Clueless White Woman

July 14, 2008

everybody else is talking about it, why not me

Filed under: cluelessness,CONSPIRACY! — by clueless @ 5:35 pm
Tags: ,

Yes, it’s that “satirical” Obama cover.

From the end of a CNN article covering reactions to the now-infamous New Yorker cover image

A Newsweek poll released Friday showed that 12 percent of those polled believed Obama was sworn in as a U.S. senator on a Quran, and 26 percent believed that he was raised as a Muslim. Neither is true.

The numbers are in line with “people who can be convinced of almost anything”. The Twin Towers were taken out by dynamite not airplanes, the moon landing was filmed on a sound stage, Elvis is alive, and aliens regularly kidnap and impregnate our women. There will always be a population that will believe anything you can come up with.

The effect is somewhat counteracted by the fact that these people accumulate multiple unfounded beliefs. So if 12% believe he was sworn in on the Quran, and 26% believe he was raised a Muslim, that isn’t a total of 38% who believe some form of Obama-is-a-Muslim rumor. But, unfortunately, there’s still a big chunk of people who (1) believe the total bullshit they hear, (2) like to tell everyone they encounter this shocking revelation, and (3) build on it to create even more extreme bullshit. That’s how “Obama sounds like Osama” turns into “obviously he’s a Muslim”, then “obviously he’s best friends with Al Qaeda”.

In a way, this is laughable — these people are so silly! But really, it’s not funny at all. 9/11 conspiracy theorists, for example, inevitably send me into a frothing rage* when they talk about their “discoveries” in my presence. I don’t get as angry about all conspiracy theories, but I feel like I should — undermining of logical, fact-based discussion is a problem. (Partly because those of us who live on Planet Earth have to waste our time and energy arguing with crazies.)

And honestly, I just don’t understand how the picture is supposed to be satirical — I suppose the artist intended to create that, but failed. It doesn’t show the satire-worthy idiots who promulgate the myths, it just shows the myths. It doesn’t tell anybody anything new (we’ve seen all this for months, zzzzz), nor does it put a clever twist on things — just squishes as much bullshit together as possible. And putting it all together in one wince-worthy picture — you’ve simply given the gullible conspiracy theorists CLEAR EVIDENCE that militant black radicals are cooperating with Islamic extremists to take over the country and trample The American Way Of Life. How’s that funny?

* I lived in Boston in 2001, I experienced the terror and uncertainty, I had friends who lost friends on those flights, and I will fucking flip out if you start an incompetent “engineering analysis” of the day’s events. Especially since I’m an engineer and actually know what engineering analysis is, and you don’t, you fucking tools.


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