You can’t dig yourself out of a rabbit hole
We’re a month shy of the 25th anniversary of first recorded use of the perfect turn of phrase “facepalm,” and though history doesn’t identify the originator — other than saying it was first used May 15, 1996 in a chat on the bit.listserv.superguy user group on Google — I ‘d like to shake their hand.
Well, maybe after the hand in question was thoroughly washed, then covered in sanitizer and slipped inside a hospital-grade plastic glove.
On the other hand … maybe we could just touch elbows.
My latest use of a facepalm — at least as of midway through this sentence (life moves pretty fast these days; if you don’t stop and look around, you might miss another chance to slap yourself silly) — was in response to the story this week about the misinformation regarding the FEMA trailers being stored for later use by those who lost their homes in last fall’s wildfires.
No sooner had the staging area been moved from the Jackson County Expo to a site outside Roseburg, suspicion spread like … well, wildfire … that the trailers actually were for immigrants crossing the Mexican border.
Face, meet palm.
Call it another example of the Dehydrated Conspiracy Theory — just add watered-down “logic” and watch it grow faster than blackberry bushes or Chia pets.
It would be enough to make you wonder why so many of our family and friends, neighbors and co-workers, get suckered into believing all sorts of shaggy dog tales … if, of course, the answer weren’t right there in the middle of the question.
After all, there’s a family member, friend, neighbor and/or co-worker born every minute — and a lot of them seem to congregate in Oregon.
According to a survey done by Moonshot CVE, a London-based tech company, we’re No. 1 when it comes to residents initiating online searches for conspiracy theories.
Don’t believe it? Well, Moonshot CVE posted it online, and if you can find it on the internet … it has to be true!!!
Or so I’ve been told.
Meanwhile, DIRECTV had its own team of cracked researchers track down which conspiracies were found to be the most fascinating for residents in each of the 50 states.
Among the theories dominant across the country are beliefs in the New World Order, black helicopters, the Earth being flat, the “real” reasons for the introduction of New Coke, and the staging of the moon landing.
Unless, that is, you live in New Mexico ... where folks already know about the moon landing. New Mexicans (not to be confused with those folks mistakenly thought to be headed for the FEMA trailers) are busy defending their belief that Tupac Shakur is still alive.
None of those topics are tops in Oregon, though, so let’s see how up-to-date you are in crackpotology.
Would you believe our most researched conspiracy theory involves …
A) An underground tunnel system between Crater Lake and Cave Junction, where a captured alien spacecraft is being studied by a shadowy government agency at a secret military complex?
2) That the subsonic sound known as the “Wimer Hum” is actually generated by a different shadowy government agency (non-alien division) in yet another underground facility as an ongoing experiment in mind control?
All three of those responses are (way) out there on the internet — where, please remember, everything you read is true — but the actual conclusion found by the DIRECTV survey is …
D) None of the above.
Missed it ... by that much.
Those options don’t float Oregonians’ boats, apparently, and neither do the effects of 5G technology, smart meters or nano-robots injected into our bloodstreams as part of a vaccine for a deadly pandemic (which some still harbor as a hoax).
Instead, it’s our old friend chemtrails — the wispy residue of passing airplanes that over the years have been accused of being a weather control system, biological warfare testing, psychological manipulation (in case, I suppose, the Wimer Hum experiment fails to yield results), population control through sterilization, life-expectancy reduction and, of course, the ever-popular “Chemtrail Flu” … a vaccine for which will contain nano-robots to take over our minds.
Yep, there’s mind control at work here all right.
Face, meet palm. On second thought, make that one a double.
Chemtrail fascination aligns us with a trio of other states — Nevada, West Virginia and, for the would-be border-movers among us, Idaho.
Washington state, meanwhile, is far more concern with the notion that the nation, and the world for that matter, is controlled by lizard people — a belief that intersections on the Venn diagram of Oooooooh…kay with segments of conspiracy theorists who’ve pledged allegiance to the seventeenth letter of the alphabet.
Like our old friend bit.listserv.superguy, the identity of that supreme leader was unknown. Well, that is until HBO devoted a six-part series into the origin of that particular species — uncovering that it primordially oozed from a pig farm in the Philippines belonging to a to a former Washington state family.
I wish I was making all this up as I go along ... but then I’d be no better than those who do.
With any luck, and common sense, the Dehydrated Conspiracy Theory about the FEMA trailers will evaporate before we’re flooded with foolishness.
If not, they could just move the trailers to Cave Junction to house the aliens.
Mail Tribune news editor Robert Galvin is up to his neck in facepalms at firstname.lastname@example.org