When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose
You're invisible now, you got no secrets to conceal - Bob Dylan
Funny, that, how the public face of the "Satanic Panic" flap was a black-clad Dr Evil with an Eddie Munster 'do, and its fearless vampire hunter an almost impossibly bumbling everywhere-man of the far right with an FBI backstory. And how the leading proponents for the "disclosure" of extraterrestials have been military careerists or intelligence assets, while the most noisome "researchers" supporting the ET hypothesis have also been disseminators of military disinformation. Or how, suddenly, the loudest voices for "9/11 Truth" are those of former Bush aides and lifelong Republicans, beating the drum for - dig it - no passenger aircraft having struck the World Trade Center.
It's more than just theme and content that evoke The Outer Limits. It's our uncritical digestion of dubious information that becomes our fattening hobby. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical.... Sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. If we're open to all channels and lack the discernment to know what we're watching, we're nothing but passive consumers of conspiratainment.
Ritual abusers aren't likely to be the overt occultist and the kid getting his hate on to Black Metal, but the priest in Toledo and the preacher in Ponchatoula; the prominent Nebraskan belting out the national anthem at two Republican national conventions. More often than not, the abuser isn't the self-marginalized outsider of caricature, but the insider: the one who already has power by the world's measure, and who means to gain more of it. But that caricature is too good to let go, and on all sides, because on all sides can be found the allies and the assets of power that encompass and define the discourse. And so the foolish and imprecise caricature becomes the defining image of the crime - likely to become an uncrime - for both those disposed to discount everything and those who eat it all up.
Who profits by the You're with us or you're against us essentialism of the advocates for the most contentious and spurious speculations on 9/11, and how far does it carry us from the scene of the crime and its high criminals? The pods, the holograms, the missiles, the demolitions: how did we arrive at this familiar position of irrelevance, and who do you think means to keep us here? Popular Mechanics, CNN and the great Anglo-American dailies don't shy from drawing strawman caricatures of conspiracy and then delight in setting them ablaze with all of us supposedly inside like some springtime wickerman sacrifice, yet the meat of the case for criminal intent rots on the offering plate. Why do you think that is, and who do you think might like it like that? The conspirators, who create both a false opposition and a false conspiracy, remain invisible and free to deal more death.
It's a conceit of liberalism to believe knowledge is power, and it's a deceit of the "Information Age" to mistake information for knowledge. Gone missing, for the greater part, is wisdom. Find that, and maybe we find our power.
"Big Brother is watching, so learn to be invisible." That's some advice dished out early on in Grant Morrison's The Invisibles. It's a comic book from the mid-90s, a knowing caricature of a guerrilla war waged by the "Invisible College" against an occult elite that Morrison claims was determined by his own abduction/shamanic experience in Kathmandu. It also happens to contain more wisdom about the world than yet another cut and paste contending that the hole in Tower Two was too small for a Boeing 767. Art can do that. Even comic art.
A few years ago Morrison said, "Fuck man, I tell you when I was a kid I read Robert Anton Wilson and all this shit and here we are, we're standing here, talking about this shit and it's real!"
If the popular culture - even the popular alternative culture - gives us little but caricature, at least we have a good comic book.