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9/11: Conspiracy Theorists vs. Fearists: The Fight Fight Club

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'9/11 conspiracy theorist at a protest against George W. Bush'
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9/11: Conspiracy Theorists vs. Fearists: The Fight Fight Club

by John Kendall Hawkins

And when I was twelve years old, my father took me to a circus, the greatest show on earth /

There were clowns and elephants and dancing bears / And Lady Liberty in red white & blue tights flew high above our heads / And as I sat there watching / I had the feeling that something was missing / I don't know what, but when it was over / I said to myself, is that all there is to the circus?-

-Peggy Lee (no, not that one), Logan Airport, toilet stall wall

Our public intellectuals have tried to warn us for years about our responses to the manipulation of our consciousness by the media and those -pathos who control them. It's a difficult trick to maintain self-integrity with so many competing interests in a Democracy. They laugh at us behind our backs; they laugh at us to our face; we're a ser l'absurde culture that's lost its way. We were ready for The Shock and Awe Show prequel known as 9/11. If you let it, the mind is blown by all the mad coincidences and confluences of that day -- so much going wrong simultaneously: It can take the breath away when you give it serious thought. But Americans weren't allowed sobriety, when the MSM called for gloves off and the wild abandonment of self-righteous Furies.

Susan Sontag, writer, filmmaker, philosopher, was the first of our brilliant minds to call out the media for stoking false patriotism and greasing the gears of a war that must surely follow, once we determined who the enemy was. In a highly controversial New Yorker piece she chastised our collective approach to what amounted, to her, as a lesson in foreign policy blowback. Sontag wrote,

A lot of thinking needs to be done, and perhaps is being done in Washington and elsewhere, about the ineptitude of American intelligence and counter-intelligence, about options available to American foreign policy, particularly in the Middle East, and about what constitutes a smart program of military defense. But the public is not being asked to bear much of the burden of reality. The unanimously applauded, self-congratulatory bromides of a Soviet Party Congress seemed contemptible. The unanimity of the sanctimonious, reality-concealing rhetoric spouted by American officials and media commentators in recent days seems, well, unworthy of a mature democracy.

We might well ask -- 20 years later -- if we ever achieved that maturity. Here's Sontags's full article.

Noam Chomsky's another one who was too wise to take the bait and form a reaction-formation we lesser, but eager, lights could circle like the monkeys around the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey. We had to settle for coalescing around Facebook philosophers with impressive numbers of Likes and Twitter-tweeting Follow Me storms. Chomsky knew immediately that it was all a distraction and waste of time. That, as Turd Blossom once scolded Ron Susskind, a NYT reporter, for his and the MSM's reality-based thinking,

We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.

Rove's authorship is confirmed in Mark Danner's Stripping Bare the Body (p. 13). Chomsky acolytes will immediately recognize this expressed sentiment of Rove's as a kind of encapsulation of his insights over the years -- here, brazenly flaunted, lower case shock and awe. By playing with reality, like children in a box full of quicksand, they engender conspiracy-mindedness.

And in the NYT piece, "Faith, Certainty and the Presidency of George W. Bush," where the quote first appeared, we're told of a rally where a Bush supporter gushed to the president: "...I ... want to say this is the very first time that I have felt that God was in the White House." This doesn't mean "God" did 9/11, but "He" put the events to good use. It's what emperors do: create reality. (Remember Nero and his reichstag fire, and Caligula and his horses?)

Americans have been wisely warned for decades to no avail. Most of us now know that president Dwight Eisenhower coined the term Military-Industrial-Complex (MIC) and, in his final televised speech as president in 1960, warned Americans about its excesses and the danger of the partnership. That didn't wake up the baby boomers sufficiently. But JFK's murder in 1963, along with a well-stoked paranoia regarding Russians and their aggressive communism, helped set the stage for our collective conspiracy theorizing. No one really seemed to believe the Magic Bullet theory or lone gunman finding, and when, a decade later, a Congressional subcommittee on assassinations declared that the JFK murder was most likely a conspiracy, there developed a national consensus that our government was lying to us, and may even harbor murderers and thieves, like Bob Marley alludes to in "Babylon System." So it's not a huge leap to Turd Blossom's coy crowing about reality-making, and a recent poll indicated that a majority of Americans believe 9/11 was an inside job is no surprise.

The MSM would give the impression that conspiracy-theorizing is anomalous or deviant, when actually it's a national pastime, which flashes an unflattering light on the MSM's hidden agenda and knee-jerk whitewashing of unpleasant information. We're worked on constantly by the MSM to conform, although, if you go back and watch Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 or Dylan Avery's Loose Change, putting aside theories as you watch, you'll notice a lot of media personnel talking about secondary explosions and wondering aloud how three buildings could come down as they did in one day -- for that one day, the MSM were like the rest of us most days. Could Americans do to Americans what was done on 9/11? That's the Question -- but, more importantly, that such a Question could be raised about 9/11 is itself, perhaps, a crossing of the Rubicon.

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John Kendall Hawkins is an American ex-pat freelance journalist and poet currently residing in Oceania.

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