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Friday, June 14, 2024
Laterally SpeakingConspiracies & Fake News

Conspiracies & Fake News

We’ve always had conspiracy theories. Any major news event results in official reaction as to what’s happened, why it occurred and who was responsible, but this is often not the end of the matter. Within a few days you can read about a whole lot of new so-called “revelations” involving secret plots, Government cover-ups and conspiracies. You must have read about some of them such as how the assassination of JFK was a CIA plot, how the moon landings were faked in a Hollywood studio and even how Sir Paul McCartney today is a hologram because he really died in 1966—a fact that’s apparently confirmed when you play a particular Beatles track backwards… Most of these concepts are nonsense, some are plain half-baked and (just maybe) one or two might contain an element of truth. But whatever the facts, there are a surprising number of people who still believe in them. Conspiracy theories don’t need true facts—they only need a suspicious nature and a firm belief!
So, here’s my lateral guide to a few contemporary conspiracies. Please be aware that none of them are actually true. But then, you never know…
Fake News—Fake Wedding: Yes, this is another Harry and Meghan story. You may have seen it apparently ‘live’ on TV in May 2018 and admired all the crowds and festivities, but the whole thing was shot in Elstree studios not Windsor Castle. The crowds were all computer generated and the choirs, chapel organ and fanfare trumpeters were digitally recorded a fortnight earlier. Since Harry and Meghan threatened to expose the whole event as a sham, they were packed off to live in California.
Bob Hope Not A Reptile: According to some people, George W. Bush and Bill and Hillary Clinton were/are part of an elite reptilian club whose aim is world domination. Although they looked perfectly normal in daytime, they grew green lizard scales at night which revealed their true identity. Bob Hope and Marilyn Monroe were also members but when it was later known that Bob Hope kept a pet lizard in his conservatory, he was removed from suspicion since no sane individual would keep a relative as a pet. Except for Michael Jackson of course.
Fake President: As you might have half-expected, there are many conspiracies surrounding US President Donald Trump. One of the more inventive is that he is a by-product of a failed experiment in genetically modified corn. It’s the hair I suppose. Blame the drug companies and American garden centres for this one. He is also variously condemned as a Russian spy or a Martian and is a secret supporter of flying saucers. Take your pick…
Coronavirus Spread By Badgers: Highly topical of course, but the origins of the pandemic are widely debated as fake conspiracies. Many say it originated in China but others say it is an escaped nerve agent from the CIA or Porton Down. Some people also blame Trump, the Eurovision song contest or Aston Villa football club. Myself? I propose the idea that badgers spread the virus and, if you don’t believe me, why is its transmission so much lower in areas where badgers have been culled? Do we know the truth? Obviously not… it’s a conspiracy!
Elvis Presley Is A Badger: According to some, badgers should be protected and revered since Elvis has been resurrected as one. This startling revelation was first announced by a Crewkerne resident who said she spotted a badger behind her garage and that he looked just like him as he was wearing dark glasses. This is obviously true since, as you all know, all badgers wear sunglasses. However, to be fair, I should point out that Elvis has also been seen at Exeter railway station, Tesco in Dorchester and drinking at the bar in the Harbour Inn in Axmouth. Mind you, he was wearing a mask at the time, so it could have been anybody. Or a badger with a mask.
Marshwood Vale: Here are a couple of regional news items… Firstly the Government has declared the whole area from Lyme Regis to Pilsdon Pen to be a total lockdown zone because of pandemic fears. Residents will not be allowed to share the same room (let alone building) as others, but only if it’s a Thursday. On Mondays, you can go shopping between 5am and 6am but not if you are under 2 feet high. Marshwood elves are exempt.
New Dorset Monument: After years of putting up with tourists complaining that the Hardy Monument (near Portesham) was such a let-down since it celebrated the wrong Hardy (Captain Hardy rather than Thomas Hardy, the writer), West Dorset Council have made plans to tear it down and erect a 100-foot statue of Sir David Attenborough in honour of his enduring vision of Dorset wildlife and climate change. Greta Thunberg will make a speech in praise of badgers at the opening ceremony to be held in Spring 2026.
OK, I admit these last two items are entirely Fake News. As are the other items… Or are they?

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