Conspiracy Theory Rock

In the same vein as the last post, here’s the SNL’s animated skit riffing off of School House Rock – “Conspiracy Theory Rock”

Lorne Michaels has caught some flack for removing this bit from subsequent airings. His argument is simply that the piece isn’t funny. I can see what he means since it’s not laugh-out-loud funny, but I think most of the humor would come from the edginess of seeing SNL deliberately bite that hand that feeds them.

(It’s also possible that Michaels thought the bit was too derivative of another “conspiracy rock” bit doing the rounds.)

There’s also another problem. The bit ignores the weird and wacky lore of secret societies and UFO cover-ups to focus on the issue of corporate control of the media. But is that a conspiracy theory?

In his talk on conspiracy theory, Peter Staudenmaier tries to find the difference between conspiratorial interpretations of events and institutional interpretations. Why is it different to suggest that Jews control the media than it is to suggest that corporations do?

He suggests that if there is a group of people that you could pack up and ship to Mars in order to solve some problem, then you’re more likely to be thinking conspiratorial rather than institutionally. In contrast, an institutional analysis says that if you shipped off the heads of GE then whoever replaced them as owners of NBC would quickly begin acting the same way as the last group did. After all, it is in the interests of the owners to make money and ensure that their companies look good.


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