“He got hair down to his knee
Got to be a joker
He just do what he please”
–The Beatles, “Come Together”
Today is the birthday of Steve Coogan.
I have nothing esoteric to say about him, I just like Steve Coogan.
But here is an esoteric topic: Flat Earth Theory.
Very recently, Flat Earth Theory made headlines again, as a CBS reporter visited some of these peeps; and of course predictably insane quotes ensued. Basically: CBS Sunday Morning got exactly what they were looking for.
And so inevitably, people ask: how could anyone believe in Flat Earth Theory???
While I do not personally believe in this theory, I will now explain to you how and why people believe in it:
So a bunch of years ago, when rapper B.o.B. was pushing Flat Earth Theory, I began to look into it. And I modestly immersed myself in the theory, just to get a bead on what this was all about.
Flat Earth Theory can be very seductive—especially if you already have a propensity to believe in such notions (“reality is not reality,” we are all in the Matrix, etc.)—because it concretely interacts with one’s sense of “place” in the universe.
If you research this theory, you will soon come across some “exercises” that you can do yourself that allegedly “prove” Flat Earth exists. These exercises specifically deal with you—your physical body—and its relation to the world. So you are not interacting with something an egghead expert said, you’re not interacting with some mathematical figures or read-outs on a computer screen somewhere far away.
This theory basically says: “try this exercise. see? the earth is flat. you can feel it, right?”
And people get quickly immersed in these YouTube videos and podcasts and whatnot…and their perspective starts to change. Because, again: their very immediate, personal sense of physical body placement in relation to the universe has changed.
The problem is: often, Flat Earth Theory gets “bundled” with whatever historical events a person refuses to believe has existed for whatever personal reasons and biases. If They faked the moon landing…what else did They fake? Don’t worry: many many suggestions will be given as to whatever else they think was faked.
My personal opinion is: in terms of this immediate world in which we eat, shit, pay taxes, watch Bojack Horseman, etc.—there are real planets out there, and real space to be transversed. And the Earth—while clearly not a perfect sphere (as per Neil deGrasse Tyson’s own opinion; the idealized spherical shape pushed by NASA and the media only gives fuel to the Flat Earthers, in my opinion)—is a 3D shape, not flat.
Now: are there other dimensions of existence that, if accessed, transcend our current conception of space and heavenly bodies??? I’m open to that. And…you know, contemporary quantum physics is very open to that as well.
Speaking of conceptions of Reality, I recently watched the movie Game Night (despite my best efforts not to). It’s very much like a comedy version of the cult 1997 movie The Game—and I’m just going to spoil EVERYTHING from this point on!
Game Night concerns a “murder mystery” game that turns out to be “real”…but that “real” version turns out to be fake. Only…it really is “real.”
To me, the whole movie is a metaphor for the sorts of LARPs we play online and in fan communities.
The initial LARP is the murder mystery game a group of friends play. The LARP one might play for kicks, like a role-playing scenario.
The second LARP is the (far more real) “game” an obsessed neighbor creates to “get back” at the group (who rejected him). This is a LARP taken to “another level” by one person who takes things too far.
The third LARP is the very real actual international crime scenario the group has found themselves into. This can be seen as akin to shadowy agencies who hijack these LARPs for their own purposes…or LARPs that inadvertently “tap into” something real.
Compare this to Robert Anton Wilson’s bizarre, synchronistic experiences with Discordianism (a “joke” religion) and co-writing the Illuminatus! trilogy (a “satire”).
Did you know that human beings share more than 60% of their DNA with bananas?
Hope you’ve had a good Sunday.