Conspiracies and plot holes

I don’t usually notice plot holes when at the movies. I tend to have a very strong suspension of disbelief, meaning a hole has to be pretty glaring for me to be unable to ignore it and particularly egregious for it to significantly hinder my enjoyment of a film.

One such example was in the recent film District 9, when the entire plot revolved around a two-dimensional, monolithic evil corporation, MNU, that was also possibly collaborating with the government, which devoted twenty years and presumably trillions of dollars to trying to figure out how to operate alien weapons. Those weapons could only be operated in the hands of the aliens themselves and the corporation is seen in the film forcing captured aliens to demonstrating some of those weapons’ capabilities. But later in the film, when we’re finally shown the full capabilities of the alien weapons in real combat, they turned out to be at best no more powerful than a common bazooka, and certainly insignificant compared with the atomic bombs made here at home and which without a doubt would have been far easier for the corporation to obtain. This left me scratching my head and hoping MNU fired whichever moron was heading up the project in first place. I was also left feeling sympathy for the MNU shareholders and the villainous MNU employees who would soon to be out of work because their company has clearly bankrupted itself by taking wasteful spending to a whole new level.

This particular plot hole reminded me of the old conspiracy theory about the alleged HAARP weather warfare project. Depending on which version of the tale you hear, HAARP (High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Program) either is working on or has already secretly developed the capability to control the weather for military applications. Now researchers certainly are working on figuring out how to better control the weather as this would have obvious benefits in terms of agriculture and preventing natural disasters, but anyone who views weather control as a worthwhile goal for warfare is suffering a serious failure of imagination or is living inside a 1950′s sci-fi movie featuring some mad scientist in a white lab coat. A weather weapon is like a steam punk vision of a super weapon. We’ve got the atomic bomb. We can drop bombs from the sky. Our military has the most advanced killing technology in the world. Why waste billions of dollars trying to figure out how to fight the enemy with snowballs? It’s just silly.

Now this article was inspired by a short article Ben Radford wrote on UFO conspiracy plot holes. In that piece, Radford focused on the popular belief that numerous governments are conspiring to cover up UFO phenomena including alien visitation and alien abduction. Specifically, he challenges the most common reason cited for why any government would bother to cover it up in the first place, to protect the public from something they’d find upsetting…deeply, deeply upsetting…like Joel Schumacher directing a remake of Pulp Fiction upsetting:

Often the claim is that the public “isn’t ready to know,” that somehow knowledge that aliens have really been abducting people, inserting anal probes in them, and whatever other nefarious goings-on is too upsetting and alarming for people to deal with. If the government revealed what they know about aliens, it would send the public into an alarmed panic, perhaps evoking scenes from films such as “War of the Worlds” and “Independence Day.”

Of course Radford points out that in addition to the fact that the government actively encourages the possibility of extraterrestrial life elsewhere in the cosmos, according to a CNN poll, 80% of Americans already believes aliens have been here and the government is covering it up, with about 54% believing intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe, 64% believing aliens have contacted humans, and a disturbing number of people believing that they themselves have been abducted by aliens. When you factor all that in, that alone makes this explanation rather absurd. As Radford says:

So whether or not aliens really exist and are visiting us, many — perhaps most — people already think they do, and thus the claim that such knowledge is too world-changing to accept is invalidated. No one is screaming or panicking. Why would the world’s governments go to such lengths to avoid people having final proof of something most of them already believe?

Though another significant point that went unmentioned by Radford is that the government has been completely open about far more troubling things than the rather un-troubling notion that life exists elsewhere in the universe. There is simply no basis for this concept of the government conspiring to shield the populous from an unpleasant truth. In fact, as the Bush Administration illustrated quite well, keeping the populous in a perpetual state of fear can actually be beneficial for those in charge.

The government has never shied away from informing us about terror attacks or potential terror attacks. For instance, the recent averted printer bomb attack would have been MUCH easier to sweep under the rug than the constant comings and goings of space aliens. And UFO conspiracy theorists are going to tell me that space aliens visiting Earth is more alarming than finding out those actively trying to kill us are growing more and more clever in finding weaknesses in our security? Nonsense. It’s all really ridiculous and full of more plot holes than a Michael Bay film. The conspiracy theorists need to really start critically examining their beliefs and grow up already.

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