I think YouTube is an excellent mirror of our society. For the most part it’s cat videos and ”Gangnam Style!” but it has it’s darker side, just like we have. Conspiracy videos and tricksy propaganda designed to sway the agreeable by playing on their fears and prejudices. Some of them are really quite clever.
Some videos play on our infallible sense of cuteness, can everyone say “I can has Cheezburger?” Some work through our innate ability to spot things we think at first are funky but the turn out to be cool in some weird way. We may all be one syncopated eyebrow twitch from singing Romanian pop tunes. On the darker side it’s mostly fear and pride that’s being worked. I caught two new ones (to me anyway)this week, propaganda at it’s slickest. The first was a “guess who we’re talking about?” Spoiler alert: it’s supposed to be Hitler but it’s so infused with the “Obama is evil” mythos that even Adolph would be pissed at the misinformation. The second was a really long video claiming that the Newton shooting was a government conspiracy. Tasteful guys, really tasteful.
In the “Can you guess who I am? Shocker” video there seems to be a certain lack of historical accuracy, as if someone forgot how to spell “Google.” In their efforts to make Adolph Hitler sound just like Barack Obama, the videographers mention the book Adolph he wrote about his father (he didn’t), his abandonment by that same father (Adolph had his hopes, no doubt, but nah, never happened), his father’s many other children with other women (none) and his hatred of free markets, banks and business (nope, just jews, jews and more jews). At the close we are left with the dire warning that Hitler finally revealed his secret plans and feelings only after he’d fooled the entire world. Must be another Hitler, ever read Mein Kampf? The Hitler we all know, and love to hate, didn’t make a big secret of his plans. By the way he still won with 43% of the vote.
The second video, “Sandy Hook. Fully exposed” has been posted by many different parties. It seems that nutty is the new black. This alleges up to four shooters converging on the school in a master plan to take away Americas guns. The problems here are huge and many. The video identifies a mystery man held by police (actually a father rushing to the school through the woods to pick up his children), the “Laughing father" of one of the murdered children (more like hysterical nervousness), the appearance of one of the “dead” children with Obama at a later date (different girl, I guess the makers don’t have kids or they all look the same to them), the “Actual” murder weapon found in the trunk of a car in the parking lot (it was a shot gun, so not so much) and the memorial Facebook pages that were created before the shooting occurred(more like renamed after the shooting to serve a new purpose).
Honestly, what would cause someone to think that torturing the parents and the people of Sandy Hook further with wild accusations was their right? I have to mention that most of the hits on these offensive videos are probably from pundits and journalists looking to disprove each and every assertion. They have, in full color and gory detail, but these videos still have their intended audience who will look no further. They are happy in the confirmation of their fears.
I often wonder why conspiracy theories get any traction at all. Is it because it’s more comfortable to believe in an all-powerful force orchestrating horrors that it is believing we live in a world where random acts of terror just happen? Or is it just that fear infects us like a virus and can spread from person to person just by word of mouth? Whatever the reason, my hat is off to those who take the time and patience to rip these fairy tale nightmares apart. We are awash in this horror-drivel, and we already have enough real blood pressure-raising events to lose sleep over. Enough already.
PS. Did you see the new NRA commercial “The president’s children have guards, why don’t yours?” Now that’s really 'doubling down' on offensive.