A Culture Of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions In Contemporary America

2495 words - 10 pages

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a conspiracy theory is a belief or idea that some covert and influential institution is responsible for an unexplained event or secret plot largely unknown to the commonwealth (Conspiracy Theory, 2013). Many nations have these circulating rumors of perfidious authority; however, it has been observed frequently that the United States of America is a uniquely fertile land for individuals to suspect high-ranking government organizations, or other powerful societies, are plotting to do something unlawful or harmful to American citizens. Viren Swami, a psychology professor researching beliefs of conspiracy theorists at the University of Westminster, suggested, “the best predictor of belief in a conspiracy theory is belief in other conspiracy theories”. This is because of the psychological phenomenon referred to as confirmation bias, the tendency to be more aware of evidence that supports what someone already knows or believes to be true (Koerth-Baker, 2013). In other words, when people lose faith in authority and begin to doubt the assumed truths proposed by officials then suspicions spread like a contagion and soon develop immunity to logic. Multiple examples of this contagious conspiracy ideology have been constructed over the years such as: man never walked on the moon; extraterrestrial beings have crash-landed on Erath; and a totalitarian one-world secret government has assumed all power. These undisclosed schemes appeal to conspiracy theorists through their creative presentation of evidence and seemingly plausible narrative. However, of the most proclaimed theories, two stand above the rest as the most proclaimed conspiracies—the disturbing assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy and the devastating terrorist attack of September 11, 2001. Both conspiracy theories employ evidence and narrative similarly in order to advocate their particular point of view to the public.
The conspiracy theory involving John F. Kennedy precipitated from the events of Friday, November 22, 1963. On that day, President Kennedy and First Lady Jackie Kennedy arrived in Dallas, Texas for a presidential campaign with Texas governor John Connolly and his wife Nellie. The Commander-in-Chief and his party led a motorcade through the downtown metropolis in an open-topped presidential limousine. Trailing the limousine was the Secret Service, Dallas Police, and Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson. The motorcade entered Dealey Plaza at 12:30pm, Central Standard Time, and was greeted by a jubilant throng of onlookers, many of who were recording precious home videos of the occasion. President Kennedy waved to the masses from the back right seat, behind Governor Connolly and beside Jackie Kennedy, as they passed the Texas School Book Depository building. Suddenly, thunderous eruptions echoed over the crowd and President Kennedy simultaneously raised his hands to his throat and Governor Connolly rocked forward in his seat, a...

Find Another Essay On A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America

Protestant Visions Of America Essay

2151 words - 9 pages Protestant Visions of America Parker Bunbury ATL 150 Section 004 INTRO Protestants saw in America a dream, and they came here in hopes of making that dream of an idealist society under God come true. Three very influential Protestants from various stages of the religions evolution and resettlement to the United States are John Winthrop, Jonathan Edwards, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. These men are largely the reason that today the dream

Contemporary Religion in America Essay

791 words - 3 pages society, as a whole, feel it needs to know? America is a melting pot of culture and race. Thus, bringing many different types of religious faiths to today’s society. Whether the beliefs are ancient, new, reconstructed or if people have no faith at all, it is all in America. It is difficult to scrutinize one religion without it concerning another. All religions have diverse beliefs ranging from; the belief of salvation through a higher being, to

A Critical Assessment of the Harry Potter Phenomenon in Contemporary British Culture

1918 words - 8 pages Introduction The first Harry Potter book came out in 1997, and no one at the time could imagine that in the 10 years that followed, it would become the most read children’s book and a $6.4 billion worth film franchise. The aim of this essay is to try to explain the reason for the popularity of the Harry Potter books. The aim is also to show the changes that the series caused, how they influenced the people who read them, how they had an

A Conspiracy Of Silence

765 words - 3 pages Conspiracy of Silence Conspiracy of Silence by Lisa Preist is the life of four boys after murdering a native girl just outside of The Pas. There were many pieces of evidence presented in the book to prove who killed Betty Osborne. The evidence was small and limited but it was eventually for a trial. There was a lot of racism in the book that had a lot to do with the outcome of the trial. Racism isn't always apparent in the book but it is a never

Evangelical Christianity in Contemporary America

3596 words - 14 pages , 3). A study published in The Western Political Quarterly journal stated, “Fundamentalist and non-fundamentalist evangelicals … share many core beliefs, [but] tend to differ primarily in terms of their attitudes toward cooperation with other Christians and in terms of their attitudes towards the Christian’s relationship to contemporary culture” (Smidt). The research concluded that “fundamentalist evangelicals tend to be more likely than non

The American Dream Conspiracy in Death of a Salesman

1747 words - 7 pages Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman tells the story of the failure of a salesman, Willy Loman. Although not all Americans are salesmen, most of us share Willy’s dream of success. We are all partners in the American Dream and parties to the conspiracy of silence surrounding the fact that failures must outnumber successes.(Samantaray, 2014) Miller amalgamates the archetypal tragic hero with the mundane American citizen. The result is the anti

Tim Burton: A Man of Many Visions

724 words - 3 pages “Visions are worth fighting for. Why spend your life making someone else’s dreams?” These are the words of Tim Burton, a renowned director who plays by his own rules when creating a story for the big screen. Growing up different from most kids, Burton was influenced by many unique people and movies such as Edgar Allen Poe, Dr. Seuss, and German Expressionist films. He used their styles to create many memorable films himself, such as Edward

Contemporary Japanese and American Cinematic Visions of the Apocalypse and PostApocalypse

2749 words - 11 pages distinction between apocalypse and post apocalypse, which will be examined later. The post apocalypse is a term describing the aftermath of an apocalyptic event, and usually centers around the dystopian society caused by the event. While both the contemporary American and Japanese cinematic visions of the apocalypse and post apocalypse both rely on visually stimulating imagery, they differ in their depiction of the apocalypse in their victim versus

Visions of Utopia in Bellamy's Looking Backward

744 words - 3 pages Visions of Utopia in Looking Backward   Edward Bellamy addressed many of the topics crucial to the development of a civilization in his book, Looking Backward. In the story he addresses several different features of years past utopias. Some being "universal harmony, distribution of occupation according to individual aptitudes, equality of reward, universal ease and comfort, reduction of hours of labor, suppression of idleness, of

Visions of Prisons in the Future

2471 words - 10 pages History 2001"). As a result, governments turned more and more to imprisonment as a serious form of punishment."Reforms in the 1900s have led to further improvement of prisons. A prisoner who receives an indeterminate sentence is confined to prison for a range of years" ("Prison Systems History 2001"). For example, a parole board, based on the inmate's behavior while in prison, determines the actual amount of time served. "By the 1960s, many people

Visions of a Perfect Society Illustrated in Machiavelli's The Prince and Thomas More's Utopia

518 words - 2 pages prince.The Utopians have a seemingly democratic form of government as educated people elect their leaders and then those leaders elect the prince. To conclude, the visions of a perfect society vary from person to person. Machiavelli wrote of a society where a prince is in charge. ‘The Prince’ is a book of guidelines, if you will. More wrote of a so called perfect society. He describes the government of Utopia, policies, people, etc… Utopia is

Similar Essays

Historical And Contemporary Aspects Of Food And Culture In America And The Influence Of Cuban Cuisine

1392 words - 6 pages such as Guava, and Papaya are also a favorite. The Caribbean region consists of several islands and countries. This paper seeks to specifically study cuisine from Cuba and its influence on food and culture in America. Geographic Overview, Cuba is a large island located west of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, and South of the United States and the Bahamas. The terrain is flat with gently rolling plains, and has hills and mountains of up to

Why Are Culture And Identity Such Contested Terrain In Contemporary America?

2149 words - 9 pages When considering American culture and identity, one could argue that there is no such thing, since contemporary America is home to a cultural and ethnic mix so great that it cannot be considered as a whole; alternatively, American culture and Identity may be seen as an amalgam of social and cultural differences from the many ethnic groups that inhabit this great continent. These two opposing ideas, of a "salad bowl" (the former) and a "melting

An Essay About The Apocalyptic Visions In Beowulf.

1915 words - 8 pages warriors dead and gone, the few that have come to help lay drained of life in the nearby forests.Then one day a mighty Geat by the name of Beowulf leaves from Geatland on a mission to free the Danes of their terrible evil.Beowulf, a great warrior from the court of King Hygelac hears of poor Hrothgar's troubles and sets out on a quest to kill the vile demon, Grendel. This is where the apocalyptic notions become even greater. Beowulf, granted, he is

Visions Of America Essay

2170 words - 9 pages Visions of America The importance of American landscape painting in the nineteenth century extended far beyond the borders of the art world. The nineteenth century in America was a paradoxical time in which great nationalism and “enormous self-confidence and optimism” merged with growing disunity (Wilmerding 54), and the glow of “progress” was inextricably tied to the destruction of the majestic landscape that was a source of American