Page 13 - The 'X' Chronicles Newspaper - March 2019
P. 13

The World Is Flat! Are You Kidding?                                                                                    13

               Why The Flat-Earth                        landing” – is counterfeit, make-believe         anesthetic effects and wake up to the flat reality.
                                                         testimony to hoodwink the masses.               Flat-earth talk is both superior and defensive.
             Movement Is The Best                               “Facts” themselves are highly suspect,   And the rhetoric suggests a sort of proud
                                                         naturally. Science is a long con. Do some       alienation: Flat-Earthers are alone, but only
                    Symbol Of The                        research. The truth is out there.               because they’re the only ones courageous
            Increasingly Diminished                             Ahem.                                    enough to see the world as it really is.
                                                                This drivel isn’t the product of my             Flat-earth memes – of which there seem
                Value Of Truth And                       imaginative fancy. These are the convictions –  to be tens of thousands – tend to be equal parts
                                                         the firm, unrelenting beliefs – of the Flat-    condescending, thin-skinned, hostile and flighty.
                       Intelligence                      Earthers, a group which – as its sobriquet would  They are, as a general rule, ineptly designed,
                                                         suggest – insists that the earth is not round, that  conspicuously ugly, repetitive, illogical and
           The rhetoric suggests a sort of proud         it is protected by a glass dome and that the    painfully unfunny. They are one Minion away
                                                         prevailing mistruths about its shape represent a  from resembling the kind of low-res gag pics
           alienation – Flat-Earthers are alone,
                                                         global conspiracy of indoctrination and control.  your  Aunt posts on Facebook.  And yet these
           but only because they’re the only ones
                                                         Or not “global,” I suppose, but in any case     crude campaigns to proselytize seem to be
          courageous enough to see the world as          pernicious and worldwide.                       working.
                          it really is.                         This lunatic fringe is inflexible, tireless     Kyrie Irving, point guard for the
                                                         and cannot be persuaded by evidence or reason.  Cleveland Cavaliers, has declared repeatedly

                        Calum Marsh                      Their dogma has long infected social media and  that the world is flat – no doubt about it; indeed,
                                                         contaminates the bored and gullible every day.  it’s “not even a conspiracy theory.” Shaquille
                                                         Part trend, part cult, and part virus, the flat-earth  O’Neal recently outed himself as a believer too
          We live on a miles-deep disc of rock and soil, a
                                                         movement is as good a symbol as any of the      before backtracking and saying he was only
          flat circle fixed in place and quite immobile.
                                                         diminished value of truth and intelligence in   kidding. Professional celebrity Tila Tequila is a
                 Right in the centre, like the spindle of a
                                                         2017 — and its constituency continues to grow   militant Flat-Earther. The rapper B.o.B. tweets
          turntable, stands what we call the North Pole,
                                                         at an alarming rate.                            his opinions on the subject with tenacious
          around which the continents are variously
                                                                 As any enterprising schoolboy will tell  regularity. Pro-wrestlers and star athletes have
          organized. Around those continents stretch the
                                                         you, misconceptions about the shape of the      pledged allegiance to their faith in a flat earth.
          ocean: vast tracts of water spanning away from
                                                         Earth were convincingly rectified some time in  The movement has claimed luminaries of stage
          the land in every direction as far as the eye can
                                                         6th century BC; that the planet is a sphere had  and screen.
                                                         been postulated by Pythagoras, corroborated by         Always their reasoning is the same: have
                 At the ocean’s end towers Antarctica – or
                                                         Aristotle and further authenticated – with greater you actually considered the idea seriously?  A
          rather, the Antarctic Ice Wall, an insurmountable
                                                         and greater accuracy – by mathematicians and flat earth just makes sense.
          200-foot glacial rampart that surrounds the
                                                         astronomers thereafter, until it was demonstrated      The sense it makes to believers is worth
          world on all sides. And above everything looms
                                                         outright by circumnavigation in early 16th scrutinizing, ludicrous as it may be. It’s not so
          a dome made of an adamantine glass. It’s called
                                                         century AD. Belief in a flat earth has always much that the flat-earth movement offers
          The Firmament. It protects us from harm and
                                                         been, in essence, a pre-scientific – or anti- compelling evidence or data inconsistent with
          keeps the sun and the moon and the air inside.
                                                         scientific – delusion.                          the usual models. It’s not so much that the
                 The sun and the moon, of course, are
                                                                 And yet despite this the belief endures — movement trades in facts at all.  What the
          very small and very close together. Both hang in
                                                         and in strange places. Today the flat-earth gospel revelation of their belief is founded on, instead,
          the air not far from the ground.  They loop
                                                         thrives on Facebook and  YouTube, shared by is instinct, feeling and the facts of what we can
          around us, heating and lighting different areas
                                                         way of memes and image macros, and on plainly perceive.
          locally, and seem to disappear from view
                                                         websites that look like they were designed in the
          periodically – not because they’re dropping
                                                         mid-1990s. Like other popular conspiracy                               (Continued on Page 15)
          beneath the horizon, but because they’re moving
                                                         theories, it beckons outsiders with a language of
          too far away to see.
                                                         fraternity, suggesting that those who accept the
                 It goes without saying that nobody has
                                                         truth become at once a part of an intimate,
          ever left the surface of the earth and bypassed
                                                         enlightened group; a fellowship of those in the
          the dome: every nation’s space program is a
          hoax, every soi-disant astronaut is a liar and all
                                                                 You’re exhorted to submit, to surrender,
          photographic evidence to the contrary – the
                                                          to accede to some higher wisdom. The facts as
          pictures of our planet from outer space, the
                                                          ordinary people understand them are a mere
          many images of the solar system, and especially
                                                          narcotic, and you’re urged to shake off the
          every snapshot of the preposterous “moon
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