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The Obvious Explanation

by James Lileks

Conspiracy theories about the Boston Marathon terrorist bombing began immediately. Of course. Just like 9/11. On that grim day, you’ll recall, we learned that several foreigners acting on orders from a shadowy Islamist mastermind had hijacked jets and flown them into tall buildings. Whereupon Rosie O’Donnell and all the other smart people said “You believe that? No, it was a conspiracy.”

As for the April 15 villainy, the usual theories bloomed on Twitter and the Web, where the banging of square pegs into holes of undetermined shapes was deafening. Jihadis! Tax cranks! But a select group believed the event was wreaked by reptilian agents from the planet Saturn who live underground. Let us see who’s more credible.

The anti-Saturnians took to YouTube the day of the bombing, pointing out the obvious clues. If you freeze the frame of a CNN video, look at it from a certain angle, and highlight certain parts with red lines, there’s the ancient symbol for Saturn. I mean Duh. The same symbol also appears on a playing card that shows a woman jogging. Case closed? Hardly. As the YouTube video explains:

“Now 88 = PURPLE using simple Gematria (A = 1,
B = 2, C = 3, Z = 26), PURPLE referring to the abyss, as Saturnsux and Trampleonsnakes3 have exposed. And don’t forget the red hair.”

Well, who can? I know what you’re saying: If humanoid lizard overlords committed this act, why would they leave clues everywhere? Perhaps because the anti-Saturnians are used to conceal the real conspiracy, which involves slugs from Neptune who live in the clouds. Perhaps they’re taunting the few brave souls who spend their days yelling into the camera on YouTube in the hope that someone will listen. Which brings us to Chris Matthews.

He does not, as far as we can tell, believe in Saturn-based reptile people who live in the bowels of the earth and control our politics. But let’s just say he wouldn’t drop dead from surprise if someone tweeted a picture of a Koch brother flicking a forked tongue. He wouldn’t be alone if he joined the anti-reptile crowd: According to a recent survey by Public Policy Polling, 12 million Americans believe occluded reptiles control our society. The survey noted that more Romney supporters believed it than Obama supporters, which will probably show up as a story proving Obama people are 2.5 times smarter than Republicans, which the Left no doubt believes.

Back to that in a moment. Besides the clues a child could solve with simple Gematria, the Lizard People used their mental power to put up a Facebook page two days before the bombing asking for sympathy for the victims. I’ve seen the page. Either careless lizards put up a website two days before their “false flag” operation or someone who joined Facebook on Saturday changed the name after the tragedy. When you see the number of people who don’t believe the obvious explanation and yell from the rooftops that a Facebook page is proof of a conspiracy, you want to reach for Occam’s razor and drag it across your wrists.

But let’s not be too quick to judge. At the Free Republic thread about the Facebook pages, someone pointed out that questionable Facebook pages about the Sandy Hook massacre popped up in advance and that the shooter’s father was scheduled to testify in the LIBOR hearing. To which I can only add: If you rearrange the letters “LIBOR” and “Boston” you get “Lib Boon Rots,” which is an accurate description of the end result of socialistic promises. Another lizard taunt?

Just sayin’. Just asking questions.

Everyone has a template for these events. It’s unavoidable. If you’ve developed an intricate cosmology around Masons, LIBOR, fiat currency, and the cat across the street who blinks Morse-code messages into your brain demanding you sell gold, then any horrible event that involves none of the above makes sense once you apply your theories. The absence of a cat proves it. If you discover a cat in a freeze frame of a news video, it’s corroboration.

Sometimes the template is a bit more sophisticated. The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof tweeted: “Explosion is a reminder that ATF needs a director. Shame on Senate Republicans for blocking apptment.” He later apologized for opening wide the window to his soul, but it’s what many no doubt thought. And by “thought,” we mean said it in boldface in a website headline. “Let’s Hope the Boston Marathon Bomber is a White American,” blared the title of David Sirota’s piece. Let’s not and say you did, Dave. 

Of course, whenever something blows up in a public place, many let leak their suspicions that aggravated Lutherans are less likely suspects than Islamists, even if reports suggest the suspect left a ticking hotdish at the site. But there’s a difference between the two presumptions. One sees enemies who wish America harm because it stands in the way of the glorious Caliphate and the elimination of Jews. Ha! Silly. The other believes that violent protest was totally awesome and tragically romantic in the Sixties and deserves the poetic rue of a Redford-directed movie about time-seasoned rebel bombers. But now it’s the natural end result of people who object to the percentage of the economy consumed by the government and to the erosion of liberty that naturally attends the expansion of the powers of the state. Or, as Salon no doubt sees them, Tea Party Nazi-Bircher skinhead yahoos yelling on ham radio about the Federal Reserve and Gardasil.

One blames people foreign to American principles; the other finds foes among those who wish to restore them. What’s the phrase? Blame America first. But only after you’ve ruled out the Saturnians.

– Mr. Lileks blogs at www.lileks.com.

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