Oh, no. She said it. My wife seriously believes in the chemtrails conspiracy. I wish she hadn’t told me. I like to think she’s smarter than that. I know she believes in a lot of weird stuff, but some of it gets pretty sad and embarrassing (like the snake oil salesmen who change their voices when they are “channeling” Abraham and other spirits who will bring you wisdom no mortal possibly could.) I love my wife dearly, and since she’s the mother of my children, I like to think she’s a pretty smart cookie. (I still believe she is.) But I sure hope she doesn’t share her brilliant ideas with too many people I know.
When I gasped at her revelation [that she thinks that chemtrails are actively being laced overhead] she said I should try to keep an “open mind.” I didn’t bother responding, but personally I think there’s a HUGE difference between (a) believing laughable, unvalidated, fringe sources spewing BS, and (b) exploring new topics using resources that are generally considered reliable.
Instead of carrying the conversation into what would inevitably become an argument, I just explained that I didn’t think it was a worthwhile discussion. We could probably find much better topics to argue about if we wanted to argue. Fundamentally, with all of her wandering, online, “open-minded” pursuits, I have to decide:
Is this worth arguing about?
The answer is usually “no.” The key caveat is, “Only if it affects the health and wellbeing of our children.” Thank goodness they all moved out before she became more comfortable sharing her “open minded” beliefs in pseudoscience, conspiracy theories, and “spiritual” leaders selling The Secret codes to everlasting life. If she was an anti-vaxxer* and tried to keep our kids from getting vaccinated, that could have been a very serious, heated argument that would really strain our relationship. She would probably stick to her guns and cite all sorts of bad science. She would probably distrust any doctor who disagreed with her, claiming they’re all owned by big pharma and influenced by government mind-control. As this article about a well-publicized anti-vaxxer points out, pseudoscience and conspiracy fans purposely seek out books and websites that support their claims, side-stepping rational input from the scientific community, often because the bogus sources tell everyone that science is tainted or controlled by Big Brother (along with countless other seeds of misguided skepticism). It’s like Donald Trump’s deafening repetition of his phrase, “fake news”! Never mind that he’s a compulsive, pathological liar. All the news he doesn’t like is fake.
I used to also include the caveat, “If it might improve the awareness or health of my wife.” But my dear bride recently told me that she feels that I’m “attacking” her when I send her emails containing information that might not completely align with what she believes in. Her theory as to why she feels like it’s an attack is that she was the baby of her family and her siblings always told her what to do. My theory is that, like anyone, she chooses who to believe in. And as an artist without any formal scientific training, she’s more easily persuaded than convinced. OK, then. End of dialog. While she figures that out, I’m doing my best to stop sending her emails…even the ones that might help her avoid costly quackery so that she might spend her conspiracy-theory-reading time painting, exercising, and generally enjoying a healthy, happy life. It’s her life. She’s a grownup. Now I just send my emails into the ether (this blog) without pissing her off. Then, after getting my concerns off my chest here, I can continue on my happy way without an argument. Relationship saved.
When a persuasive conspiracy theory video hand-picks “evidence” that makes her feel the “science” is bulletproof, she locks in on that belief. She ceases to question her sources once she “believes.” She won’t take a moment to do a search on the legitimacy of her sources. It’s that rock-solid religious mechanism refined by centuries in the Catholic Church and other popular religious cults. Start to believe, keep believing, stop questioning.
I won’t say she’s “gullible” because we all know how clever hackers, entrapment websites and phone solicitors can be. Any one of us can fall for “fake news,” and we need to constantly strive to check our sources. She may not be gullible, but it makes me nervous to think of the things she can be talked into. Once, while she was talking to someone she called after one of the nefarious websites she was visiting claimed she needed to call a technician and pull out her credit card to fix the “virus” that had gotten onto her MacBook, I had to say “hang up now” several times before she finally took my advice.
Chemtrails. That’s a good one. 🤣 I’ll do my best to forget I ever heard her say that. And when I see vapor trails behind a commercial airliner in the sky, I’ll work very hard to keep myself from pointing up and saying to her, “Look honey, chemtrails!”
If YOU get pissed by the emails-to-nowhere written here, feel free to let me know. I had as many older siblings [telling me what to do] as my wife did, but you can tell me what to do all day and I can read/listen without feeling like I’m being attacked. Annoyed, maybe, but that’s something I’m used to.
*She might be, for all I know. I don’t bother asking her because all that would do is plant a seed for a big argument and bring a new wave of disappointment.