Five Obscure Pop Culture Conspiracy Theories


Jim is alive. Paul is dead. Andrew W.K. is really Dave Grohl. Wait — one of these doesn’t belong. It seems that pop culture conspiracies have been around since the dawn of time, or at least since the second gunman and the grassy knoll. However, some bizarre mysteries are better known than others. In this recent examination of hard rocker Andrew W.K., Gawker debunks the myth that the “Party Hard” singer may be Dave Grohl, or someone named Steev Mike, or, since 2005, someone else entirely. Meanwhile, he just lost some weight and shaved, people.

In the tradition of strange pop culture conspiracies, we offer five more to ponder as you wonder whether we ever really visited the moon.

1. David Carradine was Murdered by Ninjas

After the Kill Bill actor’s body was discovered in Thailand last June, explanations for his death ran the gamut from suicide to sadomasochistic sex act gone wrong. But family attorney Mark Geragos took things to a new level when he suggested Carradine was murdered by a group of ninjas in response to his exploration of their shady underworld dealings. Are we sure Quentin Tarantino didn’t come up with that?

2. Tao Lin Writes Hipster Runoff

Well, apparently not. Blogs were buzzing with the theory that Lin, author of the ultimate hipster tome Shoplifting from American Apparel, and Hipster Runoff’s elusive Carles were in fact one and the same. They use the same lingo, share the same obsessions, and love to pepper their sentences with quotation marks. However, Lin denied the rumor, claiming that he and the blogger are simply close friends. At least, that’s what some Smashing Pumpkins fan says. We think trying to feed Carles a baby watermelon could be the true test.

3. The Dude Predicted 9/11

Or something like that. In an early scene of The Big Lebowski, The Dude finds himself writing out a check for a carton of milk. In the background, Bush the Senior says, “We will not stand for this aggression,” in reference to Saddam Hussein. And the date on the check is — you guessed it — September 11, 1991. Exactly ten years before the 9/11 attacks! Is it possible the terrorists were fans of The Tao of the Dude?

4. Pitchfork Controls Indie Music and Is Fascist

Skeptics theorize that the omnipresent indie-music site purposefully disparages more established bands while singing the praises of its own obscure discoveries, thus advancing its own musical agenda. (We’ve also had a few bones to pick recently.) Are Pitchfork editors indie buzz kills or innocent critics? Regardless — they’re fascists. Apparently, the Pitchfork symbol is an upside down anti-fascist image. So they may be having tea with Mussolini and Panda Bear.

5. Lady Gaga Is a Man/Puppet of the Illuminati

Barack Obama is a Muslim, and Lady Gaga is a man. These two conspiracy theories pretty much sum up 2009. With her unconventional looks, unconventional outfits, and un-demure behavior, Gaga certainly doesn’t fit the mold of pop princess — convincing many, including this entire website, that she’s a dude. Oh, and with the references to the occult and mind control in her music and videos, a card-carrying member of the Illuminati, too. This we’re more likely to believe. We’ve seen “Bad Romance.”