The one thing that has struck me most forcibly about the Donald Trump campaign is the extent to which it is a coalition of conspiracy theorists. From 2011 "truthers" and Obama "birthers" the entire campaign has been littered with sinister accusations, allegations and suggestions of dark conspiracy on behalf of The Donald's opponents. This evening, reading the torrent of Tweets about the US election there's a steady trickle of "the voting machines are fixed" suggestions from Trump's supporters - the US equivalent of "use a pen".
From among this seething pit of madness it's hard to plump for just one conspiracy about Hillary Clinton, Democrats or the election that sums up the depressing ignorance of Trump's campaign. Until that is, the "Clinton is a Satanist" line arrived. This didn't so much as jump the shark as do a double back somersault over a vast tank of piranha. But here it is at Trump's Conspiracy Theorist-in-Chief's Infowars blog:
Hillary Clinton’s ties to satanic rituals and the occult have been well-documented for decades.
Clinton insider Larry Nichols told Infowars that Hillary Clinton used to attend a “witch’s church” in Los Angeles during Bill’s presidency.
And a source claimed many FBI agents consider Clinton to be “the Antichrist personified.”
And Alex Jones (the conspiracy mane who runs Infowars) goes on to provide link after link, video after video each one madder than the previous and all purporting to 'prove' Hillary is a Satanist (which she isn't - I bet she's never even rolled a 20-sided dice). The source of all this stupidity is a particularly odd artist called Marina Abramović who is the modern performance art equivalent of a 'shock-jock':
Her work explores the relationship between performer and audience, the limits of the body, and the possibilities of the mind. Active for over three decades, Abramović has been described as the "grandmother of performance art." She pioneered a new notion of identity by bringing in the participation of observers, focusing on "confronting pain, blood, and physical limits of the body."It's an acquired taste (as anyone who has seen her cake would know) but Abramović is a recognised - even acclaimed artist. The hoo-hah here results from an email (it would be an email, wouldn't it) inviting John Podesta to a showing of 'Spirit Cooking':
“Spirit Cooking” is an Abramović piece supposedly inspired by famous Satanist Aleister Crowley’s occultist rituals. It involves the artist painting the walls with menstrual blood, breast milk, and other bodily fluids.It may not be all that wholesome but it's just art (and John Podesta's bother Tony is a big time art dealer and collector) with as much connection to Satanism and Black Magic as that 20-sided dice I mentioned earlier. Yet Alex Jones and other Donald Trump enthusiasts lap this up - indeed a depressingly large number seem even to believe Hillary Clinton is some sort of Satanist witch literally hell-bent on destroying the city on the hill that is America.
There's only one word for all this - bonkers.