian or U.S. governments take any action in Darfur or Gaza or Sri Lanka or the Congo or Bolivia when so many their citizens are already so pleased with themselves for wearing a T-shirt or maybe handing out some fliers?

Why would the international community make a meaningful commitment to address food security and grotesque socioeconomic inequality in the Global South, when the MakePovertyHistory campaign already solved the problem?  They did, right?  Remember all that finger-snapping Sean Penn did?  I mean, when the popular trend changes from poverty to climate change, indicated by the change in colour of bracelet people are wearing, it can only mean that poverty is over.  Right?

It’s great to seek and promote inner peace and positive attitudes, but when this replaces the imperative for rational and realistic ideas, arguments and solutions to the very real dilemmas that people and populations face,  we begin to enter into galactic douche territory.  I want to see everyone heralding this brought to a Tamil camp in Sri Lanka so they can tell the malnourished, amputee mother of three live children and fifteen dead ones that she should have had “a better awareness of her connection to and relationship with and relationship to LIFE”.  Or brought to the next summit on climate change, and try to overcome national interest stalemates by explaining to them the “essence of the ONENESS”.  That’s probably bordering on harsh, but I think this is something worthy of indignation.

Love in Erasmus.  Pura vida.

Published in: on 2 March 2010 at 1:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

Best Film of 2009

Pirate Radio.

Story of an underground (technically over water) rock radio station in an otherwise bleak and cheerless Britain circa 1966.

Laughing and interested frequently throughout, at 1:55:40 I completely burst into tears.  Absolutely unbelievable film, easily in my top ten if not top five of all time.  Watch it.  That is all.

Published in: on 9 December 2009 at 4:52 pm  Leave a Comment