The inimitable Mr. Vidal. He said it so perfectly and eloquently and succinctly in this troika of brilliance. His quotes were beauteous. About And Warhol he said, “[he] is the only genius I’ve ever known with an IQ of 60.” Perfection. He snarled and growled in that patrician purr, the consummate dentiloquist in a style that’s long gone. He wasn’t afraid to upraid and mercilessly scold, his feuds with Bill Buckley and the quintessential pseudo-intellect, the pimpous boor Norman Mailer, were classic. Wondrous
Dissonant cognition. Leon Festinger (1957) proposed “cognitive dissonance theory, which states that a powerful motive to maintain cognitive consistency can give rise to irrational and sometimes maladaptive behavior.” It’s the parallel component to the dread conspiracy theory. As you see, nothing has to do with facts or truth but the level of discomfort the public feels. When truth or the pursuit of truth is shelved or dissuaded out of fear of ridicule or the deliberate jettisoning of the troublesome, then we have major problems, Sparky.
And were you to continue your studies and efforts in modern history, it’s critical that you come to grips with the notion of the dismissive “conspiracy theory” accusation that you will undoubtedly hear. It’s defined as “an event or situation as the result of a secret plan by usually powerful people or groups.” But what it means today is insane, baseless, paranoid and to be rejected at all costs. To be dismissed. Collective censorship. The old heave-ho en masse. It shunts and shuts and closes thought. It’s a dangerous pejorative that should be isolated and targeted and called out for what it truly is: It’s distracting and kills critical thinking and discovery.
“It is an article of faith that there are no conspiracies in American life.” [Source]
“I’m not a conspiracy theorist—I’m a conspiracy analyst.” [Source]
” Apparently, conspiracy stuff is now shorthand for unspeakable truth.” [Source]
What was that again? Perhaps a video tutorial might be in order, something that’s better able to explicate and limn the specifics. Good, I’ve got just what the doctor ordered.