31 January 2010

conspiracy theories

As I indicated in a previous entry, I recently (within the past couple of months) viewed both Zeitgeist movies. I was introduced to several theories in the movies that one might call conspiracy theories, depending, of course, on one's perspective.

I will admit that I viewed with derision a gentleman who used to speak at a local governmental venue on a regular basis; his speeches usually centered on the attacks on September 11, 2001 and how those attacks were engineered by our United States government. Now, my own opinions on the subject are far less certain. My confidence in our government has long been wavering and I am now far more convinced than ever before that my vote does not go anywhere or mean anything.

Another subject of the Zeitgeist movies is the monetary system and the Federal Reserve. I remember feeling for a long time that "money" exists mostly in computers--and for some reason, that particular feeling made it seem to me that this thing we call "money" was nothing more than a game at which rich people excel and that "not-rich" people have no choice but to play. As I spoke with my dad not long after viewing the movies, he told me something I had never heard before: that one of the conspiracy theories for John F. Kennedy's assassination involved him being murdered because of his efforts to end the Federal Reserve. (My not hearing that particular theory previously is not remarkable, as I've not lent much credence to those kinds of theories previously in my life.)

I've been asked a couple of times since I've viewed the movies and commented on them to friends if I listen to Alex Jones. Honestly, I'd never heard of the man until December 2009, around the time I first viewed the Zeitgeist movies. I've listened to pieces of a couple of his radio broadcasts and I don't really care to listen at all anymore. It is entirely possible that he has some valid points and some useful information, but I don't care at all for his delivery.

At any rate, as I've also indicated in a previous entry, I've been reading some books which I probably wouldn't have encountered otherwise, because, truly, my reading tastes often fell to fiction and fantasy or management and self-improvement type books. As a result of the Zeitgeist movies and a couple of books I've read, I find myself more and more convinced that we, the general public, are fed information that we are supposed to believe and regurgitate. Many people have a dim view of education: that students are taught rote memorization for the most part and when asked to analyze and offer opinions, receive grades based on how well their analysis and opinions match those of their teachers and professors. Please understand, I'm not trying to belittle teachers and educators. I know that there is much to do with little money and many expectations to be met--but expectations of government in order to receive more money. How is it, though, that so many of us seem to believe that we are being fed so much tripe, and that there must be more going on but not much ever seems to change?

Are we really all so complacent? Why do we enjoy watching reality television so much? Why do we enjoy inane and ridiculous situation comedies? There are many "Why?" questions and many answers. And very few of us can throw stones, as it were. I know I've heard people say that they enjoy the brainless fare of television, movies, and video games because of the stress of their jobs and their lives.

Are we truly just working to maintain the status quo of a select few? Are we really just supporting the government in their efforts to maintain the monetary system? Are we being convinced that must see tv is a blessing that we must take advantage of in order to relax so that we remain blind to what is going on around us and how we are being manipulated? I don't know. There are no easy answers. But I do resolve to keep an open mind and not discount things or people simply because they do not fit with the worldview I've developed over the last 33 years.

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