Thursday, September 23, 2010

Research into conspiracy theories.

Alright, so i did some research yesterday but I think all the excitement made me so tired I crashed, so here is a blog post full of potential content for my book.

Top Ten Conspiracy Theories of All Time:
This is a handy little website, this page in particular highlights some of the most recognisable. I imagine some of these will make up some of the book, but I'd like to highlight a few less heard ones as well. Using websites such as this as a base, I can begin categorising these theories into groups that could then become chapters, which will instantly provide me with a structure to my book. In fact wikipedia (all smirking aside) has got a page that categorises them here:
'* Event conspiracy theories. The conspiracy is held to be responsible for a limited, discrete event or set of events. The conspiratorial forces are alleged to have focused their energies on a limited, well-defined objective. The best-known example in the recent past is the Kennedy assassination conspiracy literature.
* Systemic conspiracy theories. The conspiracy is believed to have broad goals, usually conceived as securing control of a country, a region, or even the entire world. While the goals are sweeping, the conspiratorial machinery is generally simple: a single, evil organization implements a plan to infiltrate and subvert existing institutions. This is a common scenario in conspiracy theories that focus on the alleged machinations of Jews, Freemasons, and the Illuminati, as well as theories centered on international communism or international capitalists.
* Superconspiracy theories. Conspiratorial constructs in which multiple conspiracies are believed to be linked together hierarchically. Event and systemic are joined in complex ways, so that conspiracies come to be nested together. At the summit of the conspiratorial hierarchy is a distant but all-powerful evil force manipulating lesser conspiratorial actors. Superconspiracy theories have enjoyed particular growth since the 1980s, in the work of authors such as Jim Marrs, David Icke, and Milton William Cooper.'

Another way to categorise them would be by subject, rather than style. i.e. You could have a secret society chapter, which would include freemasons, illuminati and David Icke's lizard people theory etc. Then you could have Aliens which includes Crop circles, Roswell and Area 51 etc. You could have a hoax section that includes the moon landing etc. A deaths section that includes famous deaths and assassinations, including JFK, Kurt Cobain, Elvis etc. and then a Medical section that includes the theory about chem trails in airplanes and fluoride in the water.

Which of these two would be most appropriate for my book though, given that I probably have a maximum of 32 pages? 5 chapters/sections would result in between 5 and 6 pages for each section, where as 3 Sections would provide me with 10 and 11 pages for each section. Things to consider are; how does this effect the way it's read? Do I want something that's free flowing, or do I want something that is quite tightly punctuated by subject changes? The content probably informs this decision, if I want to do something quite scholarly, with a lot of body copy, then 3 chapters would probably work more effectively. If I wanted to do a more summative and quick evaluation of each theory, driven by more visuals, then the more chapters are likely to hold the content together in a better and more structured way. This again can be further defined and decided upon by my audience.

Who goes to the Manchester book fair? Well it's held in the Manchester School of Art section of MMU, which indicates a largely art based audience and a vast amount of potential contacts in the publishing world, therefore it's imperetive that I go with something that promotes what I'm all about. I'm all about doing art books, so I think that I'd rather go with an approach thats less about large amounts of body copy and instead looking at an art book with bold visuals and large headers etc.

This has been a lot of writing because I'm thinking as I go a long and trying to provide some clarity for my ready-to-implode brain. I'm just going to write a conclusion on this massive brain-fart so I know what I'm going with:

-Art book, not a scholarly text, priority on making it visual, not theoretical!
-32 page booklet
-categorised by type into the 5 sections; Secret Societies, Aliens, Deaths, Hoaxes and Medical conspiracies.
-It needs to be informative, but also have a clear concept running through it, that allows it to stand out.
-Something else to think about with this is, what else can I include? a free poster and a t-shirt etc.

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