There's a very dangerous meme out there that has it that governments can't keep secrets. It's absolute nonsense, and the same goes for corporations, crime networks, secret societies and on and on. So how do we account for all of the conspiracy media we see out there? Well, maybe I need to reach into my pop culture metaphor kitbag to offer up one theory (and only one, mind you).
One of my favorite comic series from my youth was Frank Miller's run on Daredevil. His work then was much different than Sin City or 300- it was much more coherent and human in the old days. There were also flashes of insight that belied his tender age.
In issue 179, we see Daredevil in conflict with the Kingpin, the super crime lord who is installing a puppet in the mayor's office. Reporter Ben Urich is on the story, and meets up with a source who tips him off about the candidate's secret lovenest. Daredevil appears suddenly, offering that every small time operator in town is telling the same story. Realizing that the Kingpin isn't that sloppy, ol' hornhead correctly figures it's a trap.
This is counter-intelligence 101. You find out someone's on your trail so you toss him a few red herrings, or spring a mousetrap and lead him to it with bits of cheese.
I can't help but think of those red herrings given all of the pop star/illuminati "exposés" out there. Does anyone really think this is all some kind of secret "they" are trying to keep from you? If it were, then why don't the record companies put the kibosh on all of the little video montages that use copyrighted material?
After all, media companies can act with consummate speed when they want to shut down unauthorized use of their material, especially when it threatens their business interests. And it's not like anyone in the mainstream media takes any of it seriously. So what's the deal?
Answer? Because outrage was the intended effect in the first place. Controversy is the best way to get attention in today's media blitz. You might notice a lot of this symbolism started appearing around the same time MTV stopped running music videos so they had to do something to get attention for their videos. Which, after all, are commercials for the songs.
Marilyn Manson showed in the 90s how you can channel moral outrage into broad spectrum exposure, and that's something at a premium now, with the audience so atomized. So reaching into Manson's kitbag is a no-brainer, as we saw with the Gagger. Now, we've covered all of this before, but it bears repeating. Repetition is the mother of skill.
More importantly, all of the fake controversy also does a great job in diverting people's attention from real problems, which are pretty depressing these days. It's like a kind of memetic homeopathy. It's also is a great recruiting tool for authoritarian religions, as is most conspiracy material out there, strangely enough.
Authoritarian religion is all the rage these days, even in Communist China (my inner -and outer- geek can't help but think of the Alliance from Firefly). The Chinese gov't is not only bankrolling churches and printing up millions of Bibles, it's state-run press is very clear about why they find Evangelicalism so alluring. Read this:
Why does the Protestant work ethic work? First, if people work under the eyes of an all-seeing God, there's no reason to stop working when bosses aren't watching.
Now, a lot of these conspiracy maestros belong to independent churches and we know how the Chinese deal with unapproved churches- is the same thing coming here? God forbid, but you can never be too sure, given all of the attacks that our own home churches are taking from Evangelical poobahs.
Don't worry, I'm sure all of the YouTube brigades are on the case. After all, typing in "Lady GaGa, Illuminati" will result in 4,810 hits. There must be as least as many on the unfolding China story. Let's give it a go...