This Is Not An Odd Book Discussion: Apology and some incredibly absorbing links

This post originally appeared on I Read Odd Books

As my readers may know by now, when a bout of cyclical depression hits me I am very quiet.  People often have the idea that my lack of online presence during these times is because I am shuffling through my days like a middle-aged Sylvia Plath, tearing at my hair, or politely planning my suicide, stuffing my pockets with rocks as I walk dramatically into Lake Travis.

It’s far less cinematic than that.  Far less interesting, too.  When I am hit with a bout of my depression, which is sort of akin to a brain fog, I move slower, can’t sleep, and am down, to be sure, but the key symptom is a lack of attention.  I cannot hold a thread in a conversation.  I forget words for common objects.  I cannot really read anything longer than a blog entry, and I certainly cannot write well.  They last anywhere from a few days to a couple of months, but generally I get off lightly as they seldom last longer than a few weeks.

That is what it is, and I came out my my most recent bout in time to post that pile of words about Knut Hamsun.  Then I almost lost one cat, Miss Baby.  While we were worrying about her, a completely unrelated and seemingly healthy cat of ours, Wooster, dropped over dead.  Wooster was a strange, furtive, but lovely cat and his death was a blow to the house beyond anything we could have anticipated.

So I’ve been far more useless than I would like.  I have some interesting discussions in the works: an odd books zine from a writer in Australia, an Alasdair Gray collection, A New Bizarro Authors Week, and more.   I’m looking forward to the latter – it’s been a while since I had a giveaway.

But until then, let me share two of the amazing conspiracy theory sites I found when wandering the web late at night in the throes of insomnia.

The first is the site September Clues Research Forum.   This site is dedicated to the idea that 9-11 did not happen, that the attack itself was staged with media complicity, that no planes crashed into anything that day, and that not a single person died.  I found this site because I had a copy of Don Delillo’s The Falling Man and found myself Googling “falling man,”  the iconic photograph of a man who jumped from the World Trade center.  It was through that Google that I found this site.

It’s a small board, with a max of around 1000 members, far fewer active.  It’s beyond the Loose Change crowd (and the key players on this site declare that Truthers are part of the conspiracy, a smoke-screen so that no one focuses on the “real” truth).  It is some of the most hardcore conspiracy theory I have encountered in recent memory.  Convoluted, intricate and detailed, these particular True Believers have created an alternative reality wherein all the victim photographs are really photoshops or were created from one main photograph using photo manipulation.   The families of the dead are all actors or lying for some reason, the Ground Zero pictures were all staged, and everything we saw that terrible day was an elaborate theater used to trick us into war in the Middle East.  None of it happened.  Famous victims like Barbara Olson didn’t die on the planes – in Olson’s case, they posit that she got a ton of plastic surgery and came back to remarry her husband Ted Olson in a new identity.  Their proof for this is… both hilarious and the result of lots and lots of work.  If there is a means by which I can link to individual comments on posts, I cannot find one, but I also think this is for the best.  Little bits and pieces of this are almost worthless – one has to experience the whole of this by reading posts and threads as they come.

I seriously cannot list the amount of intellectual endeavor on this site, but a word of warning:  the makers of this site and the people who are key in this theory aren’t anything like the Loose Changers.  They are not engaging in a coy, “what if/I’m only asking hard questions” stance that the Truthers use to shelter themselves from the hard criticism that comes from asking “hard” questions.  The main players on September Clues Research Forum believe they have proven their case for this extraordinary conspiracy beyond any reasonable doubt and don’t like people challenging them because they brook no dissent.  So if you decide you want to interact with these folks, bear that in mind.

The second site appears to have been abandoned, more’s the pity, because, while not as outlandish as September Clues Research Forum, this blog contains some excellent conspiracy theory analysis. The site analyzes the use of Monarch Program, Illuminati and Masonic, and MK-Ultra imagery as found in movies, music videos, and photoshoots.   Pseudo-Occult Media is a site after my own heart – verbose, given to extreme analysis of media and completely whacked.  The author, one Benjamin Singleton, does not appear to be writing anywhere else, but if anyone knows where he is or if he is writing again, I would love to know what he is up to these days.

I found this site after landing on the Daily Mail, of all places, reading an article about how happy John Mellencamp is these days after divorcing his supermodel wife, Elaine Irwin.  I wondered how some of the other supermodels from the 90s had ended up and began Googling “Tatiana,”  “Linda Evangelista” and “Karen Mulder.”  It was the search on Karen Mulder that led me to the site, to this article in particular, wherein Mulder’s images and erratic behaviors are discussed with the assumption that she was a Monarch Program victim.  Singleton analyzed dozens of pictures to show the links between Mulder and the Monarch Program and Illuminati sex slave programs.  This is one of those rare sites wherein I don’t want to contact James Randi and see how to debunk it effectively because unlike many True Believers, Singleton showed his work.  While I can look at the work and simply say, “Images of kittens and leopards and butterflies are just common in photography,” Singleton makes an interesting case for how these images are used to tell specific stories and the stories often end up being very similar.  One does not have to believe any of it to just marvel at the work that went into the analyses.

I am not even close to finished reading the site, but I already have some favorite articles.  Singleton’s analysis of the imagery associated with Lana Clarkson, the woman Phil Spector shot to death, was fascinating.   Equally interesting was the use of Monarch imagery and the use of Alice in Wonderland as it applies to programming victims and the images of Peaches Geldof and others.  Whether Singleton is a lunatic or the Sanest Person You Know, after reading his blog, you will never look at black and white stripes, red shoes, butterflies, kittens, wild cat prints and Alice costumes the same way again.  Or maybe it’s more accurate to say you will be surprised at how common and overused they are in media, fashion and film.  You don’t have to fear the New World Order to find this worth a read and Singleton has a ton of content on the now defunct site.

So that’s what I was doing over the past couple of weeks as I waited for my brain fog to lift.  Hopefully y’all will find it interesting to some degree and I’ll have some book content up here soon.  Hopefully the Alasdair Gray discussion will be up Friday or Monday.  If any of you have some odd website, message board or blog recommendations for me to read when the next fog rolls into my head, share them please!