ok people. Yet another 9/11* thread has popped up as have a few others that are all conspiracy theories. (Yes it was a conspiracy -- by al Qaeda. We only get to have conspiracies sometimes I think because we are Americans and have all the best of everything. You guys think you have poverty in Africa? Well in Texas we have people who can't afford McDonald's regularly. So there.)
Now I don't normally get too agitated about these but I think that conspiracy is going mainstream. What I mean is that it used to be that nutjobs were treated as such, but now this crap is showing up in the schools.
Case in point, my kid recently had a US history class and part of it was a look at the JFK assassination. Fine so far. What was their intro to this topic? The Oliver Stone film. Hell he couldn't even tell me the first thing about the Warren Commission. It is one thing to have a well-supported alternate viewpoint and quite another to simply parrot pop schlock. He had no idea for instance that Oswald was a marine who went to the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War. Does anyone under 40 know how momentous a change that was? That would be like a marine deciding to move to North Korea today because its a worker's paradise. Nor did he know that Kennedy was seen as a rabid anti-communist who brought the Soviets to heel over Cuba. Being a critic means you know the other guy's argument well enough to punch holes in it, not just that you are in your own negative feedback loop.
It used to be that pop schlock was the standard history. When did it start to happen that the alternative crowd became pop schlock? And why can't they step up to the plate and admit that they are now the dreaded Establishment? One of my students (remember that I teach at a University) who is starting a degree in Architecture no less told me about his views on 9-11. After questioning all I could really get out of him was that we should endorse conspiracy theories rather than run the risk of being "unfair". Unfair to whom? The officials who are accused of mass murder with no evidence (and what would you do if we accused you of even killing one person???) Very, very weird.
Is it just me? Have I just run into some statistical oddity with this and found these people or is this cropping up generally?
* For the achingly minority view, try this site: http://www.uwgb.edu/dutchs/PSEUDOSC/911NutPhysics.HTM