You can go for months without a decent conspiracy to sink your teeth into, and then, out of nowhere, comes Edward Snowden with his NSA secrets and his real life fugitive adventures.
It's all culminated with this quote from Ron Paul: "I'm worried about, somebody in our government might kill him with a cruise missile or a drone missile."
This crosses two conspiracies, the one where Obama is watching us all like Big Brother and the one where Obama is killing American citizens whenever he wants.
Actually, Obama does seem to be killing American citizens whenever he wants, at least ones that are connected with terrorism, but I still submit that despite being all that, he is probably still less dangerous and heinous than George W. Bush, or, more importantly, Dick Cheney, mostly because when I think of the Obama presidency, I think mostly of a massive, symbolic shrug.
Regardless, the scope of the NSA whistle-blowing is both shocking and no surprise at the same time. At least to me. I won't speak for you. What I want to know is, why isn't Fox News calling me for my views on the subject? In this very column, following the Boston bombings, I argued that it was no big deal to install surveillance cameras on every street corner to watch our every move because we already live in a surveillance state -- willingly -- thanks to our cell phones and computers. Now that world has been revealed as true.
There I was, being right and in print, yet, and no one's asking me to be a talking head. I use my big mouth to criticize the Obama administration out in the open -- no cowering behind emails for me -- and I still sit at home, waiting for the phone to ring.
Some, like The Onion, have made the point that we are all for gathering of our private information if it is a corporation trying to use the data for marketing in order to sell us something. That's why you get all those dumb ads in your Gmail, on Facebook, pretty much everywhere.
Television producer David Simon wrote a lengthy piece about how we, in theory, are all for surveillance if it wins the war against terrorism, it's just it makes us very oogly when we hear about it actually going on so we can have all the technological wonders we embrace (davidsimon.com/we-are-shocked-shocked).
He's right. We want to be able to check in places, but we sure don't want to be tracked doing it.
But I actually think that it's less the surveillance that people are objecting to than some of the circumstances surrounding it.
The problem is that even with all this surveillance, the Boston Marathon bombings still happened, and to listen to some in Russia, it's entirely the fault of the FBI, who blew off warnings about one of the bombers. Meanwhile, their overzealousness in combating terrorism lead to several cases where the so-called culprits were set-up, step-by-step, by the FBI and probably would have done nothing without their help.
This is what we trade our privacy for? All of us out here would feel better about it if we got something out of it. At least with private companies, we get special offers for great products and services. Not much, but something.
And the problem is that Obama just further shrugs about the whole issue.
Maybe we should just shrug, too. After all, they're tear-gassing protesters in Turkey, so what have we got to complain about? Oh, yeah, that's right -- that was happening in our own country a couple years ago, back when, who was president? Bush! No, wait, he just shuffled protests into special gathering areas.
Obama again. Damn! Did I say he was less dangerous than Bush? Ouch!
Now I understand that Obama did not personally order attacks on Occupy protesters any more than he is personally reading our email, but I think the lesson here is that even though of us who didn't think miracles were going to happen upon his election, we at least thought things would get better.
My conspiracy theory? Obama is and has always been a secret Republican dupe. It's the only explanation at this point.
I should just look at the bright side: If I sent out this column as an email, I would be worried, but in plain sight in a newspaper, I don't know if anyone's watching.
John Seven is the Transcript's arts and entertainment editor. He blogs at blogs.thetranscript.com/arts.