Conspiracy Fiction

I love conspiracy theories.

Every piece of fiction takes you into the writer's mind in some way, but with professional authors less of their mind is revealed. In order to write for a living, professionals become more adept at the artifice of creation. They give away less of themselves, but package it better. Who can blame them? Putting even a small aspect of your heart out for public consumption is exhausting and thankless work.

Conspiracy theorists aren't aware that they're writing fiction, because, well, they're not. Unwittingly, however, they do all the ground work of fiction writing. They form elaborate plots, create characters, and even incorporate theme and symbolism. A good conspiracy theory contains all the elements of a hit movie except the script - just like Titanic.

What I like about conspiracy mongers is that they aren't professional authors. They're not creating art expressly for others to enjoy, but revealing the truth that only they can see. As a result, they don't put up any of the traditional artist's barriers against self-expression. When someone composes a conspiracy theory, they're putting their thought processes completely on display. The truth that only they can see is largely the state of their own souls.

As voyeuristic as it might sound when I say that these peoples' souls are running around naked, conspiracy theories rarely provide a look into any specific person's mind. Oh, there is the occasional fellow who's been probed by aliens, but frankly that's not my fetish. Most of the classic theories are either collaborative efforts, or the kernel was created by an anonymous genius whose inspiration remains uncredited.

Still, these Byzantine romances of intrigue and secrecy remain seductive reminders that although not every mind can express itself in art, powerful ideas can appear from anywhere and nowhere. There's a lot to like about the theories as fiction: lone heroes can save the world single-handedly, and ordinary people do extraordinary things for love and country. Most importantly, behind every mundane element of daily life is a world of undreamed of intricacy and excitement.

Man, if only they were true. Well, except for the probing.

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