The Conspiracy Corner invades WRSE airwaves

doubletruck

On Wednesday, Mar. 16 I may have been abducted, or at least transported to an alternate reality. I was initially uneasy when two (possible) Reptilians looked at me with their shifty green eyes and invited me into The Conspiracy Corner. They led me into a highly secure room fittingly tucked into the corner of the basement. With the wave of a hand and a futuristic beep, the first door opened. They punched a code into a small keypad to get past the next line of defense and told me to sit on a tall stool. Hovering red lights alerted me that I was to remain silent because the discussion was about to begin. The topic – Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s moon landing was staged in a studio, possibly under the direction of “2001: a Space Odyssey” director Stanley Kubrick. I was immediately enthralled. This isn’t the introduction to a sci-fi flick, or an actual abduction, but rather my experience sitting in on a new specialty radio show on WRSE 88.7fm hosted by Jen Anthony and Aislinn Sanders every Wednesday night from 6-8 p.m. I may not have been physically taken any further than the WRSE radio station, but the show engulfed me in discussions so beyond my own realm of thinking. The format of the show involves in-depth discussions regarding “evidence” presented on various conspiracy theorist websites, broken up by kick-ass tunes. When asked how the songs were chosen, Sanders explained that it’s far simpler than planning discussions. “We basically just say, ‘that sounds like a good song, and also here’s some space music,’” she said. Anthony and Sanders have deemed March “Space Month”, meaning all of their conspiracies will be about space-themed topics. For the moon landing, they presented popular cited evidence such as the possibility of a waving flag, a planted rock, and an unexplained light source. The refreshing part of the show is, despite their interest in conspiracies as a topic of discussion, Anthony and Sanders are not devout conspiracists. They instead bring a skeptical disposition towards each topic they tackle, including the evidence they present to listeners. “I’m not buying this one,” laughed Anthony in response to a photo depicting a possible alternate light in the grainy reflection of Aldrin’s visor. “It’s just a blurry photo on film!” Sanders quipped back, “But I think the planted rock is the most believable piece of evidence! It really looks like there’s a letter etched on there.” The banter following each piece of evidence is what makes The Conspiracy Corner worth tuning into. The hosts are roommates and their communication style is natural even in times of opposition. Because they don’t always agree with one another, it leaves room for the listener to evaluate the evidence without fear of ostracizing. And if they really want their voice to be heard, listeners are encouraged to call in or share thoughts via social media. For this week’s show, WRSE’s music director Alyssa Crile joined the discussion as an on-air guest. After all the evidence had been presented she was given the chance to divulge her opinions and interact with the knowledgeable hosts. Overall, it was truly entertaining and made me laugh out loud on multiple occasions. The bouncing of ideas and opinions was easy to follow while still remaining entertaining and spontaneous. A limitation of the show was the lack of audience participation outside of the studio. No one called to add their thoughts to the discussion, and the hashtag was not utilized during the show either. The complexities of these discussions are largely reliant on people expressing their own ideas. While Sanders and Anthony have a plethora of great comments and analysis, it would have been interesting to hear more voices in the equation. Thankfully, the show is new and still has room to grow. When asked why they decided to host a conspiracy-focused radio show, they described the inception in a way that mirrors the organic nature of their on-air discussions. “We just like conspiracies,” exclaimed Sanders. “Sometimes we would be hanging out in our room talking about conspiracy theories, staying up until 3 a.m. with tears in our eyes because some of it freaks us out,” added Anthony. “The idea of making it a show started as a joke, but then we decided to make it happen!” And thus, The Conspiracy Corner was born. I personally don’t spend much time contemplating the legitimacy of various events or authority figures. Like many, I have ingested historical information as fact without a second thought. Anthony and Sanders encourage listeners to push beyond that complacency and instead interact with even the most absurd thoughts shared in the world of conspiracy theories. While some ideas like the debunked myth claiming Kubrick admitted to directing the moon landing are beyond the realm of plausibility, it is entertaining and mentally stimulating to contemplate these thoughts. It’s even more worthwhile to discuss them verbally between jamming out to songs old and new. I didn’t leave that basement discrediting the moon landings, nor have I been implanted with secret microchips from the government (not that I know of, at least), but I did leave with an increased appreciation for shared ideas. As well as a repertoire of responses in case I ever come across a moon landing conspiracy theorist. After musical breaks, Anthony was sure to share a disclaimer that is important to consider when listening in, “This isn’t science,” she said. “This is purely for entertainment purposes.” All I know is that sounds like something the Illuminati would pay radio hosts to say…