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The Inside Job

When I first started my presentation on 9/11 conspiracy theories, I was a little uncomfortable. While it was a subject I was interested in learning more about – admittedly I’m kind of weird and love learning about things like this – I also felt horribly un-American. Maybe I’m too quick to place trust in authority, but I couldn’t get behind the idea that my government (our government, actually) had done this to boost the economy. It was silly and offensive and frankly, I considered finding something else to do my report on.

By the time I was finished with the presentation, I had a new outlook. I still won’t ever be able to say that 9/11 was an “inside job,” but after looking at the evidence, I see how it’s easy for others to believe that. Of course, as obvious by my presentation, I hadn’t even bothered to think about why people would believe that evidence – not because I didn’t care, but because I just didn’t know. The only reason I had was, “There’s evidence and maybe that’s all they need.”

I liked hearing the reasons everyone came up with for why 9/11 conspiracy theories hold the weight that they do. There are people who like to feel smarter than everyone else, there are people who take comfort in hearing the worst – it’s true. That might not be how I feel, but it’s important to understand that there are those who do, and that’s why they believe things you or I would (and do) consider to be outlandish.

Interestingly enough, the subject of conspiracy theories came up over the weekend. A friend of mine at another college had watched something on a typical guy channel (you know, Discovery or National Geographic) and was going on and on about how I “really needed to see this documentary” because “it was kind of cool.” I was surprised by my reaction. Before working on this oral report, I’m sure I would have dismissed it and/or called it ridiculous. Instead I settled in to watch this program on how the measurements of a Boeing do not coincide with the measurements of the hole in the Pentagon.

I still had a snide quip every so often, but it was much easier to see after I had done my own research.


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