Conspiracy Theories and Grocery Shopping



On Toronto-area radio station AM740, The Conspiracy Show (richardsyrett.com) airs Sunday nights from 11PM to 1AM.  Hosted by Richard Syrett, it has a weird and eclectic mix of guests who, predictably, talk about conspiracy-related and eerie topics.  AM740 is a radio station that I’d otherwise never listen to–it plays music twenty-three hours a day that consists of Frank Sinatra, Glenn Miller, and Paul Anka, all of whom were idols to my grandfather (and really, who listens to music on AM anymore?)–but I do listen to this show, even though the topics can sometimes border on the bizarre.  One guest recorded people talking and claimed that if you listened to them backwards, you’d hear satanic messages.  They played some of the tapes and they sounded like people talking backwards.  It made the whole Led Zeppelin-devil-worshipping-play-the-music-backwards thing seem realistic.  Other guests read Bible quotes and claim you can predict the demise of the planet, a schtick that’s so eleventh century.  Yet some of the guests are plausible: Some talk about conspiracies to manipulate global currencies’ values or drones spying on people.  And there are the classic conspiracy topics: We’ll never know who really killed JFK, but aren’t the circumstances of his assassination so compellingly hypnotic?

Unfortunately, I fell asleep five minutes into today’s episode.  I had just finished watching a movie that during which I had had two alcoholic ciders, a sure bet to put me to sleep.  Syrett had a guest host helping him out; I think he was a contest winner.  I enjoy listening to the show live; it’s part of my Sunday ritual.  I listen to it and after the show ends, I do my grocery shopping at the twenty-four-hour grocery store across the street.  (Shop at 1AM; you’ll have the store to yourself!)  It’s not like I need to listen live: The show is posted online the next day as a podcast.  But it’s fun to listen live.

Why am I going on about this?  Oh yeah!  At the grocery store this morning (around 1:45AM), there was somebody ahead of me buying groceries (a rare event this time in the morning).  A middle-aged man with a greying beard is telling the cashier to watch internet videos about moon landing conspiracy theories.  It’s a well-known theory: The flag was flapping after Neil Armstrong planted in on the moon (there’s no wind on the moon).  And Kubrick got special cameras for Barry Lyndon for making the moon videos.

Great.  Now I’ll never be able to watch Kubrick the same way.  When Nicholson smashes the bathroom door in The Shining, I’ll picture the flag flapping on the moon.  Thanks Man-at-the-Grocery-Store!

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