The Wide Angle: The age of Bigfoot. A far simpler time

Published 6:30 am Saturday, August 22, 2020

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A while back I complained about social media and the junk that is floating around.

The baseless conspiracy theories, the emboldened lies raked around like piles of dead leaves and the horrible nastiness that seems to be a prerequisite of being on social media anymore.

I’m not surprised mind you. Being mean, spreading lies, and floating the junk is pretty easy to do, but all of this that is becoming the swear word that is 2020 is becoming tiresome. Even the years leading up to this were tiresome.

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Lately, the QAnon conspiracy theories are making the rounds. For those in the know, QAnon is a lot of things to a lot of people, but for the sake of this column, it’s a far-right theory that has no basis in fact despite what the convenient Facebook meme might say.

Of course, most every conspiracy theory has no basis in fact, but it does make me miss the greatest hits of conspiracy theories.

They play like a late-night 70s romantic ballad compilation from Time-Life Records.

“Boy, that takes me back. Do you remember Bigfoot, UFOs, the Illuminati? We do. That’s why we’ve collected all your favorite conspiracies on this 120-disc set available from Time-Life.”

Then the commercial turns over to a video of Bigfoot strolling through the woods, an alien spacecraft floating above the trees, the Loch Ness Monster peeking out from the muddy, cold waters of Loch Ness. All of it to Linda Ronstadt’s “You’re No Good.”

I’m not particularly sure why Linda Ronstadt, but I mentioned the 70s and she seemed like a good fit.

These theories represented a simpler time where you would mount up with your buddies in somebody’s beat-up pick’em up truck and head deep into the woods to look for Squatch.

Not me. I was always more of an alien kind of guy, laying on my back and starting into the star-filled void waiting for the aliens to swing by.

They never did of course. I’ve had a couple experiences in college where I saw something I can’t quite explain, but if they were aliens, they never stopped and said “hi,” which I thought was rude, but whatever.

The belief in these types of conspiracies harkened back to a time when conspiracy theories were fun and usually involving the Masons doing nefarious things, even though every Mason I have ever known has been very friendly and done nothing but good for the community. The most nefarious thing I’m aware of is maybe feeding somebody too many pancakes during their monthly fundraiser breakfast here in Austin.

If that’s the case Masons, feel free to be as nefarious as you want and just keep heaping those pancakes.

Maybe I’m not “woke” enough.

Conspiracy theories were fun at their base. Could there be a secret government cabal running the world? Clearly not, because I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t let this level of cluelessness run rampant. Or maybe that’s their whole plan, though seems kind of convoluted and rather defeatist.

Now, conspiracy theories are playing roles in elections. Bigfoot rarely has ever played a role in elections, but maybe he should. He would have a great campaign slogan.

“With these big feet, my fellow Americans, I’m ready to deliver a size 16 right in the ….”

Hey, UFO!