The Art (Bell) of conspiracy theories

“It’s a mystery! It’s a mystery wrapped in the riddle inside of an enigma!”

— Joe Pesci, from the Oliver Stone film, “JFK”.


by Harry Caines

Art Bell is dead. I did not kill him. But, if I had, it would be stupid to admit it.

When the official story is released, Art Bell will be declared the mortal victim of lung cancer—and that is just what the Kardashians want us to think! Yes, the Kardashians were in cahoots with the CIA, Vladimir Putin and professional wrestler John Cena to eliminate Art Bell.

Why would such a motley crew be assembled to snuff out a retired radio host? Well, if you are so blind to not see the obvious connection, then far be it for me to pull you from the afterbirth of your ignorance.

Enjoy your wool cloak of denial, sheep!

For those unfamiliar with Art Bell, allow me to enlighten you. Bell was a longtime radio host who found a niche on his overnight show by giving conspiracy theorists a platform to share their off-center beliefs.

For most of his time as the host of “Coast to Coast”, which was referred to by enthusiasts eponymously out of respect for its’ eccentric host, Bell rarely screened his callers. He would click the button, announced a vague location for the next caller and let them explain how Walmart was harvesting undesirable humans in a secret warehouse in Paradise, Utah for an extraterrestrial race to use as food.

It ain’t paranoia if they really are out to get you.

It was easy to make fun of Bell, his format and his borderline fanatical legion of callers. In fairness, you could not deny that they all were committed…or, at least they should have been.

~rim shot~

As an overnight doorman in the 1990’s at a hotel building whose creepiness was often compared to the Overlook Hotel from “The Shining”, listening to Art Bell’s radio show, especially at 3 AM, could be disconcerting for me. By then, I had changed from earnest conspiracy theorist on many controversial subjects to a defiant skeptic regarding the paranormal.

Back then, most conspiracy theorists were considered to be on the political left, aka the “Loony Left”. This fact was brought to vivid realization in Richard Linklater’s 1990 film, “Slacker”. The most famous scene features an older man telling a college student about his many conspiracy theories.

I love that scene; but I have a personal bias towards older men with bad hair spewing polemics at a coffeehouse.

Just one year after “Slacker”, Oliver Stone released his highly controversial film, “JFK”. This film tells the story of New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison’s crusade to bring President John Kennedy’s assassins to justice.

(SPOILER ALERT)

Everybody did it!

I credit “JFK” for turning me away from being a Kool-Aid drinking conspiracy theorist into a skeptic of such silly beliefs. After I saw “JFK” I read the book the movie was based upon, Jim Garrison’s “On the Trail of the Assassins”.

It was drivel. It was a hodgepodge of baseless assumptions, embellishments and flat out lies. Why would I trust any theory built on willful untruths? Over the next decade, my research compelled me to switch from firmly believing that John Kennedy was shot down by powerful forces to a simple, reasonable and logical three word explanation of what happened in Dallas on November 22nd, 1963:

Oswald acted alone.

My skepticism of bizarre theories grew from there.

UFOs? Too much work hiding them. And it makes no sense for extraterrestrials to have the ability to come to Earth, dedicate the time to come to Earth and then keep going to Earth as a secret to Earthlings.

The Bermuda Triangle? Embellishments, coincidences and mathematical anomalies.

Big Foot? No Sasquatch bones have ever been found. And since Big Foots (Big Feet? Bigs Foot?) appear to be rogues, how would the other Big Foots know where to pick up the dead carcass to bury it in a deep grave before humans find them?

Kurt Cobain? Yeah, I actually believe he was killed on the orders of his wife, Courtney Love. I am open to persuasion on this subject, but this purported suicide feels wrong to me. She killed him.

The Stonecutters? Oh, they are real! I have been to their beer hoists.

Fake moon landing? There is an amazing documentary on this entitled, “Room 237”. It takes on Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation of “The Shining”. One of the voiceover narrators sifts through some parts of the film that he believes suggests Kubrick was admitting to the world that he helped film a fake moon landing in July, 1969. The “facts” given to construct this theory are, at best, loosely related. Yet, I did enjoy the film.

I just made two references to “The Shining” in one column. That just can’t be a coincidence. I obviously am sending a subliminal message to powerful forces that read my work.

Back on subject, if that’s possible.

Something strange happened after Art Bell gave a smidgen of intellectual validity to conspiracy theorists. Most theories turned from being decidedly leftist in nature to have a frothy, nationalist right-wing bent to them.

The undisputed king of the right wing conspiracy theory ring is Alex Jones, founder and main personality of InfoWars. Of the multitude of whacky theories promoted by Infowars and Jones was that the Chobani yogurt factory near Twin Falls, Idaho harbors migrant rapists, as well as the almost unfathomable theory that the Sandy Hook Massacre—an event that saw 20 young children murdered in cold blood—was fake.

Jones is being sued by the Sandy Hook parents for this claim. I hope they win. I dearly wish that they bankrupt this scumbag.

On their own, these theories are just plain nutty. But when they start to endanger lives, then it becomes a problem. Such was the case in December 2016 when a man armed with an assault rifle entered a Washington, D.C. pizzeria to save the child sex slaves Hillary Clinton was funneling through the building. At least that was the story this moron believed.

Seriously, right-wing conspiracy theorists posted this story on Reddit and InfoWars picked it up. I am often criticized, recently by my own CVD editor, for calling Trump supporters stupid. How can I think otherwise when such a stupefyingly insane story is believed by Trumpkins?

Art Bell is not responsible for the current state of conspiracy theories. His only responsibility to the genre was hosting a quirky radio show with a non-traditional format that allowed fringe personalities to give voice to their theories of mass corruption, lies and cover-ups. I enjoyed listening to Art Bell. I am deeply sorry he was murdered by John Cena and Khloe Kardashian as the first step in their unholy union to rule the planet.

The truth is out there…waaaaaaaaay out there.

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