Barbenheimer will be an improvement over the latest hot conspiracy theory fraud

My wife actually asked me if we could see the Barbie movie, which is opening at our local theater this weekend. Of course we can! I was looking forward to it already. It looks to be trippy and fun.

As the media have frequently mentioned lately, because they do love a contrast, the Oppenheimer movie also opens this weekend (but not at our theater.) Cool, I’d like to see that one, too, even more than Barbie. They’re different movies, there isn’t any real conflict between them. Here’s an article that says ‘Barbie’ and ‘Oppenheimer’ tell the same terrifying story.

The underlying premise of all the jokes — that these films come out on the same day but are about hilariously different subjects and have wildly different tones — is misguided. The two movies actually have a fundamental, and disturbing, common ground. J. Robert Oppenheimer, the man behind our nuclear age, and Barbie — a toy that takes over three cups of oil to produce before it lingers in landfills around the world — both tell the story of the dawn of our imperiled era.

“Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” each offer a window into the creation of the Anthropocene, the suggested term for our present geological epoch, in which human beings have become the most significant influence on the natural environment at a planetary scale.

That’s an interesting connection: how do we define the anthropocene, by all the piles of plastic or the global dusting of radioactive isotopes?

Either works for me, they all coexist in a narrow slice of time, only a century long. On a geological scale, either one provides a sharp boundary.

Like I said, I’d like to see both movies. Unfortunately, Oppenheimer isn’t booked locally in the near future. Instead, we’re getting served Sound of Freedom after Barbie, a conspiracy-theory fueled abomination of a movie (see Rebecca Watson for why it’s bad). I predict it’ll clean up at the box office in our little corner of Red America.


  1. cartomancer says

    For an end-of-term bit of fun I translated Aqua’s Barbie Girl into Latin, then sung it as a gender-swapped duet in full drag to my students. After that, I’m not sure the film will be anything but an anticlimax.

  2. birgerjohansson says

    Cartomancer @ 1
    “Sound of Freedom” sounds like an excellent addition to God Awful Movies, along with classics like “Vaxxed”, “Bells of Innocence” or “Day (sic!) When Sun Rises In The West; Film That Shock (sic!) The World”.

  3. wzrd1 says

    I had to look up the sound of freedom, then the maniac behind it. Someone, along with the lead actor that portrays his heroic and largely ineffective self both believers in Q’s adrenochrome bullshit.
    Seriously, the man believes both in sky fairy helps, but oddly, not the children, save with his help and in the children actually having their blood harvested for adrenochrome.
    For those lost, adrenochrome is simply oxidized adrenaline, aka epinephrine. Easily made from epinephrine, as oxidation isn’t much of a mystery to anyone with high school chemistry knowledge and an understanding of what a catalyst is.
    Of course, epinephrine is ever so rare…
    Just a convenient photo, the human variety is the same and as easily and trivially available. By the case. Used to carry a vial in my medical kit, as my unit had a number of men with significant allergies to insect stings that required it. Stored right next to it on the left, diphenhydramine injectable. If they weren’t in respiratory distress or shock yet, hit them with the antihistamine, then see if the epi would be needed and if so, dexamethasone as well and immediate evacuation.

    Ignorance can be harmless, but not in this case, as a DC pizzeria can attest to with its bullet holes. So, there is precisely one chance of three that I’d support such trash, slim chance, fat chance and no chance. Pity, as the actual subject is a worthy one. But, supporting the people involved in the film would be like supporting Hitler just to get the fucking trains to run on time.

  4. wzrd1 says

    birgerjohansson, I think I’d prefer The Sound of Silence.
    Actually, silence would be nice for a change. I have fairly severe tinnitus.

  5. says

    I’m curious to see if US rabid anticommunism (and the right wing’s association of jews to communism) are featured, or if the movie will mostly be “ooh explosion!”

  6. Reginald Selkirk says

    The reviews I have seem for both Barbie and Oppenheimer are all quite good. One did mention that Oppenheimer is 3 hours long, which to me seems not a good thing. Better to stream a movie that long, so that you can pause it to take bathroom breaks and refill the popcorn.

  7. robro says

    I saw a promo for Barbie last night and it occurred to me that it’s prime material for satire…porn, gay, or otherwise. Then I realized it probably is a send up on it’s on merits .

  8. raven says

    Yeah, adrenochrome is a myth.
    Adrenochrome isn’t illegal because it does’t get you high.
    You can buy it online from a lot of places.
    Cat No: AOB14351
    CAS: 54-06-8
    Chemical Name: AdC; 3-Hydroxy-1-methyl-2,3-dihydro-1H-indole-5,6-dione

    $11.00 per mg Quantity: 1.00
    Add to cart

    Quantity (mg or Unit) Unit Price ($/mg or $/Unit) Final Price
    100 $4.95 Total: $495.00
    50 $5.72 Total: $286.00
    25 $6.71 Total: $167.75
    10 $7.92 Total: $79.20
    5 $9.35 Total: $46.75

    I’ve got some sitting in a drawer at home.
    Some old epipens have turned color which means the epinephrine has oxidized to…adrenochrome.

  9. raven says

    I had to look up Sound of Freedom.
    It is as bad as advertised.
    Lunatic fringe nonsense.


    Caviezel, who previously played Jesus Christ in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, is also drawing attention to the film in other ways. For years, he’s been a prominent promoter of the false, violent QAnon conspiracy theory — specifically, the baseless claim that an international cabal of elites is abusing and killing children to extract a substance called adrenochrome.

    These wild claims have become deeply enmeshed with narratives about child trafficking in recent years, from the QAnon predecessor Pizzagate conspiracy theory, which falsely alleged a pizza parlor in Washington, D.C., was home to a child sex ring, to false claims that online retailer Wayfair was selling children in the guise of furniture.

    In press appearances promoting Sound of Freedom, Caviezel continues to spout QAnon falsehoods. On a recent episode of former Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s podcast, Caviezel claimed “the whole adrenochrome empire” is driving demand for trafficked children. “It’s an elite drug that they’ve used for many years,” he asserted, falsely claiming it is “10 times more potent than heroin” and “has some mystical qualities as far as making you look younger.”

    Despite Caviezel’s comments, Sound of Freedom itself doesn’t contain any references to adrenochrome or other conspiracy theories. It was actually filmed before QAnon conspiracy theories became a widespread phenomenon.

    Executives at Angel Studios, the film’s distributor, have publicly rejected any association with conspiracies. So have Tim Ballard, the former federal agent Caviezel plays in the movie, and his organization, Operation Underground Railroad. (Angel Studios declined NPR’s interview request. Operation Underground Railroad did not respond to NPR’s questions.)

    But Ballard recently told right-wing podcadster Jordan Peterson that claimed adrenochrome harvesting is real. His statements, and Caviezel’s, have an impact on how Sound of Freedom is being received, said Mike Rothschild, author of The Storm Is Upon Us: How QAnon Became a Movement, Cult, and Conspiracy Theory of Everything.

    “It’s being marketed to QAnon believers, it’s being embraced by this community and its leading actor is a huge part of the QAnon community,” he said.

    As soon as you see someone babbling on about adrenochrome, you know you are dealing with idiots who can’t use a simple search engine like Google.

    .1. Adrenochrome doesn’t get you high or do much of anything except cost money to buy it from a chemical supplier.
    .2. If you want to get high, there are much cheaper and easier ways to do it that reliably work.
    You can go to the nearest store and buy a six pack of beer or bottle of wine.
    You can go to the nearest dispensary and buy as much high THC marijuana as you want.

  10. birgerjohansson says

    For entertainment, just male a film based on David Icke’s hallucinations.

    When Qanon followers disagree with the film you can denounce them as servants of the reptiles.
    A bit of doxxing and you have them on the run from the anti-reptilian demographic.

  11. raven says

    There are a lot of other problems with the movie Sound of Freedom than just the obvious lies about adrenochrome.

    The movie is based on a guy named Tim Ballard who supposedly fights child trafficking.
    Tim Ballard is a Mormon, which is always a Red Flag for lunatic fringe membership and credibility.
    Most of his stories and claims seem to be greatly exaggerated or mostly just fiction.

    Wikipedia: ” In an interview with Jordan Peterson in July 2023, he claimed to have recently raided a West African “baby factory” where children are sold for organ harvesting and “Satanic ritual abuse”, echoing another QAnon theory.”

    The chance that this is true is about zero.
    There is zero proof for one thing, no documentation, no news reports.
    It doesn’t even make sense.
    Why would anyone harvest organs from children? The market is adults after all, and putting a child sized kidney into an adult isn’t going to work very well.
    Satanic ritual abuse doesn’t even exist.
    The FBI once did an extensive investigation and couldn’t find any.

  12. says

    OMFG, they’re still blithering about “Satanic ritual abuse?” That takes whatever credibility Ballard’s entire anti-child-sex-trafficking crusade might ever have had down to zero, if not lower. Fuck these guys, and fuck their propaganda.

    Maybe someday someone will make a movie about ordinary decent people trying to rescue kids from predatory sex-trafficking Christian clerics…

  13. hemidactylus says

    Damn shame about Caviezel. He was great in Person of Interest. Not surprising, given he was Jesus in the infamous quasi-snuff film by Gibson, that he would be a right leaning Catholic type. Gibson himself made a few decent films (not *Passion) but went way downhill into noxious fumes territory.

    From what I saw of the previews Caviezel has the same affectations as his character in Person of Interest but has drowned himself in hair lightener. It’s as if John Reese went on a month long surfing binge.

    File him over with Kevin Sorbo, Ricky Schroder, and Scott Baio.

  14. chrislawson says


    There have been quite a few highly-regarded movies about uncovering paedophile priests. Many were based on well-documented events. Some won prestigious awards. But of course the core psychology of this film’s target audience is authoritarianism, so they will disregard the true stories in favour of violent power fantasies justified by transparent falsehoods.

  15. weylguy says

    Good Lord — An intelligent grown man with a PhD who’s anxious to see the Barbie movie with his grown, intelligent PhD wife. Please tell me how I get off this insane planet.

  16. birgerjohansson says

    Is Sound of Freedon the kind of bad you can watch and laugh at while drinking beer? Or is it the kind of slow, soul-killing drivel that puts you to sleep?

  17. Pierce R. Butler says

    We can safely predict that one or more drag queens will do a (great!) Barbie routine, and that the reaction on False Noise will make a lot of little girls cry. :-P

    Reginald Selkirk @ # 17: … Jim Caviezel claimed with a straight face that former President Donald Trump is “the new Moses.”…

    Which clearly tells us he is destined not to enter the Promised Land (return to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave?)…

  18. seversky says

    So let me get this straight, the atomic bomb was invented by a transgender woman called Barbie Oppenheimer in a secret base hidden in The Alamo?

  19. Stevko says

    My favorite cinema actually sells tickets to “Barbenheimer double feature” – both films in one day (you can buy tickets to either of them separately, but getting them as Barbenheimer is slightly cheaper. Today and tomorrow it is sold out (and next one on Wednesday has two places left).

  20. says

    On “Fox & Friends” Thursday, actor Jim Caviezel claimed with a straight face that former President Donald Trump is “the new Moses.”…

    I guess throwing packs of ketchup at the wall is sort of like parting the Red Sea.
    Their standards for miracles have fallen a bit.

  21. Reginald Selkirk says

    The Conqueror

    The Conqueror is a 1956 American epic historical drama film, directed by Dick Powell and written by Oscar Millard. It stars John Wayne as the Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan…
    Despite the stature of the cast and a respectable box office performance, the film was critically panned; it is often ranked as one of the worst films of the 1950s and also as one of the worst films ever made.[4] Wayne, who was at the height of his career, had lobbied for the lead role after reading the script and was widely believed to have been grossly miscast.[5] The Conqueror was listed in the 1978 book The Fifty Worst Films of All Time.[6] In 1980, Wayne posthumously received a Golden Turkey Award (awarded to movies and performances considered the worst in history) in the “Worst Casting” category, for his performance as Khan. In the years since release, the film garnered additional controversy for its filming downwind of a nuclear testing site, which sparked debate among historians and biologists over whether or not it caused multiple cases of cancer among the cast and crew

  22. wzrd1 says

    seversky @ 21, no, you got the location wrong, the bomb is hidden in the subbasement of the Alamo, with the slave children who are sacrificed to the space aliens in their flying saucer, which arrives underground.

    After reading the plot line of the drivel, it’s about as bad as Machine Gun Preacher, albeit with less machine gunning people to death. Laughably, in the film, Ballard goes into the jungle and singlehandedly rescues 200 soon to be sex slave children. In reality, he never even looked at the jungle and total “rescues” were arrests and recovery of 30 children and 200 adults, which he took no part in, as he had resigned from Homeland and had no police authority or jurisdiction in a foreign nation. He did do some gumshoe work on it, but that shit’s pretty much out in the open anyway, as the local populace won’t do anything against armed me and local law enforcement is bought and paid for.
    And in Machine Gun Preacher, the real Sam Childers claims rescued children, can’t point to a single individual and SPLA denies knowing him, despite his claims of close affiliation. In short, more Christian authoritarianism claiming all manner of mythical heroics that have absolutely no basis in fact and reality.
    Both are several steps below Kevin Sorbo, Ricky Schroder, and Scott Baio.

    Reginald Selkirk @ 24, I’m familiar with The Conqueror. It was produced by Howard Hughes, who was on the set for a time, then went recluse, with a severe phobia of germs. Were I of a conspiracy mindset, I’d wonder if he received inside information about probable exposure and the risks…
    Nah, got to be a coincidence. Everything’s just Valley Fever.

  23. hemidactylus says

    About the only thing I heard about the new Barbie movie is they managed to unintentionally piss off Vietnam with some poorly depicted map of disputed area with China. The Philippines wasn’t all that happy either, but didn’t ban the movie as Vietnam did:

    I’d prefer to stay on Vietnam’s good side vs. China, but it is only a silly movie faux pas…unless they really were dissing Vietnam in some nefarious subtextual plot favoring Chinese expansionism. In retrospect, this kerfuffle merely highlights how absolutely ridiculous the grounds for the Vietnam war really were.

    As for Oppenheimer apparently one should wear adult diapers on set if Christopher Nolan is involved:

    Could be how he got Matt Damon to come across as so batshit in Interstellar…he really had to go during those scenes.

  24. fishy says

    I read that Oppenheimer is 3 hours long. I can’t do that anymore.
    I would like to see it, but I go to movies for escape from the discomforts of life.

  25. gijoel says

    @17 Wow, I thought he might of done that film cause he either needed the money or he got duped into. Nope, he’s chugging the Qanon cool-aid.

  26. chrislawson says


    The other actors mentioned above only embraced the evangelical/alt-right circuits after their mainstream careers hit the wall. Caviezel gleefully jumped.

  27. chrislawson says

    Back to the OT, it’s amazing to me that while microplastics and radioisotope spikes will both be good indicators of the anthropocene, it’s the microplastics that will end up causing more environmental harm. Not what I would have thought when I was growing up.

  28. John Morales says

    I always think of the anthropocene as the most recent global mass extinction event. Still working on it, of course.

  29. wzrd1 says

    Adrenochrome as an intoxicant is somewhat a novel dumb idea, as previously the conspiracy theory was that it was giving people youth by magical hand wave.
    Previously, some scientists thought adrenochrome was linked to schizophrenia, but that theory failed utterly, despite 20 years of research. The original researchers paper showing flawed methodology and small sample size, had theorized adrenochrome caused psychotic effects and megadoses of vitamin C and niacin would treat the non-problem.
    Not a lick of adrenochrome has ever been detected in a schizophrenic patient – ever.
    Adrenochrome starts out at a deep violet hue, as oxidation continues it polymerizes into a deep brown or black color, due to the polymerization converting it into a melanin compound. It’s also an intermediary in the formation of neuromelanin in the brain. Neuromelanin is concentrated in the substantia nigra, in the basal ganglia structure in the midbrain, responsible for reward and movement. A loss of neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta is associated with Parkinsonism.
    Which makes their conspiracy theory even more zany.

    But, it’s fascinating how they keep repeating blood libel against Jews within this conspiracy theory, without naming them outright, with a wink and chuckle, because getting people murdered is cool to them, it empowers them.

  30. wzrd1 says

    chrislawson @ 31, I agree. The microplastics, due to sheer volume occupied globally will provide both a true global marker that’s unambiguous and is more likely to have a longer standing impact than plutonium residues that would be largely concentrated in downwind locations from atmospheric testing sites. Indeed, using the plutonium benchmark, the anthropocene has already ended, as there are no new plutonium deposits to be found since atmospheric testing was ended in the early 1960’s.
    Hell, the K-T boundary’s iridium layer is 3 – 4 cm thick, which is far thicker than the plutonium layer they’re sticking their golden spike into.
    Given we’ve been making man-made plastics since 1855, that is a superior benchmark and a wee bit thicker layer that’s guaranteed to be global throughout the 20th century, with Bakelite being the most widespread early man-made plastics. courtesy of WWII, followed with nylon in 1940.
    Although, semi-synthetic plastics date much, much, much farther back, given the use of shellac, natural rubbers that were treated in various ways, cattle horns treated with lye all in use since at least 1600 BCE and vulcanization being developed in 1839. I’d go with the synthetic, as they’re unambiguous findings, whereas semi-synthetics could be attributed to natural accidents in the distant future.
    Basically, the cockroach archeologist of the future finding a rubber ball might think it’s natural, but a degraded but recognizable pair of nylon stockings and Bakelite lamp sockets are decidedly not natural objects.

  31. John Morales says

    That’s an interesting connection: how do we define the anthropocene, by all the piles of plastic or the global dusting of radioactive isotopes?

    How about by the unprecedented rate of carbon dioxide increase in the atmosphere?

  32. wzrd1 says

    That’s still relatively short duration, compared to plastics all over the place. Humans are phenomenally messy creatures, scattering waste all over the place wherever they go.

  33. cgilder says

    No opinion on the Barbie or Oppenheimer movies other than being glad that they both seem to be living up to their hype. (I can’t sit through movies.)

    BUT I do have opinions on the delineation of the Anthropocene! I’m a geomorphologist, so tend to think of the world in terms of landscapes and erosion/deposition, so I agree with the arguments that the Anthropocene began with the introduction of agriculture and animal husbandry ca. 6000 BCE. Global rates of erosion shot up at that point, compared to prehistoric levels, so that’s the first point where humans began shaping the earth rather than just enduring mother nature’s whims. Highly-regarded geomorphologist David Montgomery has a very readable general audience book called “Dirt; The Erosion of Human Civilization” that summarizes much of the academic work done on the idea of global signals and attribution analyses. (E.g, Increases in erosion affect things like river flows, and river structures —how big is the floodplain? How often is it inundated?), and since human settlements were often focused around rivers, those changes went hand-in-hand with how human history moved forward. The impacts from the processes of agricultural-driven development show up in other global signals since then (see Ruddiman’s academic work as well as his general-audience books.)

  34. wzrd1 says

    I’d neglected to consider erosion, but now that you’ve reminded me, I do concur. Perhaps, plastics would delineate the Late Anthropocene?
    Because, currently, humanity is too busy fulfilling the scenario of the film “Don’t Look Up”.

  35. KG says

    On “Fox & Friends” Thursday, actor Jim Caviezel claimed with a straight face that former President Donald Trump is “the new Moses.”… – Reginald Selkirk@17, quoting Yahoo

    That works for me, as long as he leads all his followers into an uninhabitable wilderness for 40 years.