Wait, no, they just think it’s a DISTRACTION. From…net neutrality?
Yes, r/conspiracy now thinks there’s a sinister secret buried in the 300 page documents on net neutrality. Because if only they were public, they’d totally read a 300 page long bill by a regulatory agency!
Bob. Bob. Relax a little, Bob. Enjoy life. Go to see a movie sometime, without debating if MK Ultra brainwashed the stars. Bob, ya gotta take it easy sometime and stop seeing sinister plots in everything. Go to the beach, Bob. Go on a nice vacation. Have some fun with an internet joke and let the paranoia slide for a night. Listen to the new Taylor Swift – yeah, I know, Bob, but she’s reinvented herself, she’s – no, Bob, it wasn’t a government plot to – Bob!
In 1992, the Sci-Fi Channel launched, giving the world Farscape, the good Battlestar Galactica and an unhealthy amount of Stargate. A fallow period for TV science fiction caused them to rebrand themselves as the SyFy Network, home of wrestling and light fantasy shows about small towns with secrets. A boom in science fiction and fantasy brought on by the likes of Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead passed them by, and the network is just now starting to re-enter the genre arena.
But during the dotcom days of 1999-2000, the Sci-Fi Network embarked on a kind of viral advertising campaign. While social media did not exist, they aired a series of mysterious, paranormal ads to get people talking about their network – and drive them to their website, tapping into the UFO craze of the 90’s to get clicks.
Most of the campaign has vanished down the memory hole, but this ad from the campaign implores you to send them any unexplainable footage:
Other ads in the campaign showed people with strange magnetic powers, and oddly behaving bugs. These are sadly lost, or at least they haven’t been uploaded to Youtube. The gist of the campaign was that normal footage would be altered with some plausible-looking supernatural element; Sci-Fi happens.
But one ad from the Sci-Fi Happens campaign became famous. One ad from this cable network’s primitive viral campaign is still hotly debated to this day. And once you see it, you’ll know why: Continue reading
July 6th, 2007. 4:30 PM. Northern California. A woman uncovers HAARP’s “rainbow aerosols” that create rainbows…near the ground! You didn’t see that sort of thing 20 years ago, she declares in vibrant and readable muddy yellow on muddy red.
“What the heck is in our water supply?” this warrior for truth asks, “What the heck is in our oxygen supply? …What is oozing out of our ground?”” What dastardly scheme is Roy G. Biv up to now!?
“Well all know this didn’t happen 20 years ago,” apparently, “But now it’s happening now.”
“We need to raise our voices, before they take away our rights…in their never-ending thirst for energy sources!”
Huh? What does this have to do with rainbows? In our sprinklers? If you’re hoping for an explanation, there is none: after 2 minutes, the bizarre odyssey of a woman who really, really hates rainbows ends as mysteriously as it began. That mystifying lack of context, awful video quality and inane source of panic mark this as one of the greatest conspiracy theory videos of all time, a true work of art.
The Space Lizard Report is being retooled. There shall be a cool new friend (whom everyone will talk about when he isn’t on-screen) and babies for everyone, and it will soon be multi-camera. LAUGH TRACK
Browsing r/conspiracy is depressing. And you can only call out violent paranoia and bigotry so many times. So while I’ll still mock conspiracy theories, I’ll also make fun of all kinds of weird, paranormal sub-cultures. UFOlogists! Ghost hunters! Crytozoologists! Forteana believers of all kinds! There’s a smorgasbord of oddities out there beyond loathsome Redditors, and it’s time to explore it.
Warning: The reporting linked in this post includes blatantly Antisemitic cartoons.
If you know anything about internet conspiracy theorists, it’s that they’re absolutely ridiculous. But you may also know that they’re incredibly Anti-Semitic and don’t try to hide it. I’ve documented Reddit’s Antisemitism in-depth previously; one thing I didn’t cover was their favorite cartoon, Le Happy Merchant or Jew-bwa-ha-ha.gif. A disturbing hook-nosed caricature that wouldn’t be out of place in the pages of Der Stürmer, it’s enjoyed wide use among the denizens of certain dark corners of the internet. It’s as essential a part of a conspiracy theorist’s repertoire as their boundless paranoia, contrarianism and horrific lack of self-awareness. The image even gained currency among the vicious fools of GamerGate, who edited the image to portray Anita Sarkeesian, who in their minds the ringleader of a grand conspiracy to critique video games on Youtube.
Buzzfeed’s Joseph Bernstein has uncovered the origins of the image – which does not date back to 1930s Germany, but comes from a far more recent vintage. And make sure you keep reading until the last image.
Later, he broke down how a Finnish meme mocking Americans became part of the internet’s Antisemitic cartoon world. Everything is terrible.