Conspiracy theorists are getting desperate

The conspiracy theories are never going to end. Here’s a new one:

Right. The big ship snarling up the Suez Canal right now is the Evergreen; Jen Psaki founded a company called Evergreen Consulting; therefore…? They don’t say. The feeble connection is enough. Here, let me help you out, loons. Washington is also nicknamed the Evergreen State; it’s liberal and voted for Biden. Evergreen State College is the hyper-liberal college that drove beloved IDW professors Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying away. “Revenger” is an anagram of “Evergreen”, with only one “e” left over. Green is the color of envy, and everyone knows the Demonrats are jealous of Trump. Therefore, Joe Biden owns a container ship that he’s using to confound global trade.

How about another one? The QAnon kooks are very excited about a video artifact that seems to show Joe Biden’s hand passing through a reporter’s microphone, which they say means he was a green screen projection (“green” makes another appearance!). It was just a common glitch, a trick of perspective, but Jack Posobiec, that fucking loon, and Nick Fuentes, that evil racist clown, have declared that it means Biden wasn’t actually there: he was a deepfake or projected digital avatar…which sounds like an awful lot of work to go through to record a guy talking to a group of reporters, who also recorded the “incident” from multiple camera angles.

Now these deranged fanatics are endlessly rewatching a 10-second clip of Biden, dissecting it frame by frame, and breathlessly noting things like a mole appearing on Biden’s right hand that wasn’t there before. They’re declaring now that it was either a digital model or recorded body double of Joe Biden, which means that Biden is actually dead, or never existed, but is definitely not the president, and he’s a puppet controlled by the New World Order, or maybe by Trump, they really aren’t sure.

I want you to know I sure turned up a lot of bizarre websites, which I will not be linking to, in order to find out if there actually are people promoting such patent nonsense. There are. Also, I have now wrecked my search engines and am getting a lot of extremely strange ads, so that was all a big mistake on my part. I should have gone incognito to scout these things out.

By the way, another peculiarity: the majority of the conspiracy theory sites I saw are also packed full of Bible quotes. Religion sure is the mother of bad, lazy thinking.


  1. Dunc says

    The ship is the “Ever Given”. The company that operates it is “Evergreen Marine”.

  2. Rob Grigjanis says

    Religion sure is the mother of bad, lazy thinking.

    What is the parent of bad, lazy aphorisms?

  3. blf says

    @1, @2, Nah, That’s what They™ want you to think ! In reality, the ship (which is real) is neither stuck, in the Suez Canal, and not named the “Ever Given”, albeit its operator is Evergreen Marine.† In realityloonality, the ship was named the “Ever Psaki” until it was photographed emerging from one of Their™ secret subsurface lairs, which rather gave the plot away. Hence, a quick image-manipulation job to make it look like it was in stuck in the Suez Canal, and an even quicker renaming to (depending on how poor one’s non-research and inability to read are) either “Evergreen” or “©AFP”, the most cunning codename “Ever Given”.

    It was Nasa rover Perseverance who imaged the then-named “Ever Psaki” emerging from Their™ previously-secret subsurface Mars station.

      † True factoid: According to Ye Pffft! of All Knowledge, “[t]he ship is owned by Shoei Kisen Kaisha (a shipowning and leasing subsidiary of the large Japanese shipbuilding company Imabari Shipbuilding)”, not Evergreen Marine.

  4. kome says

    The right-wing has been off the deep end for so long that everything is a fucking conspiracy these days. I’d read about the conspiracy theories trying to connect Hillary Clinton to the ship blocking the canal and saying this is proof of her evil child sex trafficking death cult (you know, the one that ran out of a basement that never existed). I guess I shouldn’t be surprised they’re now going after Psaki. She’s a woman in power after all, so she clearly must be evil and up to something in their minds.

  5. citizenjoe says

    There is no Evergreen State College. It is The Evergreen State College. Geoducks!

  6. Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD says

    So was EverGreen Marine the company that operated the ship, or the company that provides pilots to get ships through the Suez canal?

  7. raven says

    …and am getting a lot of extremely strange ads

    I can imagine.
    I’m sure some of them are for tinfoil hats.

  8. Jake Wildstrom says

    The greenscreen business is bizarre because, as you point out, whatever conspiracy it could possibly be in service of would be easier served by, y’know, just holding the presser the normal way. I felt the same way when, looking at a deep dive into how Alex Jones became the terrible person he is, there was a discussion of the conspiracy theory that a video glitch in Anderson Cooper’s interview with Sandy Hook mother Veronique de la Rosa was evidence of greenscreening and that the interview hadn’t really taken place, and I’m thinking, OK, take the conspiracy-theory framing completely at face value, why would they do this particular thing? If Anderson Cooper’s in on it, just do the interview without digital folderol. If Anderson Cooper isn’t in on it, then the whole conspiracy would collapse whenever anyone asked him about it anyways. It’s like someone decided that since digital manipulations are nefarious, conspiracies do them even when they don’t have any reason to.

    Myself, I assume the video glitch says nothing about Sandy Hook or Veronique de la Rosa, both of which are real, but demonstrate that Anderson Cooper is the one that doesn’t exist. He’s a purely digital construct, built from the memories of brain-damaged reporter Edison Carter. Almost nobody wants in on my conspiracy theory, though.

  9. Dunc says

    @4 & 7: The ship is owned by Shoei Kisen Kaisha, but leased and operated by Evergreen Marine.

    Pilots are provided by the Suez Canal Authority.

  10. wzrd1 says

    I dunno, PZ, but I find confounding Google’s mining of my searches to provide advertisements rather entertaining.
    I can’t wait to see what ads my searching of Operation Golden Thrust yields.
    For those with a morbid interest, it was a combined US Army and USAR maneuvering exercise I participated in back in 1988.

    As for conspiracy theories, I’m firmly of the view that I could type random words into a search engine and at least a half dozen conspiracy theories would pop up in the results.
    “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast” seems how a surprising number of people live. I try to avoid tripping over a rabbit hole when tripping with LSD.
    OK, I studiously avoid hallucinogens, as the real world is already weird enough.

  11. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    I’ve not seen anyone notice that the Simpsons live on 742 Evergreen Terrace, therefore it predicted that a boat from a company named Evergreen would get stuck in a canal in Egypt yet. Considering the number of clickbait stories about stuff The Simpsons “predicted”, I would have expected the Qcumbers to latch on that.

    Humans are pattern finding machines and are very bad at understanding coincidence and probabilities. I got stuck in a mini Internet rabbit hole recently about people who are totally convinced Disney’s Lion King is plagiarized from a 1960s anime called Kimba the White Lion (which even the creator of Kimba denies). It’s a lot more convincing than this crap, but it’s still a bunch of coincidences.

  12. PaulBC says

    Evergreen is also a school district in San Jose and a neighborhood in Baltimore. This is a deep and pervasive conspiracy.

  13. Owlmirror says

    Also, I have now wrecked my search engines and am getting a lot of extremely strange ads, so that was all a big mistake on my part. I should have gone incognito to scout these things out.

    I am pretty sure that most browsers allow you to clear your browsing data up to a certain time period. So if you nuke a day’s worth of URLs and cookies and scripts and [tracking] images, you may find things going back to normal, or “normal”, or “really fricken weird, actually, but with more octopodes and fewer tinfoil hats”.

  14. whheydt says

    Another way to avoid crap ads triggered by odd searches (I actually use it to bypass partial paywalls)… I keep a Raspberry Pi 4B browser set to clear all cookies when it closes. So…browse away, then close the browser and poof all the weird site links go away.

  15. mnb0 says

    I like this game. So I have a good conspiracy theory too.
    The official name of my native country, The Netherlands, is Nederland. It’s the third-largest direct foreign investor in the United States, and the Dutch-American trade and investment relationship is supporting close to 625,000 American jobs with Texas, California and Pennsylvania benefiting most from these economic ties.
    Lo and behold! In Boulder County there is a town called Nederland. Obviously there are the head quarters of a Dutch conspiracy to take over the USA.

  16. zetopan says

    Jake Wildstrom@9:
    “Almost nobody wants in on my conspiracy theory, though.”

    That because of two inherent problems.
    1. You need top up the crazy level far more than that. Try tying in in with the metric system or something else totally unrelated.
    2. Advertise your “theory” on Reich-wing websites, claiming that gawd or Q (or both) told you this personally.
    Here is a simple (minded) example:

  17. says

    Taken over by the New World Order?

    OK. I can see that. A pro-wrestling ‘faction’ (probably literally on steroids) is about right for a conspiracy theory’s prime mover. And seeing Senator Turtle (in a leopard-skin singlet) being dragged into the well in front of the President Pro Tempore‘s lectern, desperately trying to tag out while Terrifyin’ Ted just waves his airline tickets to Cancun, might be pretty amusing, too.

  18. says

    Wait until they find out about The Evergreens, a set of condos that have been on Saskatoon’s Acadia Drive since 1970. And that one of Saskatoon’s newest subdivisions is Evergreen.,_Saskatoon

    Conspiracy theorists always come up with theories that are far too complex to make sense. 911 Truthism is a classic example. Instead of simply believing bin Laden was an agent of whoever is behind the conspiracy, and organised the hijackings, we end up with control demolitions, “microthermite,” fake phone calls from Fligth 93, and on and on.

  19. davidc1 says

    Out there on the interweb there are memes showing the Captain of the ship ,it is one Albert Gladstone Trotter .
    Unless you have seen Only Fools and Horses , not going to mean a lot to you .

  20. unclefrogy says

    well I knew that the crazeys would be adding 2 and 2 together and getting 7 1/2 but seeing that huge ship blocking world trade shipping so easily has made me wonder if it has not illustrated for everyone to see a tremendous choke point . If anyone wants to ,make a statement by disrupting world trade do it here!
    uncle frogy

  21. PaulBC says

    @28 Would the Panama canal be an easier and potentially more disruptive choke point? (I honestly have no idea; the locks seem like a problem but I don’t know how much shipping goes through). Here is a page on Suezmax. It looks like this ship was close to or just exceeding the limits if I am reading this correctly.

  22. says

    Said it before and I’ll say it again: the reason religious people get into conspiracy theories so easily is because all religions are conspiracy theories and so it’s just a matter of hopping from one set of unjustified assumptions to another. Seriously, what would you call it if I came up to you and said “did you know that there are super-powered beings who deliberately avoid being detected and who can manipulate time and space when they want to, and they have set up all of human civilization in order to deceive us into believing in so-called ‘physics’ and ‘science’ when really the control the universe with their mind powers, and you need to wake up and become aware of them like me!” You’d definitely say I was a conspiracy nut, but that’s a description of basically every religion ever.

  23. says

    After I read a book about Alexander von Humboldt (The Invention of Nature) I kept seeing his name everywhere. I was like “That’s so weird!” but I shouldn’t have been because a point made early on in the book is that an absolutely enormous number of things are named for him.

  24. Dunc says

    @29: About 6% of world shipping passes through Panama, vs 12% for Suez. Suez also plays a significant role in world oil distribution, which AFAIK Panama doesn’t.

  25. PaulBC says

    SC@31 All I know is Humboldt County, CA, but you’re right it’s named after Alexander von Humboldt (had to look it up to be sure.)

  26. Lofty says

    Panama transits more LNG and LPG ships from the Gulf of Mexico to East Asia since the lock upgrade finished in 2016. Proper filthy black crude oil, beloved of right wing loons, not so much.

  27. says

    PaulBC @ #34:

    SC@31 All I know is Humboldt County, CA, but you’re right it’s named after Alexander von Humboldt (had to look it up to be sure.)

    From the book (p. 7):

    Though today almost forgotten outside academia – at least in the English-speaking world – Alexander von Humboldt’s ideas still shape our thinking. And while his books collect dust in libraries, his name lingers everywhere from the Humboldt Current running along the coast of Chile and Peru to dozens of monuments, parks and mountains in Latin America including Sierra Humboldt in Mexico and Pico Humboldt in Venezuela. A town in Argentina, a river in Brazil, a geyser in Ecuador, and a bay in Colombia – all are named after Humboldt.

    There are Kap Humboldt and Humboldt Glacier in Greenland, as well as mountain ranges in northern China, South Africa, New Zealand and Antarctica. There are rivers and waterfalls in Tasmania and New Zealand as well as parks in Germany and Rue Alexandre de Humboldt in Paris. In North America alone four counties, thirteen towns, mountains, bays, lakes and a river are named after him, as well as the Humboldt Redwoods State Park in California and Humboldt Parks in Chicago and Buffalo. The state of Nevada was almost called Humboldt when the Constitutional Convention debated its name in the 1860s. Almost 300 plants and more than 100 animals are named after him – including the California Humboldt lily (Lilium humboldtii), the South American Humboldt penguin (Spheniscus humboldti) and the fierce, predatory six-foot Humboldt squid (Dosidicus gigus) which can be found in the Humboldt Current. Several minerals carry his name – from Humboldtit to Humboldtin – and on the moon there is an area called ‘Mare Humboldtianum’. More places are named after Humboldt than anyone else.

  28. says

    Can someone explain why we allow these people to continue living freely, when they are clearly a danger? Partly to themselves, yeah, but they’re also harming innocent people with these inane “theories”.

  29. PaulBC says

    @36 I once (or more like repeatedly) joked to my teenage son in my daddest dad humor that I would like to be invited to talk at Humboldt State University, so I could begin by saying “I am Humboldt to be here.” (pretty sure it’s been done). I had no idea there were so many other places I could do the same. The CSU campus provides other opportunities, such as adding that, on the contrary, it put me in an exalted state 🥁 to accept such an invitation. (Reality check: I am not invited to speak anywhere, at least outside my employer, and probably for good reason.)

    Sorry Nevada turned out to be a miss for the old gentleman. I would have voted in favor.

  30. says

    @36 I once (or more like repeatedly) joked to my teenage son in my daddest dad humor that I would like to be invited to talk at Humboldt State University, so I could begin by saying “I am Humboldt to be here.”

    I fully support that joke.

    Sorry Nevada turned out to be a miss for the old gentleman. I would have voted in favor.

    I know, right?

  31. birgerjohansson says

    What is Agent Starling doing as press secretary, is she undercover looking for cannibal liberals?
    (maybe I should not write things that could give Qanon people ideas…)

  32. birgerjohansson says

    I recall a reference at Ed Brayton’s blog about a kook who thought there were pedophile camps on Mars.
    The Suez Canal stuff is rather mediocre. To raise the bar, bring Tuck Buckford and let him do crack.

  33. says

    @37 That would be censorship! As we all know, free speech is the most sacred suicide pact and everyone’s entitled to their own opinion. PZ should give them guest columns on unrelated topics where he and they agree and that will bring them around.


  34. birgerjohansson says

    Oops, the ship has been pulled clear!
    In other anti-constipation news, Bernie is determined to reverse the Trump-era tax cuts and even introduce higher taxes for the richest 0,5 %.
    I wonder what the conspiracy theories will make of this?

  35. birgerjohansson says

    Re @37
    We should encourage them to drive cars without using seat belts and other liberal inventions.
    Also, the reptilians increase their energy levels by plugging into the electric network. The only way humans can get the same power levels and get super-sayan is to stick a fork into an electric outlet.

  36. Rich Woods says

    @davidc1 #27:

    the Captain of the ship ,it is one Albert Gladstone Trotter .

    That would mean the Ever Given didn’t run aground but was torpedoed.

  37. KG says

    The big ship snarling up the Suez Canal right now is the Evergreen; Jen Psaki founded a company called Evergreen Consulting; therefore…? They don’t say.

    It’s one of the rules of Super-Sekrit Conspiracy Club that you have to leave clues to your evil machinations in the public domain. But I’m not sure the Rules Committee will allow this one to count towards the annual quota – it’s just too mundane and boring.

  38. blf says

    birgerjohansson@47, “the ship has been pulled clear!”

    No, not exactly — the stern is no longer wedged, but the bow is still stuck. The ship has pivoted, and there is now perhaps 100 metres between its stern and the former stern-holder. The bow is still jammed into the opposite bank (possibly atop some rocks?). According to Suez canal: Ever Given ship partially refloated but bow still stuck, this is largely expected, the bow has always been the Big Problem.

    Of course, this is all a conspiracy. As per @4, the real “Ever PsakiGiven” is on Mars, presumably attempting to interfere with the deployment of the Perseverance helicopter Ingenuity (first flight is scheduled for April 8th at the earliest).

  39. blf says

    Follow-up to @51, It is now completely free, after another high tide and lots of dredging around the bow, Suez canal: Ever Given container ship freed after a week.

    High tides, of course, are Teh Sign of a Grand Conspiracy. Tides are a fictional invention by the ancient cabal of those thy must not be named — if the moon’s alleged gravity pulled-at water, it’d be all pulled off the Earth by now by all those eclipses. In realityloonality, the moon keeps all the water on the Earth, otherwise it would pour off the edge and extinguish the sun’s fire. This proof of that ancient cabal can all be seen by rising about mars’ dust, which is why the “Ever PsakiGiven” is trying to interfere with Integrity.