I’d heard about this event last week, but it managed to cause such a small blip on my radar that I intended to simply let it pass without a second thought. Well, I’m bored.
Apparently last weekend here in Los Angeles, a small group of like-minded individuals gathered together in the convention hall at the Sheraton Hotel under the perceived auspices and their undying confidence in the straw-grasping that is 9/11 conspiracy theory. I say apparently because I can’t even find a simple news story on the web concerning this small meeting of small minds.
They called it the “American Scholars Symposium.” Ahem. I wonder if they intentionally left out any verbiage relating to 9/11, and particularly conspiracy theories, in order to avoid the inevitable bad press that would generate as a result of their two-day symposium. Most likely.
Anyway, here’s their website.
Their list of speakers is fairly dubious. Most notable is the high school flunky, Dylan Avery. Dylan crafted a passably produced, if obviously ridiculous, film called “Loose Change” that focused on the actual airline attacks during the morning of 9/11. Dylan also performed double-duty as the narrator, and damn, he has an annoying voice.
Here’s a kid who failed to graduate with his high school class in 2001, and yet he’s managed to ignite the conspiratorially weak-minded with what many consider a brilliant essay on what officially happened on 9/11. Personally, I can’t help but laugh at the absurdity of it–this situation, and his film.
On their front page, in large text near the middle they boldly state concerning the convention “Two Days of Truth Facing the Facts.” Um… yeah. Don’t facts equal truth? Is not truth a summation of facts, or more accurately a conformity to facts? How can truth face facts if the outcome has already been ordained? I know I’m nitpicking, but if this banal slogan is representative of what they’re trying to accomplish, then perhaps the American Scholars Symposium needs to look towards professionals, such as an actual PR company, to promote their causes and events.
If anything, this convention, and those like it, prove the old adage that birds of a feather flock together, and so will pigs and swine. These people don’t care about truth, or what they would consider dissenting viewpoints. They think they’re right. But the burden of proof is on them. This is not an argument about determinism and free-will. This isn’t akin to an atheist demanding evidence for the existence of God. I am not required to prove anything. 9/11 Conspiracy theorists must be the ones to present compelling evidence in order to overturn what is regularly accepted through eyewitness accounts, scientific evidence, and common sense. These people would rather raise absurd questions. And raise them over and over and over. That’s all they do. They’re entire belief system is contingent upon a never ending stream of “what ifs.”
If we’re lucky though, perhaps this will be their only convention in LA. Of course, there are a lot of quacks and morons out there willing to latch onto anything that can give them some sort of community, wrapping themselves in insipid conspiracie theories, while simultaneously trivializing those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.
Release date: By 18 April, 2006