Friday, February 29, 2008

Say It Ain't So

Marion Cotillard, who just won an Oscar for her portrayal of Piaf, seems to be an eager subscriber to conspiratorial explanations of 9/11, à la Thierry Meyssan. This celebrity gossip would hardly be worth reporting if it weren't a sign that the dumbfounding popularity of Meyssan's nonsense in France hasn't yet dissipated.


Anonymous said...

Mr. Goldhammer scoffs at Marion Cotillard belief that 9/11 was a conspiracy. He refers to “the dumbfounding popularity of Meyssan's nonsense in France.” News flash Mr. Goldhammer, many Americans believe that 9/11 was a some sort of a US conspiracy. Wikipedia summarizes the polls here:

A Scripps Howard/Ohio University 2006 poll found 25-36 % of Americans give some credence to conspiracy theories. An MSNBC poll said 76% of respondents believed the U.S. government covered up the real events of the 9/11 attacks. A Zogby International poll for in 2007 found that 31 percent of Americans do not accept the official explanation for Sept. 11.

Admittedly, the 9/11 conspiracy field is obscured with tons of wild, silly, demonstrably incorrect assumptions and conclusions. But there remain huge gaps in the “official” story, serious scientific debate about the physics of the tower collapses and the Pentagon impact, huge shortcomings in the 9/11 commission report, and suspicious censorship and inconsistencies in the official US government reaction to the events. You don’t have to be paranoid to suspect something fishy behind this mountain of spin, obscurity, and outright lies.

As many observers have pointed out, the real incredible conspiracy theory is the official story that a dozen poorly trained Arabs – whose identities are stil in doubt -- pulled off the biggest terror strike in history under the unwitting nose of US air force defenses, the Pentagon, the entire US intelligence community, and the Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration’s Air Traffic Control System.

Anonymous said...

Conspiracy theories appeal to many people because they offer reassurance that someone (namely the evil conspirators) is in control of the world and that the bad things that happen aren't the result of uncontrollable forces or chance. From a European point of view, it would be quite comforting to believe that the CIA was behind 9/11, since it would mean that the CIA was still in control. Conspiracy theorists will claim the CIA is evil, but they also know the CIA has never done anything unpleasant to them. (The CIA, though evil, never seems to pick on the customers of the average Parisian cafe or Berlin kneipe.) The typical European (or American) who believes the CIA was behind 9/11 also believes that they have been secretly running just about everything since World War 2. But the last 50 years have been a rather pleasant and comfortable time to be a European. How reassuring to believe that those good times will continue ... the alternative is to face a world in which random crazies go around killing people for no good reason. That's a lot scarier than the CIA.
- Jim

Mary Fernandez said...

Thanks, Jim, saved me from saying it.

How sad for Marion. Next I'll hear she a Paulian and believe's Elvis is alive.

Anonymous said...

"the real incredible conspiracy theory is the official story that a dozen poorly trained Arabs...pulled off the biggest terror strike in history"

Are Arabs unable to undertake concerted action? Does the federal government not rather often mess up important things? What's really scary is how little conspiracy is in fact needed to explain everything.

more interesting to me is whether various sorts of conspiracy theories play better in France or the US.

Anonymous said...

Hi Arthur!

I must confess that in France, she's not the only one to doubt about the official version of the Bush administration. Even if we can't believe in all thierry Messan's theory!

And some people are saying that he's a former french "RG" agent. I can't believe that for the moemnt, because i can't believe everything!

Because i looked about this "paris premiere" emission with marion cotillard, and i doubt as she doubt!

The only thing i find, that for one time that a "star" makes her brain work although to follow what the official said, i'm with her, without to know if conspiracy in that case is the good or the false way to see those events.

Just because i have only one question : As the conspiracy theory are always laughed at, how a smart guy can make an "hold-up" and be innocent easily by playing on the mistrust about conspiracy theory?

Because one thing is sure : where is the gold under the 7th building?

And as an civil engeener, i must confess that the 11th september, when I looked at the tower falling, I first think as a joke, just because, by experience, a tower can't fall like this just by accident!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Jim wrote: "Conspiracy theories appeal to many people because they offer reassurance that someone (namely the evil conspirators) is in control of the world." So-called conspiracy theorists include many smart people with inquisitive minds. If they needed the reassurance of simple models and answers, they wouldn't be asking questions and investigating odd phenomena, they'd be content with the six o'clock news version of the world, which AnonJim seems to prefer.

Anonymous said...

Interesting to have a look at the several hundreds comments from readers to Marianne magazine subsequent to the article: The vast majority of them consider Cotillard's Conspiracy theories as more or less valid -not only 9/11 but also man never walked on the moon ( Common point: America is behind the so-called plots) This is linked not only to the current strength of irrationality (in France !), but also to the anti-imperialism and anti-US movement in both the French elite and uncultured youth. As a French myself, I see it as the the dominant framework, by which Sarkozy's unpopularity should be
analyzed (not his marriage or personality features)

Anonymous said...

Conspiracy theories are not just a French anti-American phenomenon. They are globally popular (Canadians and Russians suspect their government ofdeceiving them too).

But the battle over 9/11 is not just about determining culprits, it is now about controlling public discourse and silencing individualistic dissent.

The battle starts with langauge valences: "conspiracy theorist" is a biased, dismissive term, now synonymous with kook or crackpot. But many "conspiracy theorists" could also be called sceptics, freethinkers, whistleblowers, and independant investigators. They have much in common with Voltaire, Galileo and others who questioned establishment pieties and paradigms. Despite being attacked by vast political and religious establishments, these freethinlers uncovered important truths which we now accept as gospel. The anti-conspiracy theory lobby is really an anti-independant thinking lobby.

Personally, I am less "terrorized" by the culprits behind 9/11 than I am by the subsequent actions taken by Western governments "in our name" to boost media monopolies, control information, increase surveillance, invade privacy, reduce constitutional rights, and widen the divide between rich and poor. I do not feel safer now than on 9/12, because I feel that post-9/11 States have armed themselves and their industrial and ideological allies to combat opposition and individualism in any form, not just Muslim Jihadists.