Who doesn’t love a good conspiracy? Many compelling stories begin with a conspiracy. It’s why I’m a fan of soap operas. Lord knows I’ve come up with plenty of conspiracies in my time.

Allow me to preface this column by stating that I began writing it before January 6, 2021 in Washington D.C. I’m not going to get into the semantics of what that day was actually called. I do know that it’s historically disturbing. I mean, this sort of thing is supposed to happen in banana republics or Ireland of the 80’s.

I will pose the same, paraphrased question that Coach Doc Rivers of the Philadelphia 76ers posed: What do you think the bloodshed and body count would have looked like if they were black? I feel that even the most extreme of us would have a gruesome answer to that question. To Coach Rivers question I would add Muslims and other non-whites to the equation.

While you’ll never get me to be ignorant to “the man behind the curtain,” I will not war against some deep dark state of a**holes pulling their precious strings of power. We need only look to such wars as the war against drugs or communism to understand that the results of such wars are mixed, at best.

I must give credit where credit is due, however. You can’t have a James Bond movie without a conspiracy drummed up by heartless, Commie bastards.

Scary still, is that attitudes and beliefs from the Nixon administration, for example, still pervade. This is fear that was spoon-fed to us and propagated by otherwise intelligent individuals. Never underestimate the power of saying something, true or otherwise, loudly and often enough until it becomes a fact that’s repeated over cups of coffee, across the dinner table, and around the water cooler. As a fiction writer, I know the best fiction is just barely removed from reality. Why is it so crazy to say such things when, for years, doctors were bought by the tobacco industry to tell us smoking was safe is what I say to that.

Speaking of the Nixon administration, let’s go back to September 8, 1974. President Ford gave a full and unconditional pardon to his predecessor, Richard Nixon. Did he deserve it and was it popular? ABSOLUTELY NOT! President Ford had the foresight to understand the nation needed to forgive the unforgiveable to move on from the s***show we’d been living since, at least, 1968. If my memory of history serves, we were also dealing with a gas shortage. It’ll make me wonder what the agenda really is if thought isn’t given to President Ford’s logic so we can move on to healing something that’s been festering long before 1968. To me, the parallels between our outgoing President and Nixon seem self-evident. Both are or were power-hungry, paranoid, petty “men.”

Let me be clear about my conspiracy theory from the previous paragraph: If we spend the first 100 days (a general rule of thumb is that the first 100 days of a President’s term sets the tone for what a President can accomplish for the remainder of the term) of a Biden Presidency in a quagmire of 25thamendment and impeachment bulls***, the fix is on. No longer are we following the rhetoric of healing the nation. No longer are we interested in issues like healthcare and police reform that have affected us all throughout many Presidential and Congressional terms before this past one. As history has shown, neither party is afraid to waste a mandate for revenge. Oh, and yes, there will always be a compelling reason why we must forge on and stop said monster. President Obama wasn’t born in the United States, remember? You’re also likely to hear some flip comments from D.C. like, “We can walk and chew gum at the same time,” but they won’t because it doesn’t behoove those that are naturally acquisitive. To all this I say, “Peace with honor.” (Please Google the reference made by the previous sentence.)

Believing is seeing, not the other way around. While this axiom is very true, if not counter-intuitive, it goes a long way to explaining the narrative that led to January 6th. I typically prefer to apply this powerful philosophy in the esoteric sense, but there it is.

Too bad certain conspiracies like Operation Valkyrie (an attempt to overthrow the Nazi party and assassinate Hitler) failed. What do you think that alternate reality looks like?

Don’t laugh, but I feel the Weather Channel and the insurance industry are in cahoots. They tipped their collective hands when they started naming winter storms. If you’ve ever gotten the shocker of what happens to your deductible from a named storm versus a summer thunderboomer of similar intensity, you feel me. Perhaps I’ve created this narrative in my head because of the barely concealed, thrilled looks on Weather Channel anchor’s faces at the prospect of death and destruction. It calls to mind Don Henley’s song, Dirty Laundry.

We learn things about ourselves via meditation and self-observation, thus becoming, the Spectator. By being self-aware, we can learn to observe both the “bad” and the “good” with curiosity and watchfulness without becoming intoxicated by the spectacle. Why did I put bad and good in quotes in the previous sentence? I think most of us can agree January 6thwas bad, however, I’m hopeful, and will pray, for the good that can come from it. My initial hope is that it was so over-the-top for some fence-riders we’ll see real change.

Occasionally there’s a simple reason for things rather than some far-reaching conspiracy. Yes, Coach Doug Pederson of the Eagles likely tanked for a better draft pick when he pulled Jalen Hurts. He was fired the day before I submitted this column. (To those of you not familiar with how the NFL works, teams with crappy records will “tank” or throw games to ensure their record reflects their crappiness. A terrible record means you get better or higher picks of the stud players looking to come out of college to the pro ranks.)

I submit it’s lazy to buy into certain narratives without feeling into the heart of the matter with our intuitions. The onion may not be what you think it is. Now, more than ever, is the time to ask yourself if this (whatever “this” is) is the hill you want to die on. Only the individual can answer such questions.