Wednesday, November 12, 2003
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I'm off to join another secret cabal
Blogging will be intermittent for the next week, as I'm travelling again. [Don't you have one of those fancy wifi laptops that lets you post at Starbucks?--ed. Alas, the big blogger money seems to escape me.]
This time, I'm off to the United Kingdom. First a brief lecture at the University Cambridge, followed by a four-day conference of the British-American Project (BAP), which is an organization that annually brings thirtysomethings from both sides of the Atlantic together to discuss issues of the day.
Or so they would have you believe. A quick Google search reveals that several conspiracy web sites allege sinister motivations behind this conference. For example, this site characterizes BAP as, "a small and extremely covert group." But wait, there's more:
For another good conspiracy-sounding descriptions of the BAP, click here.
Your intrepid blogger promises to infiltrate this suspicious-sounding organization and report the truth! [What if they offer you a "position of considerable fame or influence"?--ed. It would take a lot more than that to destroy my hard-earned reputation for intellectual integrity in the blogosphere!! What if they offer you a "position of considerable fame or influence" and a private candlelit dinner with Jennifer Garner?--ed. Yeah, that's about my price.]posted by Dan on 11.12.03 at 05:46 PM
Hey, Dan, have fun -- but I hope you won't be disappointed. I've been a Freemason for 30-odd years, and all I got was a collection of funny handshakes.
Being in a world-wide conspiracy is not what it's cracked up to be.posted by: Charlie on 11.12.03 at 05:46 PM [permalink]
Who on Earth is Bilderberg?posted by: Dick Thompson on 11.12.03 at 05:46 PM [permalink]
Who made Steve Gutenberg a star?posted by: David Nieporent on 11.12.03 at 05:46 PM [permalink]
Of course, bap is also British slang for a woman's breast. Could this be some sort of international neocon swingers' convention? "An ingenious method of indoctrinating next generation elites" indeed. Shocking! Absolutely shocking!posted by: reuben on 11.12.03 at 05:46 PM [permalink]
If you're gonna sell out then you might as well go whole hog. Clearly, you should hold out for an all expense paid getaway week in Tuscany, Italy with Jennifer Garner in addition to considerable fame and fortune. Never do things by halvsies, Dan. That's our problem in Iraq now. Neither fish nor fowl. So go for the whole shebang! :-)posted by: Oldman on 11.12.03 at 05:46 PM [permalink]
Dan, I know that there are some fairly unrigorous types who have caught some of the research on the BAP, but I would have thought that the underlying point deserves to be taken seriously. The statement that the BAP aims to "indoctrinate the next generation's elites" ought to be uncontroversial; it aims to pick young people with potential, and to get them to meet together and network, increasing the chances that they will be able to sustain good careers in future. I would guess that's a large part of the reason you're going there. It's going to be a bit easier for you to get tenure at Chicago with the BAP on your CV, and it will be a lot easier for you to be the next generation's Paul Wolfowitz (or whoever) if you have a background as a Chicago professor.
Furthermore, the BAP is an organisation with an explicit, non-confidential, neo-liberal agenda. Hence the "Bilderberg propaganda" line (btw, it is beyond me why any mention of the Bilderberg group gets you treated as a tinfoil hat case; it's a real group and it does have meetings, where important policy issues are discussed between important people). There's bound to be a lot of free market groupthink there.
Some people think that tight networking organisations for people who tend to end up with important government jobs, aren't necessarily terribly good for democracy. I think that they deserve a little better than your casual treatment here. (This probably deserves a longer post on CT).posted by: dsquared on 11.12.03 at 05:46 PM [permalink]
posted by: Will Baude on 11.12.03 at 05:46 PM [permalink]
If you want to be secretive, why put up a website advertising the fact that you're being secretive?
I guess you can't get CV points for belonging to a totally secret society, though. Unless the people who care about your CV are also in the society...posted by: TomD on 11.12.03 at 05:46 PM [permalink]
"Don't you have one of those fancy wifi laptops that lets you post at Starbucks?--ed.Alas, the big blogger money seems to escape me."
Not sure that big blogger money exists, Dan, but I do know this: all of sixty bucks gets you a decent WiFI card. Now if you're trying to escape teh Tyranny o' Blogging for few days, that's another matter.posted by: Roger L. Simon on 11.12.03 at 05:46 PM [permalink]
In The Russia House http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0100530/
Sean Connery ponders the question of wether he would give up his country for the love of a woman. The answer was yes, but the woman was Michell Pfeiffer.
I thought it was a no brainer.
If they offer jeniffer garner, go for it.
BTW what happened to Salma Hyak?posted by: Robert Schwartz on 11.12.03 at 05:46 PM [permalink]
Forget Jennifer Garner.posted by: Robert Schwartz on 11.12.03 at 05:46 PM [permalink]
Not all of the crazies are locked up, some of them are blogging about conspiracy after conspiracy. This would remind me of the "Floride is a Communist Plot" type of paranoia if it wasn't so funny. Excuse me a minute, I hear a fluttering noise, what on earth....... OMG, black helicopters spiraling down on my abode, I must get this off before the catch me and take me away. OMG... here they come, pounding the door down.. I'm..........posted by: GMRoper on 11.12.03 at 05:46 PM [permalink]
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