[PODCAST] #373b: CONSPIRA-THON (The Prequel) – Political and Cultural Typologies


Australian researcher Nick Ulbrick, aka "The Transcendental Tangent General" joins me for another long-form conversation on the topic of "conspiracy theories," which he refers to as "conspiracy narratives." Nick has worked in the university system as a Teacher’s Assistant (called Tutor in Victoria). In the past, he was an artist liaison at major music festivals and has also made 10 feature length documentaries following the Australian Motorsports scene (which can be found at His interest in alternative media was fostered through the works of Tragedy and Hope, James Corbett and School Sucks.

noun: typology; plural noun: typologies

a classification according to general type, especially in archaeology, psychology, or the social sciences.
"a typology of Saxon cremation vessels"
study or analysis using typology.

In this second installment, we talk about
-Tangents: David Icke and Reptilians, John Titor the time traveler, the sinking of the titanic, Obama the Egyptian pharaoh clone
-The qualitative research question: “Imagine if all the conspiracy theories
were true”
-a need to create a typology (a classification according to general type) of conspiracy theories that are spoken about in
public and private conversation
-conspiracy narratives are a form of political discourse
for those who are otherwise disaffected from the mainstream political process. As a form of political expression conspiracy theories seek to reduce ambivalence and fear whilst also mobilizing doubt and distrust in constructive and useful ways.
-Conspiracy theories as a narrative can be used in a variety of ways, and often they are used as a method of alleviating fears, specifically fears of subversion and structural changes to a constellation of power called Modernity.

Nick was able to identify four broad themes through which conspiracy theories were used as a form of political expression among my participants these were:

1) theories regarding political power and corruption, which attempted to explain political disempowerment (9/11, JFK)
2) symptoms of political distrust that enable those engaged to mobilise their doubts and fears regarding contemporary society (Reptilians)
3) anti-modernist theories that attempt to re-enchant a bureaucratic world through a belief in magical, hidden and mysterious forces; and
4) individual neurosis, that is: paranoia.

From a cultural practice perspective, conspiracy narratives were a space through which participants were about to ask “what if” questions about their world. Nick's major findings here were as follows:
a) engaging with conspiracy narratives as a form of cultural practice is also a form of resistance to modernity
b) engaging with conspiracy narratives relating to popular culture allowed participants to consider the manner in which cultural (including political) objects have been produced and consumed.
c) to some extent, the engagement with such narratives was also a form of engagement with entertainment.
d) all of the participants highlighted that this form of engagement created a space in which speculative questions could be asked and answered.

Look Closer:

Obama Clone of an Egyptian Pharaoh -

School Sucks #175 Logic Saves Lives Part-7: Did Stanley Kubrick Help NASA Fake the Moon Landing? I Sure Hope So! -

Foundation of a Weaponized Term -

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One comment

  1. Well, I have to say I was anxious about listening to these podcasts, as I expected to be ridiculed, and you kept it to a minimum.

    Please understand that the term “conspiracy theory” was popularized by the CIA to put a damper on dissent, the JFK murder having raised eyebrows everywhere. So the fact that we even discuss “conspiracy theories” as if they were anything more than skeptical people using their brains is a tribute to CIA and their PSYOP capabilities. We live in a country where true skepticism is ridiculed, and that ought to concern you.

    And again with the lumping fallacy! What if “all conspiracies”were true? What if water were not wet? What if we ran out of air? But I can answer that question for two conspiracies: JFK and 9/11. Had they not happened, millions of people who died violently would have lived out their lives -Indochina, Indonesia, and all the countries we attacked after 9/11. Our earnings would not be sucked up by a government that devotes half of its budget to making weapons and wars. We woudl have a more egalitarian society, perhaps even a decent health care system. And lower taxes.

    Why did you lump all conspiracies together? “To take a giant shit on us?”

    Moon landings are a little more troublesome, of course. The photos are fake, but that could have been done for PR purposes, as real photos would not have turned out in that environment. But I suspect, and this is in the wake of JFK (a military coup d’etat that is well exposed and understood by now), that they needed to divert $35 billion to weaponry based in space, and used the moon landings as a cover story. More so than 9/11 or the public execution of JFK, RFK, MLK, and others, a sophisticated scam, as they had to fool a whole lot of very smart people in the various companies and agencies behind NASA.

    So I like to say, given the quality of the fakery around Apollo, that it makes perfect sense to beleive it was real, and I have no problem with people who are thus fooled.

    Good shows, actually. Never though I would say that.

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