I don’t get the appeal of conspiracy theories.
The most popular conspiracy theory these days is that Covid-19 is a biological weapon made in a Wuhan lab. I think that this conspiracy is ridiculous and uninteresting.
I am not saying that the conspiracy theory is false. I’m saying that I don’t know the truth. And, more importantly, I don’t care. It doesn’t matter.
Whether or not Beijing is intentionally trying to get us sick, the underlying truth remains the same: everything we import from China is undesirable and makes our lives worse. Our relationship with China has been bad for the economy and bad for the environment. There’s no conspiracy needed to understand that China is bad news and we should stop trading with them.
That’s my problem with conspiracy theories: they distract you from the underlying truth – the issues that really matter.
Oliver Stone does a perfect job of proving my point in “JFK.”
“JFK” is THE great conspiracy theory film. Mr. Stone was 17-years-old when President Kennedy was shot, and the event clearly affected his young, idealistic mind. He views the assassination as the turning point in United States history, where innocence was lost and secrets began to triumph over transparency.
Stone weaves a mind-blowingly complex but completely coherent history lesson. Some of it is true, some of it is his fantasy. All of it is brilliant.
Oliver Stone eviscerates the Warren Commission. In Chief Justice Earl Warren’s hastily assembled 1964 Report, Lee Harvey Oswald is presented as a Communist sympathizer and a lone assassin.
Stone reimagines Lee Harvey Oswald as a pathetic patsy. In flashbacks, we see young marine Oswald (Gary Oldman) go to the Soviet Union in 1959. But he went there as a CIA operative just so he could believably pose as a Communist on deep cover missions.
The hero of “JFK” is Louisiana District Attorney Jim Garrison (Kevin Costner). Between 1966 and 69, Garrison researched the Kennedy Assassination. In his version of events, his home city of New Orleans was the center of the conspiracy.
“JFK” is at its most fanciful when it shows us Lee Harvey Oswald’s bizarre circle of friends when he lived in The Big Easy in 1963. There’s Clay Shaw (Tommy Lee Jones), a decadent businessman. There’s David Ferrie (Joe Pesci), a motor-mouthed pilot and gun runner. There’s Willie O’Keefe (Kevin Bacon), a Nixon-loving prostitute who tells Garrison about the gay orgies and secret scheming that they all did together.
In the film’s most spell-binding scene, a rogue Pentagon Colonel (Donald Sutherland) tells Garrison WHY the government needed to kill John F. Kennedy.
Kennedy offended the Washington Establishment in three main ways. He didn’t invade Cuba. He was planning on pulling our troops out of Vietnam. And he had ordered the CIA to cease its covert operations around the globe.
I love Oliver Stone’s alternative version of history. But I do not believe it for one second. Kennedy’s sudden death turned him into a martyr in Stone’s mind. Nothing could be more wonderful than a leader who stood up to the Military Industrial Complex and the CIA, but the real JFK never did that.
This is what I mean about the underlying problem with Conspiracy Theories. Even when they have truth to them, they take your eyes off of the real issues that matter.
I think it is very possible that there was second shooter. I think that it is probable that the Warren Report intentionally covered up some of the facts.
But it doesn’t actually matter who killed JFK. What matters, above all, is that we have a military and an armaments industry that demand overseas enemies and perpetual war. We have a CIA that has been overturning foreign elections and assassinating foreign leaders for 70 years. And, above all, we have an Establishment that will destroy any politician who earnestly tries to change things.
I don’t get the appeal of conspiracy theories. But I certainly get the appeal of “JFK.” It’s a hypnotic masterpiece about America’s most popular conspiracy theory.
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