I’ve spent much of this Labor Day weekend delving into conspiracy theories and general internet stupidity.
From Otherkin to Holographic Moons, from the Babushka Lady to Reptilian Overlords, I’ve seen quite a lot. And between me staring at the screen with my head cocked, an eyebrow raised and my jaw somewhere on my chest while I wonder when the hell we all got so bloody stupid and so unwilling to just slap people upside the head and say “Hey, dumbass! Get back to work!”, I found a little seed of an idea that, if properly watered, might be something interesting.
I’m not abandoning Ex Inferis, though due to equipment issues it remains on the back burner. “Little Miss No Name” is stalled for the moment, as it requires outside assistance that doesn’t seem forthcoming, but my daughter remains very much on my mind. The secret project and Lune de Amant are still getting their daily dose of a couple hundred words. But this appealed to me in a different way, and provided a welcome change in tone from the other projects, that might help my general mood and ensure I keep working.
Basically, I was contemplating telling the story of where all this batshit stuff comes from. In my mind, it’s one of the government alphabet soup agencies; perhaps a subdivision of the CIA or NSA, perhaps something that exists on its own. The acronym currently in mind is DoOM. Department of Official Misinformation.
Yeah, it’s a little lame. Might change. Dunno. But it serves as a nice handle for the time being. But this department stages the things which become conspiracy theories. They create them, maintain them, occasionally act on them, and exert just enough flex against them that the psychotic and the determined keep digging, somehow just certain that there’s more to it.
Basically, they keep the sheep busy.
In my head, agents of DoOM are a little looser than your average government type. Similar attitude to Will Smith in Men in Black; they enjoy their work. A lot of the more outlandish stories are due to agents’ off-kilter senses of humor. They enjoy their work, and the amount of freedom they’re given to perform it.
When I think of their office, I picture something like the studio control in The Truman Show. There’s an Ed Harris in there, a driven (and possibly ruthless) director type. Only instead of Ed Harris’ “Cue the sun” line, in my story the line would be “Cue the moon.” Preparing to project that hologram. Right on top of the actual moon, of course.
Somewhere in that office is a ridiculously sophisticated – and equally expensive – version of the “They Fight Crime” generator. I suspect they call it Randy G (short for Random Generator), and that it’s programmed with an annoying and snarky digital assistant. Picture a flamboyant know it all version of Siri. Randy’s job is to create word salad conspiracy theories. “The CIA is putting flouride in Bosnian crackers to brainwash them into drilling holes for making volcanoes.” “George Bush and G.W. Bush are actually the same person, an ancient shapeshifter who’s been president twenty times.” “Wal-Mart buries a hypnotic signal in their muzak that inspires teenagers to believe they’re aliens.” Randy may or may not be an alien intellect disguised as a virtual assistant.
Pushed against the back wall is a prize wheel. On each slice of the pie, a government agency, hot button issue or body part is written. Spin the wheel; that’s the focus of the day. “Oh, Bob, it’s another Anal Probe day.” “Guess we need a new NASA story…” That sort of thing. There was a period in the 80s where some wit had weighted the pie piece marked Presidency, which pulled it down most of the time. That meant the slice opposite it – Satanic Ritual Abuse – was the topic of the day way more often than it should have been. The employee responsible now cleans toilets in New York PS129, though he’s still working for the agency, scrawling propoganda on the stall walls.
Every agent looks exactly the same but completely different. They all wear sunglasses and immaculate suits but they all wear Hawaiian shirts, swim trunks and crocs. They’re the MiB, the Illuminati, your stoner neighbor with the giant pot garden hiding behind his house and the absolute certainty that LSD was the key to godhood until the CIA used it for MK-ULTRA.
Into this gleefully bizarre office steps our protagonist. Wachowski. He’s a transfer from a different agency. Maybe CIA. Maybe FBI. Maybe not even he knows. He’s a mole, there to kick the anthill and get these whackjobs to work in a useful fashion. Or he’s a tool, reporting only what DoOM wants the other agencies to know. Or both. Or neither. Maybe not even DoOM or Wachowski’s actual superiors know. Maybe he’s a prank staged by Randy. Maybe all of them are true at once.
“What’s under the turtle?” One might ask. “Silly question! It’s turtles all the way down!” Except at DoOM, there might be a tortoise slipped in for good measure.
I’m just babbling. Spewing my own versrion of Randy’s blather at the page, seeing what sticks, what conjures characters and images in my head. But I think I want to tell some of these stories. It could be fun.
Sound like fun? Want to help get my equipment back and thus help get projects like this off the ground easier? Stop by my GoFundMe, drop a dollar in the bucket, or give it a share; it’s always appreciated!