...or flouridating the water, or something. Anyhow, courtesy of the soon-to-vanish In Deo Veritas comes the best bit of barking moonbattery I've read this week. (Don your Reynold's Wrap yarmulke before reading...)
What makes this stuff so appealing to the human psyche? Why do we, like Fox Mulder, Want To Believe? Obviously, there's the human instinct for pattern recognition; the same cognitive process that helped us figure out which bananas were edible and where the python was hiding in the tree now lets us see faces in the clouds and vast, over-arching conspiracies behind pretty much anything that moves. Our brains are wired to see patterns, sometimes whether they're there or not, and if one looks for a pattern, one will certainly find one.
Also, there's an oddly comforting feeling in the knowledge that someone is in control; that there's a rhyme or a reason to all the bizzarre, chaotic, or tragic events that constantly occur. In an age when it's unfashionable to blame Lucifer for hurricanes and tsunamis, one can blame Skull & Bones and HAARP; either is more comforting than the bald truth that, well, Shit Happens. Our pagan ancestors attached personal forces to every phenomenon, and we are no different: An old Norse farmer had Loki, god of Dirty Tricks and Crappy Harvests, and we have Bill Gates, god of Computer Crashes, and Dick Cheney, god of War.
We like this so much because to comprehend is to control. If we understand that everything is caused by the machinations of the Nefarious "Them", then we can predict and we can prepare, which are things one cannot do against random chance. The Norse farmer could try to influence the cosmic chaos with prayers and offerings to the gods, while his modern counterpart can Spread The Truth on the Internet, and both feel like they have done something to retain control.
There's something telling in the fact that, in the face of the imminent global conspiracy of the New World Order, the most ardent believers tune into Art Bell after work and write posts on the web during their lunch hour, rather than quit their job to go and dig slit trenches in the tomato patch. Why is this? Because no matter what tricks Loki is up to, the Norse farmer knows that that grain ain't gonna harvest itself, and tomorrow's going to be another long day on the farm...