Well, I’ve booked my tickets to fly down to Wellington to see Richard Gage relate his particular Conspiracy Theory about 9/11.
I’m both excited and perplexed; I’m funding this trip myself, and as an impoverished PhD student that does mean a slice of money. In that respect I have to wonder ‘Why?’ Why spend money going down to watch a Conspiracy Theorist at work?
Well, the answer to that is the excitement. Several commentators on Conspiracy Theory culture have noted that Conspiracy Theories seem to be mostly oral, or, probably more accurately, Conspiracy Theories seem more plausible when they are presented orally rather than when they are written down. This doesn’t suggest that the arguments are somehow magically better when they are spoken but rather that, in such presentations, with the charged rhetoric and the shout outs of support from the audience, you can see why people might find it all very convincing.
That’s the theory, anyway.
I’ve not had much of a chance to see a Conspiracy Theorist in action and this event should be filled with them. I shall, I must admit, be somewhat incognito; I don’t really think I’ll be able to summon the ultimate counter-argument to Gage and his theories; the environment won’t be conducive and I’m far more interested in the swing voters than the hard-core believers of either stripe. More importantly, I would like to see how the believers react and play; I’m going more as an amateur sociologist or anthropologist than I am as an epistemologist.
So, Wellington. Land of good coffee, great vegan cake and Truth in Architecture. What more does a boy need?1
- Even more cake, that’s what.↩