Thursday, June 02, 2005


I love a good conspiracy theory. Who doesn't? I thought Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts were just smashing in that movie with Captain Picard. But if a conspiracy theory is too disturbing and unsettling to consider seriously, it's just not fun anymore.

Did everyone else but me know that lots of people think the United States government was involved in the attacks of September 11th? Apparently there have been plenty of books with dramatic and creative names written on the subject, many, many websites, and even the odd DVD, claiming that scads of qualified engineers, architects, military personnel, and other expert-type people consider it impossible that the Twin Towers and the Pentagon were destroyed by commerical 747s (and find lots of other problems with the official 9/11 story). In other words, they believe bombs were planted in the towers or on the planes and detonated during the attack, perhaps from a command center in World Trade Center Building 7, which was then demolished purposefully at 5:30pm on September 11. (That last part is true, about the purposeful demolishing of Building 7. That the building had a Command Center on the 23rd floor equipped with its own air and water system is up for debate. Actually, that's not up for debate either; that was indeed the case. But the theory that it was used as the base for carrying out the attacks on the World Trade Center--now, there's where the opinions differ.)

I went to Ground Zero last weekend for the first time. I hadn't been to the area since the late 90's, when it was not yet Ground Zero and you could still shoot up a speedy elevator to the top floor of the World Trade Center to eat incredibly expensive nachos and see for miles, even at night. The place, changed utterly since then, is remarkably business-like and practical, the untidy screaming metal bits and pieces very long gone, replaced by the beginnings of an enormous and optimistic construction project and a shiny new subway station at the very bottom of a still-empty pit.

When I got home, I flipped through the internet a little bit, looking at pictures, remembering how that day went, how horrible everything was. More horrible is the thought that the United States government could in any way be complicit in an attack on its own citizens. It's a truly crazy, X-Files idea, but read enough of the theories and look at enough of the pictures, and it's hard not to--in a daze fueled by meatless corn dogs from Trader Joe's and the mesmerizing glare from the computer--think for just one tiny second that maybe, possibly, it's not all complete and total bullshit. And that is an unsettling feeling, I have to say.

For peace of mind, you can also find refutation of the conspiracy stuff on various other websites, giving one a glimpse into a whole cyber racquetball game of claims and angry counter-claims, where various conspiracy theorists face off against government toadies and "media whores" who perpetuate the myths. Good times all around.

Maybe it's easier to contemplate the sinister implications of a New World Order being installed even now by the current government than it is to believe that the country is being run by a bunch of idiots. Maybe it's more comforting to focus on such intricacies as fusilage length, F-16 fighter jet speed, and the exact melting point of steel than it is to consider the human suffering that occurred on that day and that still occurs. Maybe some of the stuff is even true. I do know that it makes a girl miss her good old-fashioned belief that this administration is just criminally negligent and spectacularly inept. So, if you don't mind, I'm just gonna go back to that.


At 5:40 PM, Blogger charles.bukowski.costanza said...

does any one of the conspiracy pieces you read include the deployment of black helicopters? i have a hard time getting truly excited about a given theory unless it involves tiny silent choppers. just curious.

At 6:21 PM, Blogger scs said...

Shoot, we might be out of luck. Tiny white fighter planes--yes. Tiny black helicopters--no. I was SO close to getting you on board.

At 7:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"A good conspiracy is unprovable. I mean, if you can prove it, it means they screwed up somewhere along the line." Jerry Fletcher/Mel Gibson

I think the real conspiracy is why we invaded Iraq not 9/11. JQ

At 9:31 PM, Blogger scs said...

That's exactly right, Jerry.


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