Monbiot on Moonbats: Screw Loose Change

I seem to take something of a guilty pleasure in the anatomical study of conspiracy theories. Maybe it’s because their proponents espouse phenomenological explanations that are, shall we say, unnecessarily intricate. William of Occam would be turning in his grave. So much so that perhaps “turning” isn’t even the right word. He’d be performing rapid summersaults like a particularly ill-managed foosball mannequin. Any trace of reason or epistemological sobriety being expelled in dark trails by the overwhelming centrifugal forces. Apropos the vehicle for this gratuitously macabre metaphor, George Monbiot has written a couple of good articles in the Guardian this month. “A 9/11 Conspiracy Virus is Sweeping the World” where he takes conspiracy documentary Loose Change to task and the perhaps marginally more resolute “9/11 Fantasists Pose a Mortal Danger to Popular Oppositional Campaigns” from todays edition. Here’s a bit from the former:

There is a virus sweeping the world. It infects opponents of the Bush government, sucks their brains out through their eyes and turns them into gibbering idiots. First cultivated in a laboratory in the US, the strain reached these shores a few months ago. In the past fortnight, it has become an epidemic. Scarcely a day now passes without someone possessed by this sickness, eyes rolling, lips flecked with foam, trying to infect me. The disease is called Loose Change.

And the latter:

“You did this hit piece because your corporate masters instructed you to. You are a controlled asset of the new world order … bought and paid for.” “Everyone has some skeleton in the cupboard. How else would MI5 and special branch recruit agents?” “Shill, traitor, sleeper”, “leftwing gatekeeper”, “accessory after the fact”, “political whore of the biggest conspiracy of them all”.

These are a few of the measured responses to my article, a fortnight ago, about the film Loose Change, which maintains that the United States government destroyed the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon. Having spent years building up my leftwing credibility on behalf of my paymasters in MI5, I’ve blown it. I overplayed my hand, and have been exposed, like Bush and Cheney, by a bunch of kids with laptops. My handlers are furious.

Those last few paragraphs perhaps betray sympathy with Maddox’s view of the matter; but for less glib accounts of what’s wrong with the conspiracy theories “The 9/11 Truth Movement in Perspective” from Skeptic Magazine and “Debunking the 9/11 Myths” from Popular Mechanics are actually really interesting in themselves.

Stay mental, yeah?

P.S: I have to admit to blatantly nicking the subtitle of this post from the Screw Loose Change website. I couldn’t resist. It works on two levels!

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