Tuesday, 7 July 2015
“Infamy! Infamy! They’ve all got it in for me!” So goes Kenneth Williams’ classic punchline in 1964’s Carry on Cleo, on discovering the dastardly plot to murder his character, Julius Caesar… or was it Biggus Dickus? I forget, but there’s always a plot, isn’t there? According to ‘divers sources’ the word plot can be a noun or a verb and it can mean, variously: ‘the main events of a play, novel or film’; ‘a small piece of ground marked out for a purpose such as building or gardening’; ‘a graph showing the relationship between two variables’; ‘a diagram, chart, or map’; or ‘the making, in secret, by a group of people, a plan to do something illegal or harmful’.
Shakespeare had Hamlet say “the play’s the thing” but of course it’s the plot which is the thing. It’s the plot that makes the money shot, after all. When it comes to global domination of national economies the idea that foolish people naively entered into commitments they could not fulfil is too mundane, too ordinary, too much like real life to ever make it to the silver screen. What we need to satisfy the full-on conspiracy nut-job is a driving logic, a subterranean imperative for extreme prejudice to be levied against the unsuspecting herds of human cattle to compel them to stampede toward a cliff of their own choosing. Oh, it is so clear now, in hindsight, how the evil bankers, in league with the royal heads of Europe and the lizard people manipulated the very laws of the financial universe to create chaos.
But wait a minute; a theory is defined as: ‘a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something’; ‘a set of principles on which the practice of an activity is based’; ‘an idea used to account for a situation or justify a course of action’; or ‘a collection of propositions to illustrate the principles of a subject’. If it is to have any validity a theory should not only account for a historical series of events, but it should also be capable of predicting the outcome of future such events. Thus, ‘what goes up must come down’, ‘if it sounds too good to be true, etc.’ and ‘pride comes before a fall’
Forgive me, then, for not having much truck with those really big global conspiracy theories which only surface after the action. Much as with religion, when such ‘theories’ are revealed before the events they purport to explain I may begin to take notice. Ah, but, say the tinfoil hatters, that’s exactly what they want you to say, conveniently deflecting the burden of proof from their own goal line. To which I respond, but what’s the point? Really, what is the point?
I mean, owning all the money in the world is a ludicrously meaningless end game; once you have all the money the game is over, the money becomes worthless and what happens next? Deliberately putting people out of work and into poverty is equally pointless – you’d surely have far more to gain from a billion cheap workers doing your bidding than a billion pissed off workless folk with sharpened sticks heading your way. It absolutely makes no sense, smacking more of a need to have a complex fictional reason rather than accepting a more mundane and simple chain of events. Again, like religion… or left-wing politics.
I don’t doubt that some people conspire to corner markets, to gerrymander elections and to fabricate statistics in their favour. And undoubtedly there are conspiracies among we mere rabble to best our rivals, but in my experience successful people often turn out to be annoyingly normal, frequently quite dull and refreshingly frank about their good fortune; right place right time and all that. Not evil overlords at all. Given the choice of the Greek debacle being engineered from the outset by masters of dark arts or being the result of human frailty and Mr Fuckup, I’ll go with fuck-up every time.