Thursday, April 7, 2022

#AtoZChallenge2022: F is for Flat Earth

The A to Z of Conspiracy Theories: F is for Flat Earth

Over the years I have seen and read about some really interesting conspiracies.  The movie JFK starring Kevin Costner really made you think that maybe Lee Harvey Oswald didn't act alone, or maybe that Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna could be alive somewhere, or maybe Roswell was about aliens.   

While thought provoking, all of these are dismissed once the evidence is carefully examined.  Oswald did act alone, DNS proved Anastasia's death, and the government did lie about Roswell, but not about aliens.

But the dumbest conspiracy theory ever has to come from the lead-paint chip-eating crowd behind the Flat Earth Theory.  I even hate to call it a theory since no part of it acts like a true theory.

Essential this brain trust believes the Earth is flat and NASA has been covering up to support the notion of "Globeists."   They are all invariably ultra-religious and start with the claim about God and the "four corners of the Earth" that they take literally.

Let's ignore the poet license people are allowed to take. Or the fact that the Bible was originally written by people that honestly had no idea where the sun went at night AND it was translated, rewritten, re-translated, and so on for centuries.  OR even that Greek mathematician Eratosthenes not only showed that only the earth was round, he also calculated its circumference with an astounding degree of accuracy prior to 200 BC.

They have all decided that not only is the Earth flat, but NASA has been lying to the entire world to...well I am not sure why they think NASA is lying.  Normally in a coverup there are reasons. Money. Power. But the Flat Earthers think NASA is hiding something. 

Let's be 100% honest here.  Flat Earthers are morons.

But what can to give me when it comes to running a NIGHT SHIFT game?


The biggest gripe that Flat Earthers seem to have is that NASA and all the world governments are conspiring together to keep information out of the hands of the ones that seek the truth. 

Let's ignore the fact that such a vast conspiracy would be impossible to pull or let alone maintain, what does NIGHT SHIFT have that the world's governments want to hide?  Easy.  Magic.

The governments of the world, or at least sections of it, know all about magic and their job is to keep that knowledge out of the hands of the unwashed masses.  To that end, they have magical practitioners that help clean up everything and erase memories.  Something akin to an Arcane Men in Black or even like the Cleaners from Charmed (who, interestingly enough wear all white and not all black like the MiB).  In some ways, they are also a bit like the  Technocracy from Mage: The Ascension, but are "pro" magic and "anti" people getting their hands on it.

This group's job is to protect magic, but more importantly, their job is to protect magic from all the "mundanes" and mortals out there.   I am thinking of calling them "The Guardians" or something like that.  They monitor all magic in the world and keep it out of the wrong hands and the wrong minds.

The Guardians either appear as angels, devils, fey creatures or tall humans as the need arises.  In truth they prefer not to be seen at all.


Now I should note that one of my favorite games, Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea assumes a Flat Earth and it works fine there. In fact a lot of the "reality" of AS&SH is built on a lot of the ideas I have been talking about all this month.

Really there is only one Flat Earth worth talking about and that is the 1984 album by Thomas Dolby.

The NIGHT SHIFT RPG is available from the Elf Lair Games website (hardcover) and from DriveThruRPG (PDF).


PT Dilloway said...

Whenever people talk about "flat Earth" I think of Terry Pratchett's Discworld where the flat Earth is on the backs of 4 elephants on top of a giant space turtle.

Lady In Read said...

While I recall my teens telling me about 'flat-earthers' a few years ago, I really did not give it much credence, because really!! Right? But your post opened my eyes to the reality that we do have more people who chose not to think than I initially thought..
My F post is here

Idea-ist said...

I love conspiracies (I know the earth is round!) there tons of fun to make you question the what-ifs and how-do-we-knows of life, but i agree the flat-earthers are cuckoo as the clock sings.GetLostInLit

Chelle said...

I totally agree with your sentiments about the flat earth theory. It's still pretty entertaining to read about, though! lol

Paw Print Pet Blog -

Anjela said...

It's truly amazing the things people will decide to believe. The world being flat takes the cake. Great post . . . and theme idea. Definitely worth revisiting!

Deep One said...

Or maybe flat-earthers get occasional glimpses into an alternate earth that is indeed flat and the party can use these visions to access that plane somehow.

J.S. Pailly said...

With Flat Earthers, I'm never sure when they're being serious and when they're joking. I know some of them really do believe this silliness, but some of them are just trying to troll the rest of us.

Our Place in Space: A to Z

Tasha Duncan-Drake said...

"Flat Earthers are morons." - yep, totally with you on that one. They just blatantly ignore physics.
Tasha's Thinkings: YouTube - What They Don't Tell You (and free fiction)

Arlee Bird said...

Believing that the Earth is flat is absolutely ludicrous. So much to disprove it. To use the Bible to prove their claim makes no sense either. "Four corners" is a metaphorical expression we often use, but it shouldn't be construed to mean the Earth is flat. Once logic is applied taking in consideration time, climate, and what we can see elsewhere in the solar system, the concept of a flat Earth makes no sense whatsoever. I don't know if any of these people would actually choose this theory as their hill to die on.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

A Tarkabarka Hölgy said...

Someone online once suggested there should be a reality show where a flat earther crew sets out in a boat to find the edge. I'd watch it. :D
The Multicolored Diary

Dyanne @ I Want Backsies said...

These same people use the Bible to say women shouldn't cut their hair, because it's their crowning glory. You ever seen those women with the scraggly, long hair hanging raggedly to their knees and full of split ends? Some crowning glory!

martine said...

"the flat earth society has members all across the globe" (real quote, but cant remember where I heard it)

Pun Isaac said...

Everyone knows the world isn't flat. It's actually inside a marble that an alien kid is playing with... or something like that.