So my dad is a full blown conspiracy theorist
Which makes it all but impossible to have a normal conversation with him. We literally can’t even talk about the weather, because the mere mention of rain is reason enough to tell me how climate change is a hoax that somehow ties into nanobots coursing through my veins because I was stupid enough to blindly follow the mainstream media and get vaccinated and also I don’t really believe amateur pilots can fly a plane into a building, now do I?
Actually, that sounds exactly like the work of amateurs to me, but let’s not get sucked into the actual discussion about conspiracy theories.
Basically, the only thing my dad and I can agree upon is that the Earth is not flat and that god probably deserves little credit for it. Other than that we live in two completely different realities, in more than one way.
He lives in a remote little town somewhere in Ontario, his internet connection the only connection to the world outside. One could argue he was already social distancing before it became cool.
I live in The Hague, which although not a techtropolis by any means, is a thousand times more worldly than my dad’s habitat.
In the old and more innocent days of the internet, let’s say up until the time people stopped paying for porn, I would regularly visit my dad in Canada. The last time was in 2009. Back then, he was convinced 9/11 was an inside job and naturally didn’t think for one second Lee Harvey Oswald fired any magic bullets.
Other than that, he was just another boomer who distrusted the government that had enabled him to be a homeowner with a steady pension.
I mean, if the government really wants to control my dad and his wokeness, they could cut his pension, but let’s not digress into making sense of things.
Distrust I guess became part of my dad’s DNA on account of his very religious upbringing. Being an intelligent person, my dad at an early age realized that religion is an unsubstantiated fairytale and distanced himself from blindly following anything that was presented to him.
Yes, the irony.
His hate for religion turned him into someone who now religiously believes in conspiracies.
I suppose it makes sense. Once you start poking plot holes in religion and ask yourself if virgins really can get pregnant, the question of whether airplane fuel can melt steel seems equally sound and scientific.
Of course my dad hasn’t seen Jane the Virgin and buildings don’t need to melt before they crumble, but let’s not get sucked into that.
My dad wasn’t born a radical conspiracy theorist who’s aching for millions of vaccinated people to drop dead so he can have the I hate to say I told you so but I told you so-moment that eclipses all other orgasms that came before. In fact, around the time I was born he was an avid peace protester, fighting against nukes at a time when people still very much had their finger on the trigger.
Nothing too extreme, but very much one note though.
Emotional maturity, introspection and all that self help-section stuff has never really appeared on my father’s radar it seems. Instead personal growth to him always equated gaining more knowledge. First by reading books, later by reading the internet, lately by following wherever the algorithms took him.
Cut to 2021 and he’s now an expert climatologist, virologist, economist, engineer, astronomer and someone who’s more or less very much okay with people getting shot in the face when they ask others to wear a facemask.
Which is kind of the reason I snooze my dad when he tries to call me on Skype.
Whenever I talk to my dad, it’s either an exhausting attempt at smalltalk, a heated discussion about why it’s really not okay for him to tell his gay son how HIV is a hoax, or a weird hybrid like the plandemic is just a pretext for the powers that be to force a vaccine down our throats to eventually kill us all, oh speaking of dying, Kenny’s mother died a few weeks ago, did you know her, it was very sad.
Basically any conversation with my dad is either a discussion about what reality is or a summary of recently deceased people I never met.
Between the two, getting sucked into fake moon landings is the preferable option.
Because one thing me and my dad have in common is that we love being right.
I don’t often get myself into heated debates because I’m much too malleable and my backbone is made up of Flotsam and Jetsam. But with conspiracy theories, winning an argument is easier than looking at the moon. For someone who never wins an argument with sane people, conspiracy theorists are like cocaine to me: I hardly ever use it, but when I do, I go to town on them.
So whenever my dad ventures off into the subject of dying distant family, I tend to steer him back a little: Kenny’s mother died you say, you think it was from covid?
And within seconds Bill Gates is out to kill me and I get to point out why that’s clinically insane.
It was fun for a while, but early this year, as people started getting vaccinated, my dad became aggressive as a radicalized 71 (72?) year old would: by writing lengthy emails that explained in detail – actually, they were very much lacking in details – how taking a covid shot would be akin to signing my death warrant.
Or being subjugated, mind controlled or immunocompromized. His emails lacked consistency here and there.
So I wrote back, pointing out the inconsistencies in his email.
To which he wrote back, pointing out the inconsistencies in my inconsistencies.
So I took his email and pointed out every logical fallacy
I learned about at univserity I could google.
I’m not gonna lie: it was really gratifying to be able to use fancy terms like non sequitur, cherry picking, unfounded assertion or appeal to fear as a means to show someone they were demonstrably wrong, even if that person is half the reason I exist.
I suppose there are people in this world who can be on the right sight of history without becoming pedantic, but when someone tells me vaccines contain nanobots to be used as tracking devices it requires inhuman amounts of strength to not be like Jesus fucking christ, dad, my cell phone knows where I am and what kind of fraternity porn I jerk off to, how are nanobots anything but a testament to redundancy in that scenario?
As more and more people got vaccinated and responded by not dying or being turned into assassination bots, my dad I believe grew a little anxious. Predicting doom and gloom quickly loses its mojo if both doom and gloom fail to show up.
The tone of his emails became more alienating: vaccinated people, it was “discovered”, shed spike proteins that could harm the unvaccinated. In other words: if you’re not with us, you’re against us.
That’s when I stopped replying to his messages. I had already reveled in pointing out every single one of his fallacies, what more could I do?
The last I heard from him was a very long email that ended with him saying he was worried sick about me. Honestly though, I couldn’t shake the feeling he was worried more about losing an audience for his truth.
However my dad seems to have cognitive dissonanced himself through billions of people getting vaccinated and not dying:
He called me on Skype last Friday. Then again on Friday evening. And on Saturday, twice. I basically just ghost him 80% of the time he tries to get in touch, the same way anyone would ghost a boy who cries wolf all the time. In the end I texted him to agree upon a time for a Skype call, giving me an opportunity to mentally prepare myself for our next drainfest:
Vaccines are still bad of course, but we won’t notice until a few months from now. Apparently the vaccinated will be in danger the moment it gets colder, which I suppose would really suck and already be noticeable for the few people still enjoying a cold climate, such as the ones in Iceland, Scandinavia or fucking Canada itself, but let’s, for the love of the god we both believe is a conspiracy, not get sucked into that discussion.
At least I didn’t when my dad brought it up.
Instead we talked about how I’ve been out of touch for such a long time. He was actually quite pissed about it: “If you don’t want to stay in touch, then just tell me!”
I explained I don’t mind keeping in touch, but that I can’t be talking about conspiracies the entire time. There’s only so much cocaine one can do in any given conversation.
What I didn’t say was that conspiracies are actually the only thing my dad has in his repertoire that is of any interest to me.
Not that it matters, because my dad can’t go two sentences without segueing into conspiracies. And without exception the discussion ends with my dad running out of arguments and resorting to I really don’t understand how you can’t see what’s happening around you, I guess it must be too confrontational or maybe you just don’t care. To which I say I know you don’t understand it, dad.
Before covid, my dad would visit me and the rest of his family and friends in the Netherlands regularly, up until 2020, because Bill Gates – my dad has personally assured me that’s not a non sequitur.
It’s been Skype calls ever since. During our last conversation he lamented how unvaccinated people couldn’t travel anywhere, a few minutes after he predicted they will soon be rounded up in concentration camps. It was hard to tell which one of those bothered him most.
I told him you can get tested and travel just as freely, but no, those test swabs contain nanobots as well, so yeah, my dad’s essentially a political prisoner in the evil Canadian empire, which goes out of its way to prevent my dad from getting covid, the one thing that’s actually out to harm him at the moment.
Given that I have little interest spending my free time in some remote Ontario village with a former peace protester who’s grown fond of condoning murder, and that my dad might soon be deported to a concentration camp for refusing to cough in his arm, I don’t see my dad and I sharing a meal anytime soon.
Shame, cause I would’ve served him a delicious bolognese pasta with nanobots:
How to make nanobot pasta
Spaghetti, 100 grams per person
Ground beef, as much as you’re comfortable with, the climate’s fucked either way
Red bell pepper
If vaccinated people shed spike proteins that harm the unvaccinated, wouldn’t this be a great incentive for antivaxxers to finally do some social distancing? And can fun facts really end with question marks?
Anyway, boil the pasta in salted water for however long it says on the package. For reasons unclear to me it’s always some small print in an inconspicuous corner that takes forever to find, meaning pasta manufacturers are bad at UX design or they’ve conspired to annoy us. I for one am gonna be doing some Google I mean research to look it up.
In the meantime, throw the meat in a baking pan with some olive oil – yes, I forgot to add ‘olive oil’ to the list of ingredients, my bad – until it looks like eating it won’t give you food poisoning. Then add the chopped onion – oh right, you needed to chop the onion – and let it simmer for a minute or so.
The red pepper and the tomatoes? You can chop those up too and add them to the meat. Add some tomato paste so the whole thing becomes a sauce and not just a collection of randomly paired ingredients.
Add some herbs and a pinch of clove, or whatever unit of measurement cloves come in. Don’t overdo the cloves as it’s a very dominating flavor. The only reason I’m adding it to this recipe is because it’s the way my dad always used to make it, you know, before 9/11 changed everything.
If you’ve come this far and you’re looking at some boiling pasta and a pan with sizzling pasta sauce, what comes next shouldn’t come as a surprise:
Drain the pasta, put it on a plate, add as much of the sauce as you want, throw as much parmesan cheese over it as you seem fit.
Now, to add spike protein and nanobots make sure you hold your pasta within 6 feet of a vaccinated person. They shed that stuff like it’s radiation from a neutron star.
And there you go, pasta the way my dad used to make it, with nanobots sprinkled on top!