Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Conspiracy Theories

I am reading Parable of the Sowerby Octavia Butler, and it's giving me nightmares. It's Book of the Year at HSU and College of the Redwoods, so we are all expected to know it. It's a dystopian novel (dystopiaas the opposite of utopia) of the near future when the world has become the unbearable place it could so easily become. Novels like this, like Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood, scare me to death because they are so very possible, perhaps even probable. This book makes me want to move to Montana with Fred and start stockpiling grain and guns. I'm not even joking.

In the nightmare, someone came to the front door and even though I saw through the peephole that I didn't know them (two women), I opened the door anyway to send them away. As I did I heard a noise in the house behind me, realizing the front door was just a distraction for someone who had just broken into the back door. They were going to kidnap me. I ran out the front door yelling hoarsely "Help!" but the neighbors ignored me and I knew the cops wouldn't care.

Anyway, I am reminded of when my nephew was a baby and my sister was dabbling in the Charismatic Movement, a sect of Christianity similar to Pentacostal. Anyway, we used to listen to taped sermons sometimes, and there was one particularly chilling one I will never forget; it has haunted me ever since because all its bizarre prophesies have since come true.

It was about the biblical chapter Revelations that predicts the end of the world. The taped sermon predicted the coming of a "One World Government" where all the money was controlled. People had to get the Mark of the Beast in order to have access to their own money and thus to food and supplies. First people would pass through check out lines running their cards through, and soon their "cards" would be implanted directly in their hands. Christians should avoid this because the Rapture was not far behind, and those with the Mark could not get into heaven.

At the time (1976!!!) this sounded so outlandish, like a sci-fi-Big Brother conspiracy theory. But soon there were ATM cards you could use in the check out lines at the grocery store. Then they started implanting microchips in dogs. Now Verichip Corporation is implanting microchips in people, marketing it as a way to keep your baby safe from kidnappers, or to keep babies from getting mixed up at the hospital or for diabetics to monitor their blood sugar without pesky fingerpricks. Now people are using them as VIP markers to get into exclusive nightclubs. And there is a New World Order and the European Union and economic globalization. I can't help but look around for the anti-Christ.

Of course people have been predicting apocalypse for literally ever. See A Brief History of the Apocalypse. But just because none of those ever came true does not mean that an extinction event is not possible. The very geological processes that formed the great fossil-studded flatlands of Texas were an extinction event that wiped out more than 90 percent of the species on Earth (96% of marine and 70% of land species).

It was this Permian-Triassic Extinction Event that created all that oil (fossil fuel) in Texas, all the oil everywhere that we fight over and pay $5 a gallon for while still driving huge guzzlers around as if it makes us look bad-ass, as if it makes us look anything less than carrogant idiots. Wouldn't it be apropos if we engineered our own extinction event based on our lust for those very fossil fuels?

Ok, well there's my conspiracy theory for the day! And here is how I feel right now:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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