Friday, May 29, 2009

Disappearing New Stories, Bourgeois Paranoia, or Am I Simply Losing My Mind?

I am not the kind of guy who goes around looking for conspiracies. Indeed, today's subject is more the result of my taking everything I read in the papers or hear from official new outlets too seriously.

A couple of years ago I read, or thought I read, a news item in my local paper about a guy who lived about 1/4 to a half a mile down the road from me who had ordered a guillotine kit on the internet, assembled it and used it on himself; when someone noticed that he had not been seen in a few months the police, the account said, were dispatched to the house, found the guillotine, the head on the floor, etc, etc. Naturally I thought the story was shocking, but I remembered that there was a house in the neighborhood where all the shades had been pulled down and the lawn overgrown for some time, and I was certain I had read it in the paper I thought, well, why not? When I began repeating the story to other people however no one had seen this item, or anything like it. My wife, who really should be a detective or something, so impossible is it to sneak any B.S. past her whatsoever, immediately dismissed it by pointing out that "You can't order a guillotine over the internet". But I say, would I--could I--make this story up? I swear I read it in the paper. Another instance that happened just a couple of months ago was that one day around noon I was listening to the radio, and the CNN hourly report or one of those things came on the station I had on, and the lead story was that North Korea had massed its army along the border with the South, that the latter nation was on full war alert, and that some military conflict was considered imminent. This being alarming news, I assumed that the story would be followed up immediately and throughout the day. Nothing followed. I went to the internet. Nothing. Nothing at all. What was this story I heard? Does CNN already have recordings of potential lead news stories on file and someone just popped in the wrong tape? If so, or if you reported a false story, why not acknowledge the error and provide a retraction? To definitely hear something like that and then have it disappear from the information pipeline without any acknowledgement that it ever happened is not reassuring to me.

I guess my credibility as a listener and reader is already suspect, so I shouldn't even bother with the 3rd and most obvious instance of disappearing news stories (obvious because for once I am not the only person who noticed it) that I am thinking of, but it involves the plane on September 11, 2001 that crashed in Pennsylvania that it is said a bunch of passengers said "Let's roll" and took it over in a struggle with the terrorists before crashing. This scenario never rang true to me for a number of reasons, and I was really kind of astounded by how far pretty much everyone seemed to go along with it, but I remember the day it happened several local witnesses saying on television that they had seen a second plane or some other large object in proximity with the plane that crashed before it went down. Again, when the other version of what happened came out, there was no attempt to address or explain what these earlier recordings of witnesses thought they saw; they were just expunged from any archive as if they had never happened, and I'm sure it was denied that they had ever happened. But I am quite certain that they did happen.

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