Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Death By 10,000 Smoke Alarms: The Top 10 Conspiracy Theories of 2006

Well, a little late this year, but better than never.

The world gets a bit stranger and more unpredictable every year. People need to find some way to make sense of events, some greater explanation that would seem to tie the whole random mess together. Which is why, more and more, we need our conspiracies. Just like we need our religion. (If indeed religion isn't one more conspiracy in this day and age).

So, each year I sum up the biggest conspiracy theories of the year. Everything from 9/11 to big business to election politics. How do items make the cut? Read the Official Rules.

Here then, without further ado...Common Mistakes unveils the top 10 conspiracies of 2006.

10. Yet another stolen election. This time, just the 13th District in Florida (Catherine Harris's district.) Faulty touch screens, Republican shenanigans...it's all too familiar. Which is why it comes in at number 10.

9. Our annual internet conspiracy always seems to favor the latest "it" website. This time, it's two "it" sites: YouTube and Google are conspiring to drive every other video site out of business by cracking down on copyright infringement (except on YouTube, of course).

8. An event in need of a good conspiracy - Dick Cheney's hunting accident. The whole thing was great fodder for late-night comics, but a bit too absurd to be a great conspiracy. Nevertheless, people tried, eventually boiling it down to: Cheney was drunk and his handlers stepped in to cover it up.

7. Thanks to Al Gore - who keeps them conspiracies coming - this year, we have a Global Warming conspiracy: that Big Oil is paying off scientists to discredit global warming science.

6. A conspiracy that comes in the shape of a cold-war mystery: how and why was Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko assassinated? Was it really death by 10,000 smoke alarms? Was he an Isreali double-agent? Was Putin behind it, as Litvinenko claimed? Only the best conspiracy theorists will know for sure.

5. If you were a fan of "Brokeback Mountain" it's no doubt that "Crash" won the oscar over "Brokeback" because of an anti-gay conspiracy in Hollywood. Why, even the LA Times believes it was a conspiracy of homophobia.

4. The Baby Suri Conspiracy. Well, actually, there seems to be dozens of them, ranging from the idea that Tom/Kat's baby Suri isn't Tom's, to that she's a space alien, to that she doesn't exist at all.

3. Isreal, Lebanon, Hezbollah - the biggest news event of the war in Lebanon this summer were the dozens of civilians killed when a bomb struck an apartment building in Qana. Was the tragedy actually staged by Hezbollah itself as a bid to gain world sympathy? Was the building pre-filled with dead or disabled children? A grim scenario, at best.

2. On the lighter side - if there is a lighter side, these days - some say those Danish Mohammed cartoons were all part of a zionist plot to insult Muslims (or perhaps the Danish...)

and the number 1 conspiracy of 2006....

1. That the Democrats "set Floey up", according to Rush Limbaugh. (That's page-molesting Congressman Mark Foley. What did they do, put "gay juice" in Foley's tea, or did they just hire especially seductive pages...????) Whatever they did, it seems to have worked - just ask Nancy Pelosi...who no doubt will be showing up in a conspiracy or two for 2007.