So one of my favorite (and also least favorite) things ever is Internet Conspiracy Theories. They make me giggle. They make me furious. Often at the same time. More accurately, they make me giggle until I realize PEOPLE ARE SERIOUS and then I have a stroke contemplating their ridiculousness.
The vaccines-give-you-autism crowd, for instance. Such delightfully absurd premises! Such refusal to concede even as each and every one of those premises is dashed to hell! It’s a laugh riot, until you remember that children are dying because of this nonsense.
(ASIDE: While I’m here, I’m just going to say that I’m also kind of galled that Jenny McCarthy hasn’t been called out for her ableism. I mean, seriously, Jenny. You don’t care how many kids have to die before we get the never-actually-linked-to-autism-and-also-in-reality-removed-from-vaccines years ago additives out of MMR shots? Because autism is a fate worse than death? Really? Because that is absolutely the message your advocacy has sent, and on behalf of autistic-spectrum folks and their families everywhere, I’m going to eschew nuance and social niceties here and say FUCK. YOU. JENNY MCCARTHY.)
Anyway, don’t EVEN get me started on Birthers. Just don’t. The road from ha-ha-people-are-so-ridiculous to good-lord-people-are-terrifyingly-ignorant-I’m-never-leaving-the-house-again-where’s-the-tin-foil-yes-I-see-the-irony-here-seriously-make-with-the-tinfoil is even shorter.
But every once in a while a conspiracy theory will come along that merely charms me. And such is the case with the…the…dude, I can’t even TYPE this without giggling…the Whoompers. That is, the folks who’ve noticed a stunning likeness between some dude who had a three-second cameo in the 1993 video for Tag Team’s “Whoomp, There It Is!” and the President of This Fair Nation.
The great thing — as the Gawker post points out — about the Whoomp theory is that having been pretty much discredited already, it has evolved and spawned meta-conspiracy theories.
First, there is the thing this is really about race, you know, whiteys’ presumption that all black folks look alike. Which it is, of course, but that’s only part of it. Don’t forget that black people are also cooler than us. Obama, especially, is just sort of cooler than any President we’ve ever had, despite having all sorts of stuffy-ass credentials (like having been a corporate lawyer and attended the very conservative University of Chicago Law School).
I mean, GWB had a broadly-acknowledged fratty affability, sure. Clinton was easily the coolest president we had before that, but he also liked, um, that musical act that I generally refer to as Fleetwood Mac Ewwww Change The Station OMG OMG. (Note: I do admire Stevie Nicks for some reason, and have a particular fondness for “Tell Me Lies,” as it’s the first song my father ever dedicated to me on the radio.)
But Barry’s favorite TV show is The Wire, for crying out loud! And while he was probably actually just working in some shitty, non-air-conditioned office engaged in some particularly un-glamorous aspect of community organizing during the exact three seconds allegedly captured in the video (like I bet he was calling some people for a meeting and had just gotten a busy signal, or maybe he was getting a paper cut while licking an envelope), I believe in my heart that Obama is cool enough to have been in that video. No other president is cool enough to have been in a hip-hop video. Not one. Not even in a weird Ron Howard kind of way.
But there are other facets to this story as well. SO, SO MANY MANY FACETS. Perhaps, I mean, Tag Team — they didn’t have any other big hits, right? Perhaps THEY planted this story as a way to STAGE A COMEBACK! (And if Obama is as cool as I want him to be, he will totally give a wink and nod to the Whoompers by inviting Tag Team to play at the White House sometime!) I mean, seriously, has no one thought of that? Also, I’m not going to fuck up this theory by Googling them only to find out that they’re dead or not talking to each other or something. THAT’S NOT THE POINT.
(EDIT: Just kidding. I have to ruin everything for myself. Except as far as I can tell none of the Whoompers have even contacted TAG TEAM for comment. And there don’t seem to be any “Where are they now?” stories about them anywhere either, except “tag team” is such an overused phrase that it’s hard to really Google this sort of thing anyway. I mostly got wrestling articles. Oh, except this thing — which I remember hearing about as a teenager but assumed was an urban legend or something about how the song was actually ripped from an earlier song, and the lyrics were DELIBERATELY ALTERED to make it sound like they weren’t talking about butts! Which I guess would explain the White House’s silence! Being in a video for a song that is allegedly about butts might not be considered very presidential, in some quarters!)
IN THE ABSENCE of any recent comment from Tag Team themselves, or any word on where they are now I am going to stick by my assumption that they planted this story deliberately, maybe to restart their hip-hop careers, or maybe merely in an act of CULTURE JAMMING. Like, “Sure, we could be out there making really long videos about killing men and feeding them to people, but whatever boring. We’re also responsible for that story about swine flu being totally made up. By the way, who do you think killed Jack Ruby? That’s right. TAG TEAM. BACK. AGAIN.”
EDIT: Via Mark, someone did ask! BARACK OBAMA IS ACTUALLY A RAPPER NAMED LA SNOW. WE’RE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS HERE PEOPLE.