Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sunday Nightcap 6/3/12- On conspiracy theories

If you read the final two reviews this week you can see I do like conspiracy theories. I don't particularly believe any of them but I do like to dip my toe into the minds of the fringes of human thought.

Almost all of the theories we ever hear about are so out there as to be ridiculous. No rational person would ever believe them if they actually looked at all (or any) of the evidence and connections that are alleged to exist. Most theories collapse once you get past a certain point  simply because they require you to believe so many coincidences that even Hollywood would never dare plot things that complexly.  I've looked at dozens of conspiracies and I've yet to find one that actually works- at least as the conspiracy says they do.

For me conspiracy theory is a mind game. How far can we push this? How far can we stretch our minds thinking about these things. I'm not really looking for truth because even in the process of looking at the pretty pictures the theories create they are crumbling before us.

Last weekend while working on the KAFFNY reviews I took time out to look at some conspiracy DVDs I had picked up. One was a grand conspiracy theory talking about how the world really is, while the other was a piece on how the Mossad was behind 911. Both were utter crap.

The grand conspiracy theory, which I suspect is really a joke, used bits of George Carlin routines as evidence of something going on. The filmmakers would bring up some ludicrous point and then use a Carlin clip as back up. I suspect George is shaking his head in disbelief  since he was a humorist and not a political commentator. I would have to check with his daughter but I somehow doubt that he was ever clued into what was really going on.

As for the Israel being behind 911, the theory, at least presented here, is as loopy as they come. Its the sort of thing that goes off the rails early and continues to travel out to left field when it says that Adam Sandler's Zohan movie is a grand political indoctrination tool used to get Americans to love Israel. Most people I know hate Sandler so using him to spread any kind of message would be doomed to failure from the get go. As for the rest of the theory, it's so complex and so complicated that it could never work... or at least never remain hidden.

That's the problem with most conspiracy theories, for them to work you need a small amount of people. These grand global plots can't work as well as the theorists say simply because too many people are involved and there are too many places it could and would go wrong.

If a conspiracy theory is to hold up you need less details rather than more, The alleged Montauk Project about time travel and other nonsense was a good story at the start but then it expanded to included hundred of people being kidnapped from Long Island, torture, aliens, and a person who not only said he was involved, but also said that he had, literally, no brain in his head. The scary thing is that people believe him.

I won't go into something like the 911 plots simply because they are such a mess of alleged researchers cherry picking evidence, experts who aren't and suppositions that are just wrong. I could write on them from now until doomsday, and still not explain why they all don't work. This isn't to say that some of these things might have happened, only that as presented in the films and books I've run across, there is no evidence.

What amazes me is that no one is checking the stories. the public has a brain and desire to know more but they really don't look at these things, they simply take the soundbites and go with those.  Its a conspiracy, they say, because some one told them so, but they never look into it. You all have computers look at the basic science or look at photos of the places or of the history. It's all there is you look.

No one does.

No one looks and they only believe what they want to believe when they want to believe it...which is what many conspiracy theorists  do all the time. Best example is 911 where many theorists denounce the news outlets as being puppets of the conspirators because what they are reporting is not true and the official story, but at the same time they pull the same broadcasts apart and take the bits that support their claims  as truthful, unbiased and factual reporting. You can't have it both ways, but the theorists do.

Okay you're asking yourself, If I think most conspiracy theories are nuts did I run pieces on the JFK Jr film and the 7/7 film.?

Partly because they are entertaining. Say what you will they are fun to watch. They pull you in and drag you along in such away that they make you believe that maybe possibly they are least while you watch them.

I also ran them because maybe possibly there is something to them. The JFK Jr one who knows, maybe something happened, I don't know. If you read the piece you'll see why I think there is at least the possibility of a cover-up of the government's failure to do something.

As for the the 7/7 plot, I ran it for two reasons, first off despite being years out of date, and several issues raised have now been shown to have been explained the film is being used, with no updating, as the gospel truth and inciting dissension. Its not right and people need to be told this stuff is out there.

The other reason I ran it is that despite many bits being explained there are still somethings that need further explaining.  For examples several years after the attacks photos of the bombers were finally released.  What else needs to be looked at? As I said in the review of all of the bombing plots of recent vintage, this is the only one that I've looked at where something else is going on which I suspect has to do with the British save haven policy (if we let suspected terrorists live here they won't bomb here) blowing up (literally) in their faces.

In any case what I''m trying to say is the theories are amusing diversions, but unless you are really willing to do the investigation yourself and check out the theories don't believe any of them. I've done the research and I don't believe them.

Over the Last couple of days I saw a couple of recent films.

Men in Black 3 is a good film. It has great performances, great aliens, some wonderful set pieces, but is so neat and perfectly constructed that I never completely bought into it. I genuinely like the film but I found it so obvious and heavy handed as it plays the heart strings I was moved.

Piranha 3DD is a mess. Its an intentionally low brow film made to cash in on last years Piranha 3D.. It has some funny moments, mistly referencing the first film, but little else. One of the thing that burns my butt is that thefilm is actually about 70 minutes. The listed 82 minutes is because they stretch the end creduts out with bloopers and stupid stuff. I got this on Amazon VOD and it was a waste and a rip off.

The Schedule is up for the New York Asian Film Festival. It looks like they will be screening 55 films. If I've done my math correctly Unseen will be covering at least 43 or so of the films, possibly more (We've already reviewed two War of the Arrows and Boxers Omen). Reviews will start the saturday before the festival and continue straight on through the festival on into Japan Cuts, the festivals more sedate sister.

I should tell you you'll want to keep checking back through the day all week. in addition to our daily films, which this week are busted TV series, we're going to be continuing with reviews from the Korean AMerican FIlm Festival which starts Tuesday night, plus we're going to be reviewing a bunch of films from the Lincoln Center Open ROads series. Additionally I've got a trip or two planned to the Brooklyn Film Festival which started this past Friday. This is going to be a crazy week so keep coming back.

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