I say "again" because Dick Gregory is to conspiranoia what Seth Rogan is to mediocre comedies: You just can't rid of the guy. He rocks as a comedian and an activist, but as a semi-professional paranoid he sucks. Every time you hear a weird or stupid conspiracy theory, you can bet that Dick Gregory has already made it weirder or stupider.
- At the height of the Atlanta child killings, which were likely the work of a sexual predator, Gregory declared that research scientists were probably killing young black boys for their foreskins, to use in some arcane cancer treatment that was being kept secret. This was after he declared that the KKK was responsible.
- Bizarrely, he insisted that Michael Jackson did not do inappropriate things with young boys even after Michael Jackson appeared in a British documentary and talked openly about doing inappropriate things with young boys. On the radio show Make It Plain, he speculated that the FBI and other shadowy figures framed Jackson to get their hands on the Beatles catalogue. In 2005 Gregory told NPR that MJ probably had a same-sex attraction for children because he was injected with female hormones as a boy - a rumour that went around in the '80s - then came out with (surprise!) another really odd conspiracy theory: "You look at women that use birth control pills; some of them have a strong attraction for another woman because birth control pills have female hormones in it. Most of them don't know this, and that's what this whole game is." (I don't know of any research that would back this up, but by all means fill me in if I've missed something epic.)
- Big shock: Dick Gregory proclaimed that Michael Jackson was murdered and that he had not been abusing drugs, telling a Nancy Grace interviewer and others that Jackson feared for his life in 2005. He implies that whoever was supposedly trying to get MJ back then patiently waited 4 years to murder him.
- When the Zapruder film was first shown to the American public on TV and declared to be proof of a second gunman (which it is not), Dick Gregory was there.
- In the '70s, he teamed up with the deeply shady lawyer Mark Lane to prove that the FBI killed MLK Jr. (While William Pepper's An Act of State makes a fairly convincing case for this, the proof is still not in 40 years later.)
- When AIDS hit, Dick Gregory was one of the first to declare that the government probably invented it to kill black people. (Today it's cool to say that, but when Dick Gregory said it, it was still slightly insane.)
- Right after Katrina, he wondered about the levees being secretly dynamited (a rumour that has popped up after each and every flood in the history of New Orleans, always without much evidence).
- At some point he hopped on the raw food and milk-is-a-deadly-poison bandwagons, and began going on dangerously long liquid fasts for both health and political reasons. An unsourced interview clip shows him telling people that animals won't drink tapwater because they know it's full of poison gas, and that "all diseases come from lack of drinking water".
- He decided that NASA faked the moon landings (and apparently all the space junk, too).
- In the NPR interview, he fretted that the CIA or the FBI might use his credit card to purchase plane tickets for terrorists.
- In a particularly bizarre rant posted on YouTube, Gregory says violence by black children should be blamed on whatever the white people are putting into malt liquor. "And it's your fault, too! Malt liquor is made by white companies but only sold in black neighborhoods, and you ain't checked it to see what's in it!" He's also very upset about manganese, which he claims is responsible for the elevated crime rate in a small Australian town located near a manganese mine. "Manganese will make you kill your mama... How much manganese are you sprayin' in my neighborhood at night while I'm asleep?!" At the end of the rant he makes a kind of menacing comment that white folks should be grateful for Hillary and Obama, "'cause if y'all had a brother like me, y'all would really be in trouble!"
- One of his strangest food-related theories (*explained* here) is that genetically engineered tomatoes containing fish cells would cause not only the tomato, but the human body, to retain water. "Waterlogged" tomato eaters will go to the doctor, be given bad medical advice, and end up dead. (Perhaps we'll never know, because that particular tomato died on the vine, so to speak.)
- And now, of course, Dick Gregory is a Truther. And he's going on some kind of liquid diet until the Truth comes out. He's giving Them until 2012.
Lest you go thinking that Gregory says these things because he's a patriot who just wants to make his country a better place, let me point out that he has described the U.S. as a "racist, evil, nasty country" and in a speech called it "the most dishonest, ungodly, unspiritual nation that ever existed in the history of the planet". Doesn't sound to me like he holds out much hope for it.
- ► 2011 (42)
- ▼ September (8)