From The Side of the Road… on conspiracy theories, real or imagined

Well it’s been an interesting week for reader/viewer commentary. In this time of heightened sensitivity, and when almost everything is squeezed into a political “us vs. them” mold, I knew some pushback was inevitable.

Is it fair game to satirize conspiracy theorists, whether accidentally timely or not? You’ll have to be the judge of that. Am I personally opposed to them? Not necessarily. Though I believe the earth to be round (in spite of its generally flat appearance), and I “follow the science” on the subject of gravity, I do believe the Salty Dog Blues was written in a secret code, and that the whole concept of “moisture-wicking” fabric is a scam, and there’s much less moisture-wicking going on in the world than we’re being led to believe. I’ll save that discussion for a future column devoted to sweat, planned for some time in late July.

Sensitivity aside, whether you found my video funny last week also comes down to a matter of taste. This is a weekly satire column, and a bluegrass satire one at that. Since to my knowledge it’s the only weekly bluegrass satire column in existence, it has the unique distinction of being simultaneously the best and worst of its genre. Some will lean more one way or the other in their view of it.

In the end, though, whether you laugh at it or not, it is intended to be funny, and not to be taken seriously or personally. This comment posted to my YouTube channel is a good example of taking me too literally:

“How deep is all of the music world in the Illuminati and a whole bunch of other lifestyle choices that are harmful to others? It just keeps spreading and growing and finally people are coming forward like you, Chris, and shedding light on it all. Thank you for your bravery and candor.”

Whatever the positive qualities of this column may be, I wouldn’t list “bravery” or “candor” among them, but I suppose I should be glad someone did. Incidentally most of the “lifestyle choices” I’ve seen at bluegrass events are of a self-destructive nature rather than harmful to others.

Will I have follow-up conspiracy columns or videos, some have asked? Perhaps, but if I do, I plan to avoid some of the pitfalls of other conspiracy theorists: For one thing, I’m never going to predict anything specific. Whether it’s the world ending in October 2021, former presidents returning to power or even coming back to life, or Larry Sparks becoming the permanent host of Jeopardy, these kinds of verifiable predictions just set up conspiracy theorists for a fall and damage their credibility. 

You’ll note that none of my theories involved predictions of any kind; I limited myself to discussions of cabals whose existence can’t be easily proved or disproved. And when it comes to when people died, or didn’t die, as the case may be, I can always dismiss gravestones and death certificates as fabricated and all part of “the plan.”

I’ll say this: as long as the “Committee of Five People” continues to hold secret Cracker Barrel meetings at the round table in the corner, I’ll continue to call them out. We will not be controlled or silenced! By the way, do you know that when they hold these meetings, they only ask for corn muffins, never biscuits. Am I the only one who thinks that’s strange?