A standard part of any disaster, natural or otherwise, is that it makes all the worst people in surrounding society crawl out of their holes to declare that it was caused by their personal enemies, because reasons. The conspiracy theorist is among the most resilient of Earth's creatures. We will never be rid of them—there's simply too much profit in it.
Predictably, it didn't take long for Earth's Greatest Wankers to declare that the Maui wildfires were a conspiracy.
That is very good news, because as a great many non-blue check responders noted on the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, the Obamas' home is on Oahu, which is an entirely different Hawaiian island a very long way away from Maui. The Maui fires would either have to charter a private boat to travel the 100 miles of Pacific Ocean that separate the two, or purchase a commercial plane ticket to Honolulu like the rest of us. Most wildfires do not have that kind of money.
But the suspicion over "not a single blade of grass" being touched by a fire not even on the same damn island as the Maui fires, much less in the actual fire's path, was nonetheless tweeted (well, Xeeted) to Lucre's 650,000 followers. Similar claims have been blowing up the conspiracy internets with other celebrity names attached.
That there would be a picture of Bill Gates' well-known mansion in Bellevue, Washington. One clue might be the prominent fir trees dotting the surrounding landscape. A quick scan of the internet reveals only that Gates got married on the mostly private nearby island of Lanai and may visit the Big Island from time to time, but there's no apparent Maui connection to be made.
Of course, that's why it's a conspiracy. Gates might secretly own that whole region of the Pacific and the elites aren't telling us because it's secret. He's probably got all the dolphins wired up with Wi-Fi connections and they probably all flop their way down Hawaiian streets in the dead of night, trying to steal everybody's passwords.
Oh, and the proliferation of these especially ridiculous claims probably has at least something to do with a billionaire named Elon Musk now making it known he's willing to hand out cash prizes to the wankers whose conspiracy theories can drive the most traffic.
Ground zero for these new Maui claims may or may not be a Xitter crank by the name of Matt Wallace, a 1.2 million-follower blue check weenie who listed off a string of famous people who may or may not own properties in Maui and who suspiciously did not have their homes burned down. Australian news site News.com.au singles Wallace's tweets out for examination. It notes that Oprah Winfrey is in fact "one of Maui's biggest private landowners," and has been very active in emergency relief efforts. She showed up at War Memorial Stadium in Wailuki to determine which relief supplies were still needed and drove to nearby Walmart and Costco stores to purchase them.
But Winfrey's own properties are "relatively far" from the fires, and that hints at a dynamic that is familiar to most people who are alive and have parents: People don't know the geography of states they've never been to. If a brush fire is threatening homes in Temecula, California, and you live in, say, San Jose, you may have worried relatives phoning you up checking in on you to see whether you can see the flames. You might have a very hard time explaining to them that the two cities are 400 damn miles away from each other, or roughly the difference between New York City and Columbus, Ohio. If you could see the fire, it would be a situation where Jesus Christ was personally riding the flames down to Judgment Day and you need to hang up the phone and urgently delete certain pictures you've got stored.
"There are fires on Maui" does not mean that literally the entire island of Maui is on fire. The damage to Lahaina is catastrophic, encompassing much of the town, and the separate Upcountry fire has burned about 700 acres and over 500 structures.
But the acreage of both fires amounts to 1% of Maui's land. If residents of other towns are safe right now, that's both expected and good news, not another damn conspiracy by world elites. Do y'all even listen to yourselves, you cranks?
See, this is why a good chunk of the American public thinks all of Portland has burned to the ground and multiple midwestern cities are "no-go zones." It's because they listen to twerps like these.
There are other conspiracy theories going around, of course. A prominent QAnon-style one claims that the Maui fires were started by “space lasers,” because why the f--k not? You can see how that would be a far more believable notion than "80 mile-per-hour winds blew down power lines and ignited dry brush." Who ever heard of power lines falling down?
Then there's this one, which Rupert Murdoch's New York Post promoted because if the paper doesn't post at least three conspiracy theories a week, Murdoch will wither into a desiccated husk and have to be vacuumed up by his cleaning staff.
That one was spread by a xeet from a Bloomberg News reporter who failed to mention that he didn't hear any such thing. The claim was based on a pool report from a far-right British tabloid reporter who claimed that "lip readers" in the pool also did not “hear” President Joe Biden say this, but thought he might have.
So no, it's not very damn likely that the president said "no comment" to begin with. He probably was saying "go gargle," because he could smell the press pool's egg salad travel breath even from 30 yards away.
Print it up, national press. My lip-reading is just as good as anybody else's.
(Seriously, though, proper mouth hygiene is important. Don't overlook this.)
Did anything happen while we were all taking a well-deserved break? Something about Donald Trump being indicted not once, but two times! Also in the news: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ campaign collapse. So much is happening!
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