Is it suss that Miley Cyrus is marking her transformation from starlet to sex bomb with an album called 'Bangerz'? Hmmmm...
Like all good ventures into the deepest and darkest rabbitholes of the Internet, it started innocently enough.
A quick click on #realjournalism, my favourite facetious Facebook hashtag, led me from some flippant comment I'd made on the state of Australian trash mags to Abby Martin, an actual real journalist.
Like a Sloan Sabbith minus the goofy, the Washington-based Martin hosts Breaking The Set, a daily half-hour current affairs program (in the traditional sense of “this is what's going on in the world”, as opposed to “same-sex asylum seeker couples are taking our children's jobs”) on the RT network.
And rather than surface level reportage of the Syria conflict and the like, she digs into the dirt of US foreign policy, corporate greed and mainstream media failure to paint a fairly bleak picture of Earth circa-2013.
One of Martin's interview subjects in season one of Breaking The Set (it's just returned for its second run) was Roseanne Barr – seminal sitcom star, substandard national anthem singer, marijuana legalisation advocate and failed US presidential candidate. In the middle of a typically frank conversation, the 60-year-old comedian nonchalantly drops a knowledge bomb that Martin, in an atypically fangirl moment, lets slide without further questioning.
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“Hollywood is the one that keeps all this power structure, and all this culture of racism and sexism and classism and genderism in place. They continually feed it and they make a lot of money doing it. And they do it at the behest of their masters who run everything.
“It's a culture of mind control, too. MK Ultra mind control rules in Hollywood. If you don't know, Google that and look into it.”
So I did look into these mid-20th Century CIA experiments with behavioural engineering, which initially theorised that feeding test subjects LSD was a good way to keep them in line (to which I can only say “lololololol”). Operating in an even shadier wing of MK Ultra was the Monarch program, which allegedly turns test subjects into split personality slaves who can flip at the press of a button – or audio/visual trigger, as the case may be.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, conspiracy theorists quickly latched onto the Miley Cyrus VMAs fiasco as the latest example of a Monarch slave gone haywire, with supporting evidence regarding monarch butterfly symbolism to match.
A quick Google search later and I found myself at the blog of former MySpace star (which it's still hard to believe was actually once a thing) Tila Tequila, whose theorising on the self-destruction of Amanda Bynes due to failed MK Ultra programming makes for some interesting reading – particularly with this tweet from Bynes as its postscript.
I Want A Million Dollars A Year For Illegally Having My Mind Read And Privacy Stolen— amanda bynes (@amandabynes) July 1, 2013
From there it was just a hop, step and jump to Monsanto, the 9/11 Truth Movement, and several hours of staring at the ceiling above my bed wondering if I should even bother getting up tomorrow.
I did eventually return to society, and shortly after stumbled across an aftermovie for the 2013 edition of Miami's Ultra Music Festival that's only an Alec Baldwin monologue short of being more over the top than Pearl Harbor.
Depending on your age and disposition, that video will either have you booking annual leave for a fortnight next March, or secretly hoping a US military drone pilot mistakes Miami for Yemen around the same time in 2014.
But in amongst the slow motion montage of Hardwell poetically removing a USB stick from his laptop, tastefully shot box gap silhouettes, not so tastefully shot barely legal arse cracks barely concealed by lycra, more heart hand symbols than most people can stand without projectile vomiting, and (for reasons best known only to himself) a brief cameo from Slash, something even more out of context caught my eye at the 6:40 mark.
A monarch butterfly, floating serenely through the sky just after the Ultra gates had opened and the carnage began.
And there it is again, flashing on the big screen for a millisecond as the Swedish House Mafia farewell their legion of fans.
Not to mention the cybernetic 'wings' flanking the UMF logo on the promo material.
Did this explain why a form of music pioneered by black Americans some 30 years earlier had all of a sudden been rebranded as EDM and become big business for white entrepreneurs Stateside?
Why the promoters put the 'Ultra' in Ultra Music Festival?
Why Miley Cyrus is marking her transformation from starlet to sex bomb with an album called Bangerz?
Why DJs who aren't Carl Cox are suddenly allowed to perform with microphones?
Or is Ultra just a bunch of kids bombing rave juice so they can dance in a park to mindless music and forget about the uncertain future of the planet they're about to inherit from the generations who have failed them?
Stranger things have happened.