Regardless of our stance on tin foil hats as protective devices against mind-melt rays (fun fact: They actually amplify them), most of us are fascinated by conspiracy theories. My particular favorites are celebrity conspiracies that are obviously insane yet follow a bizarre Hollywoodian narrative that makes them strangely mesmerizing. They're like popcorn that's buttered with delicious madness.
#4. Kurt Cobain Is Still Alive And Making Music ... In Weezer
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April 8, 1994, was a bad day for grunge fans: The Offspring's Smash was released and paved the way for mainstream punk rock as the Next Big Thing In Music. Also, a random electrician dude had the shock of a lifetime (I'm not apologizing for that joke) when he found the body and suicide note of Kurt Cobain.
To list all the conspiracy theories surrounding the Nirvana frontman's shotgun-assisted demise is a task too Herculean for a single entry in a Cracked column. If you want to read about those, hit Google and prepare to get really fucking confused about Courtney Love. Also, remember to make a big pot of coffee, because son, that trip is an all-nighter. Among the craziest that you'll discover is that not only is Cobain still alive, he's still making music.
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According to this particularly inspired theory making the rounds, the bespectacled frontman of the alt-rock group Weezer is indeed Kurt Cobain in disguise, because the first thing a famous rock star who is clinically depressed does after freeing himself from the shackles of celebrity is to start the whole rise-to-fame process all over again. Still, you can kind of see some suspicious similarities in the men's careers, if you squint while ingesting twice the human body's limit of LSD. Weezer's career-making Blue Album came out shortly after Cobain's death. They both have reservations about fame, their guitar sound is somewhat similar, they're roughly the same age, and, of course, they kind of resemble each other:
When your repertoire switches from "Rape Me" to "The Sweater Song,"
your butt-chin is bound to lose a bit of chisel.
Well, not really, and once you get past the "holy shit, that's kind of weird" aspect of those other facts, you quickly realize that there's absolutely no freaking way this can be true. Cuomo didn't just appear overnight -- we have childhood pictures and shit, and Weezer has been around since 1992. Also, Cuomo confesses to being Nirvana's biggest fan, which would be an unlikely statement from Cobain, a man who openly resented the band's fame and mainstream status to the point where he contemplated joining freaking Hole.
Still, think about the implications if Cobain's maimed remains actually had been someone else's and the real Kurt pissed off to live a life where he'd never have to play "Smells Like Teen Spirit" again. Where did he get the body? How did he set the whole thing up so no one has been able to find out that he's been writing power-pop tunes in a frisky four-man ensemble all along? And what does he do to the people who inevitably find out? If you ask me, there's a pretty chilling psychopath thriller in there -- and old Kurt damn well wouldn't be the good guy.
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As for the protagonist of the story, I'll just leave this picture here.
So, yeah. As an idea for a movie, this is a massively interesting premise. As for its viability as a conspiracy theory, uh ... let's just make the most of it by watching the following video and imagining it's Cobain singing:
#3. Princess Diana Vs. The Royal Reptile Draculas
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Let's take a moment to revisit Princess Diana and her unfortunate demise via paparazzi car chase on Aug. 31, 1997. Right from the beginning, it was one of those cases that was destined to wind up with a massive Wikipedia entry just about the scores of assassination-related conspiracy theories surrounding it. That's always the mark of a good death story.
Some say the driver of the doomed limousine was on the payroll of some intelligence agency or another. Others maintain that a mysterious white Fiat Uno played a part in the fatal crash. Others still claim that the driver was deliberately blinded with a bright flash. And that's just the methods -- the actual reasons of her alleged assassination are so many and storied, the ghost of Elvis would lift his eyes from the pile of banana-bacon sandwiches he is forever consuming and shake his head sadly. Then his gaze would meet mine and he'd wordlessly pass me one of his sandwiches as he realized I'm going to have to write about the stupidest theory of them all: the one that claims Lady Di was assassinated by royal reptilian vampires because she was about to reveal the truth, man.
"That'ssss bullsssshit, man. We were busy canceling Rolanda that day."
I shouldn't be surprised. I really shouldn't. The whole "British royalty are Illuminati reptilian shapeshifters" thing has been around as long as the concepts of Illuminati and reptilians, both of which are incidentally surprisingly recent. Diana was (allegedly) in the habit of referring to her husband's family with colorful phrases like "lizards" and "literally not human." Sane people might remember that her marriage was a strained affair at best and file this in the colorful, writhing map labeled "impeding divorce" language. Or, at the very least, "not everything I say is to be taken literally, you fucking morons" language.
Conspiracy theorists, on the other hand, gleefully take these offhand remarks as cast-iron proof of Elizabethan reptilianity, and on this solid rock build their theories about the royal family being strange lizard vampires that have lived through the millennia by going full Dracula on people and replacing their body parts bit by bit with stolen flesh while they're at it, because fuck you, logic.
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Though it would explain why Prince Charles looks like he's made out of spare parts.
So Diana had enough of that shit, threatened to reveal their secret to the public, and was promptly assassinated for being a dick to the Iguana Nosferatu folk that secretly preside over us all. This brings us back to all those assassination theories, thus creating a layer cake of conspiracy theorists of varying levels of (in)sanity. I bet whoever is in charge of updating the appropriate watchlist appreciates the effort.