The cliché joke about paranoia goes: Just because you’re paranoid, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t out to get you.
And, you know, they just might be.
There is indeed much to be fearful of in this life. There’s death, disease, loneliness, pain, poverty, crime, war, inept and evil politicians (kind of a tautology there) hateful neighbors, inadvertently breaking wind in a crowded elevator. Just a slew of bad things.
So, I have enough to be wary of without subscribing to conspiracy theories or joining the legions that fight against issues that may or may not be issues that will impact me. I mean, ‘impact me’ with your shenanigans and you’ll hear about it. But, if the source of fear is just kind of a maybe I’ll just stay at home and watch never-ending reruns of episodes of The Office. Pam and me? Why not? It could have happened in an alternate universe.
Abundant in contemporary society are many instances that evoke paranoia in the susceptible. I do fight against being one of them. Take, for example, the recent imposition (and it was an imposition) of so-called Smart Meters here in BC.
Some people saw these bits of hi-tech innovation as a tacky means of jacking up our hydro rates. In this case the paranoids would be right. Of course that was why they were installed despite the fact that nobody actually had expressed a thirst for more hi-tech in that realm of their lives.
But, then the paranoid legions mounted campaigns against the things and indicting them for causing scores of illnesses and afflictions like brain cancer (everyone knows it’s mobile phones that cause that) along with mental illness, dropsy, beri-beri, incontinence, impotence, burning rectal itch, false pregnancy and halitosis.
There were also widely-publicized tales – especially in certain popular tabloid journals – telling horror tales of people who’d received hydro bills 10,000 times higher than their earlier ones. Maybe that’s true. Or maybe the person in question had set up a grow-op in the interim.
A few years before the Smart Meters controversy there were those who were exercised about High Voltage Transmission Lines in their neighborhoods, believing that those overhead lines caused all the illnesses prompted by Smart Meters as well as assorted categories of mental illness, not to mention, ahem paranoia. To date, I believe, the only connection between high-tension lines and human misfortune comes when one of the bastards falls on you after an ice storm. That, I believe, only happens in Quebec and ties in directly with papier-mâché constructed freeway overpasses.
Con trails: You know, those lovely streaky things left by airplanes on clear days. Some maintain that those manifestations of high altitude flying contribute to inclement weather and are a means utilized by uber-right-wing Americans to quell the North American populace and force people to vote Republican and/or Conservative depending on nation. When I am at altitude in a jetliner I always hope we are leaving a cool contrail so that peons on the ground are filled with envy of me as I jet to some wonderful destination and they don’t.
Windmills: No, not the quaint Dutch kind that end up on Delft pottery, but the great big suckers that dominate hillsides in such spots as Palm Springs. Initially everybody thought they were great, and environmental and all. Then they found out they kill migrating birds by the gazillions and arguably cause all the afflictions mentioned above. I don’t worry about them because we don’t have any here. We only have hydroelectric dams that destroy spawning runs in perpetuity in lieu.
I could go on and on about the terrors of contemporary society but in lieu, I’ll merely heed the wisdom of Woody Allen: “Life is mainly nervousness and death.”
PS I was remiss here in not paying homage to blogger par excellence Murr Brewster whose most recent offering provided part of the inspiration for the foregoing.