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IPFS News Link • Conspiracies

Conspiracy Theorists Think A24's 'Civil War' Is Actually 'Programming' Americans

•, By Matthew Gault

The trailer for Civil War, a new film about the crack up of America from Alex Garland and A24, dropped like a bomb on the internet. The film is coming out next year in April, it'll tell the story of a war journalist, played by Kirsten Dunst, traveling with her family across the U.S. as the country goes to war with itself. Right wing grifters online have already decided that the film is "predictive programming"—an example of shadowy deep state elites using their control of the media to prepare the population for an actual civil war.

This is, of course, bullshit.

Predictive programming is a long-running conspiracy theory that claims powerful Hollywood elites are using the media to program the populace. The idea is that, at the behest of the Illuminati or somesuch, Hollywood makes films like Civil War to normalize the idea of conflict between the states. Philosopher Alan Watt coined the term and it's been used ever since to explain away the eerie similarities people find between art and the real world.

Another film about an apocalypse, Leave the World Behind, gained similar attention this week. The film, which stars Julia Roberts and Ethan Hawke, tells the story of two families trying to survive a vague apocalypse that follows an unexplained blackout. Barack Obama produced the film, which made it an ideal target for conspiracy-minded internet personalities who make money by sharing reactionary takes with their perpetually scared and receptive right-wing audience. Like Civil War, weirdos are pointing to it as an example of elites using art and the media to control us.

The idea is ludicrous on its face and completely misunderstands how art works and the reciprocal nature between a society and the art it creates. The most popular version of the predictive programming conspiracy theory is the idea that The Simpsons predicted something. The only thing The Simpsons ever predicted was our stupidity. But that hasn't stopped conspiracists from laying the blame for events as wide ranging as 9/11the pandemic, and the election of Donald Trump at the feet of The Simpsons.