Monday, September 28, 2009

Yup. Got me.

While researching my doctoral thesis on conspiracy and paranoia, I visited an awful lot of conspiracist websites. The problem with this particular survey was that a significant number of the sites were spoofs or parody of wild-eyed conspiracy theorists. And honestly, it was difficult to tell the difference because so many of the genuine sites were actually crazier than the parodies.

So the so-called "Flamer" movement I mentioned in my last post? A spoof. It is one of a number of groups on the left replying to militant anti-health care rhetoric with parodies of its worst excesses. My favourite so far was the "Billionaires for Wealthcare" who attended Glenn Beck's 9/12 rally in Washington, carrying signs saying things like "If we ain't broke, don't fix it" and "Our death panels turn a profit!" They also sang a song to the tune of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic, whose refrain went:

If our healthcare corporation
Never faces regulation,
We'll be brimming with elation!
Let's save the status quo!


So, the "Flamers" (really, the name should have tipped me off, but then again the people they're parodying initially embraced the moniker "teabaggers" before someone told them what that actually meant) are of a piece with these guys, responding to the Glenn Becks of the world in what is probably the only rational way.

Of course, when you have people at town halls holding signs like this:


... or white supremacists marching for "white civil rights," that line between satire and reality gets disturbingly blurry.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Or, you're more right that you're giving yourself credit for...

http://www.harpers.org/archive/2009/10/0082671

~CB