A short glossary preceding author Joseph Green’s collection of essays and reviews focusing, for the most part, on conspiratorial readings of U.S. assassinations, concludes with Green’s favored definition for the word “thinking.” It’s one worth revisiting in light of recent breathless reporting on the death of Osama bin Laden, and requisite reimaginings of the so-called mastermind of 9/11.
Thinking: The use of one’s cognition to make judgments that could, at least in principle, conflict with those handed down by the proper authorities. Such behavior invites ridicule, ostracism, and potential imprisonment.
Those of you who get Green’s smarmy brand of humor right off also likely understand his bit about ridicule and ostracism. And if you haven’t already retreated into simpler, less consequential mindspace as a result, you’d do well to take a vivifying steam in this panoply of alternative views on what we could kindly refer to as the greatest “undersolved” political murders of our time. Yes, we are introduced to the investigatorial inconsistencies in the deaths of MLK and the Kennedy brothers, Black Panther Fred Hampton and President Abe Lincoln, and we even manage to squeeze in some time on the subject of 9/11 (Loose Change, bad; The Road to 9/11, good. But to grow a stronger Truther movement, put down the remote and read a little). What makes a collection of fast readings running the conspiratorial gamut (with built-in piss breaks spent attacking Federalists, Neil Postman, religious faith, and string theory) so much fun is that Green appears just as eager to pick apart a weak argument from within the conspiracy community as one from without. In fact, the only overarching principle the author will rise to defend time and again is one that most would be forced to agree with: that it is natural for those of a level of wealth and political influence to seek to cooperate to protect their privileged status. What more is a conspiracy, after all? Reading Green is a treat for independent thinkers who may have forgotten for a spell that it really is the rest of the world that’s crazy.
Dissenting Views: Investigations in History, Culture, Cinema, & Conspiracy
By Joseph E. Green
$9.99 (ebook) $19.99 (paperback), 182 pages