Crazy Ideas

So this week I stumbled upon this Tweet in the Elon Musk Failed Social Media Application:

That particular little genre of lunatic’s myth, the poors are actually the lucky ducks, really annoys me because I grew up next to a low-income housing project and well, no one was getting big houses and luxury vehicles given to them.

When I moved to central Pennsylvania, I would encounter people who were so detached from reality talking to them made me worry I was having a stroke. I had experiences like this: I worked with a woman who told me, with all conviction and seriousness, that her paycheck amount fell when Obama became president because he raised taxes. She was saying this in March 2009. Not even two months into his presidency.

I was at work so I did not argue. This was not the first time I experienced this. In late 1999, at the Internet startup I worked at, some of the Republicans in my office were convinced that President Clinton was using Y2K as cover to “attack the American people.”

I also did not argue that time, either. Good idea not to agitate the nuts by telling them the pink floating elephant isn’t there.

Social media is a big culprit for the crazy, of course. There are millions who believe that some online random who calls himself Q is a prophet. These people believe things like John F. Kennedy Jr. is still alive and he will show up at some point to reveal his alive-ness. And then become Trump’s running mate in 2024. Yes, that JFK Junior. That one, the guy who died in a plane crash and was pretty liberal. Becoming Trump’s running mate.

He has not shown up.

But loony ideas were around pre-Internet. I went to an inner-city high school in York, Pa., and somehow avoided having my head crammed in a toilet while it was flushed by Black schoolmates. What? This was something that white kids out in the rural schools around York strongly believed happened at my school. York is a rough little city with a per capita crime rate equal to or worse than many big cities, but there are people who live outside of York who strongly believe if you go to the charming downtown market house or lunch at one of the city’s nice little restaurants, it is a coin flip whether you will be shot. I guess those kids switched to that crazy theory once they graduated.

Oh, and by the way, if you ask why the local (or national) newspapers do not cover the hundreds of people shot in broad daylight in York, that’s because THE NEWSPAPERS COVER IT UP.

I had a few relatives in York who believed Martin Luther King Jr. was a communist under the control of the Soviet Union. This was not limited to Yorkers. That was a popular style of trope, the good ol’ nefarious outside actors planting a mole intent of controlling or destroying America. MLK wasn’t the only person right-wing Americans were suspicious of. My father told the story about walking into a local bar the evening of the day John F. Kennedy (the 35th president, not the future Trump running mate) was assassinated. He turned around and left when the bartender yelled “hey buddy, they got that Catholic bastard and the Pope no longer has his paws on America, so the first drink is on the house.”

I am sort of morbidly fascinated by this crazy shit. Just imagine believing that a former First Lady, senator, and presidential candidate is operating a child porn/human trafficking ring out of the basement of a pizza parlor. I mean, I did acid and mushrooms several times as a young man, and I cannot imagine coming up with that even when tripping.

Look, I know critical thinking is now considered to be for fancy heathen libs and Real Americans just lap up whatever Matt Walsh or One America News or their favorite Youtube nut tells them to lap up. But looking at the increasing number of homeless people in the United States, it is a wild leap to believe that those people sleeping on the street could get a free home valued at $500,000 just by asking.

I guess this would be harmless enough if our elected officials did not also believe in crazy shit. Or a potential frontrunner for one of our major party’s presidential primary did not state that windmills bring down airplanes.

If you need me, I’ll be over here in reality.

The last word goes to the nearly forgotten 70s act Chilliwack.