As we pointed out long before his claims about a Flat Earth exploded the internet yesterday, B.o.B. had actually lowkey become rap's leading conspiracy theorist months ago. Bobby Ray had seemingly picked up the entire conspiracy starter pack, from 9/11 to human cloning, and yesterday he added Holocaust denial to that long list via his "Flatline" track.
But since it was his Flat Earth ideas that really captured the nation's attention and started the most entertaining rap beef since Drake vs. Meek, we'll start with the Flat Earth principle. I know you've got questions, I've got answers.
There Are Real People Who Really Think the Earth is Flat For Real?
You bet your round ass there are. There's an official Flat Earth Society with several hundred members, and those are just the people who took the time to officially join a group, which I assume isn't something those attempting to dismantle the establishment is super fond of. Even a quick tour through some of the stranger corners of YouTube reveals a thriving community of people devoting hours and hours of their life to proving that the earth is flat.
Why Would There Be a Conspiracy To Fool People Into Thinking the Earth is Round?
I know, right? Seems like a lot of trouble for the governments of the world to go through for not much gain, but that's just because you stay unwoke. Let's break down the general timeline according to the Flat Earthers:
- Even some Ancient Greeks believed that the world was round, but in modern terms, Copernicus is largely credited with developing the theory of heliocentrism. After some initial resistance (cue "Haterz Everywhere") the larger world eventually came to categorically accept that the world is round and orbits the sun. Flat Earthers believe Copernicus was well-intentioned and wasn't attempting to start a conspiracy, he was just wrong.
- That belief persisted for centuries until NASA first developed satellites capable of going into space, and one of the first things they saw from that altitude was, oh shit, the Earth was actually flat. Goddamnit, when people learned the truth it would destroy the public faith in science and NASA would be shut down. So instead of admitting the truth, they decided it would be easier to embark on a decade's long mission to fake round photos of the Earth and other planets, fake moon landings, and swear everyone who went into space and discovered the truth to secrecy (including, I guess, the RedBull guy.)
That doesn't actually seem easier than admitting the truth at all, it sounds way more complicated, but what do I know? And there, now tweets like this from B.o.B. make more sense.
So What's Their Evidence?
I won't front, I literally failed Geometry in high school, so you're not exactly dealing with a sharp mathematical mind here. I ended up with a career in music journalism for a reason, so I won't even pretend to be able to analyze the myriad charts and graphs Flat Earthers routinely point to. Most mistakes come from people convinced they understand complex concepts they actually don't, and I won't fall into the same trap.
Is any of that math actually accurate? I have no idea, but I do have some basic reading comprehension skills and after reading a good chunk of Flat Earth literature, the "no matter how high the average person [aka Not NASA] goes the horizon still looks flat" argument is really their jam. That's the argument Neil "Ether" Degrasse Tyson clapped back on.
But If You Walked in a Straight Line You'd End Up Where You Started, Right?
Let me answer your question with a question since you seem so scared to ask questions that shake your precious fragile reality you sheeple. As a Flat Earther put in in this Reddit comment thread, "How would you know you're going in a straight line in the first place? If you use a compass then it would point to the center of the world (in a flat world map). Going 'East' would just mean going in a huge circle around the north pole, banking left slightly to keep your compass pointed to the left. In a flat earth if you kept going east using a compass you would end up in the same place."
Yeah....I don't really get it either. Just know that while Flat Earthers believe that traveling in one direction will bring you back to where you started, they don't believe that means you've traveled "around" the globe, just that you've traveled across a flat Earth operating under the illusion that you're going in a circle the entire time. This is where my brain starts leaking out of my nostrils.
What About People Who Have Flown Around the World?
Yesterday our founder Dave Macli had a great idea to launch a Kickstarter aimed at buying B.o.B. plane tickets around the globe, but after some research, it turns out all we would have raised money for was more proof in Bobby's mind that the Earth is flat. Dodged that bullet.
But if Earth Was Flat, What About Gravity?
Exactly, gravity doesn't exist, now you're starting to get it. Instead, Flat Earthers believe in Universal Acceleration (UA), which holds that the Earth is constantly accelerating upwards, thereby pressing us down into the Earth's surface the same way slamming your foot on the gas pedal presses you back into a car's seat. It may sound a little outlandish, but they've got equations and everything:
See, it's simple science.
Oh, I Almost Forgot. So What Happens When You Get to the Edge? You Just Fall Off the Earth?
What? Fall off the Earth? No, that'd be insane. According to 19th-century thinker and Flat Earth movement founder Dr. Samuel Birley Rowbotham, the North Pole is at the exact center of the Earth, and the outermost "Southern" edge is ringed with a wall of ice that keeps the world's oceans from spilling over into space. I'm not sure what their stance on global warming is, but if an ice wall really is the only thing preventing us all from slipping into the endless abyss of space, we're pretty fucked.
Is There Anything Else I Should Know?
Sigh...yes. Antarctica. We should probably talk about Antarctica. According to Flat Earthers, the 1959 Antarctic Treaty, which prevented any one country from laying claim to Antarctica, was created so that the world governments could prevent anyone from independently traveling there and gathering proof that the Earth is not round. Furthermore, many, including B.o.B., believe that at the exact center of the North Pole is a hole that leads to an entirely different underground world of sorts that contains human cloning chambers and a race of Lizard people known as the Vril able to take control of their human hosts. Really? Yes, really.
Remember in "Flatline" when B.o.B. told us to "look up look up Doctor Richard Sauder"? Well I did, and he's one of the leading proponents of this theory—I don't want to call his UNDERGROUND BASES & TUNNELS: What is the Government Trying to Hide? a classic, but it's kind of the Illmatic of books about secret underground human cloning centers.
To be frank, I'm going have to stop there, I just don't have it in me to tackle a flat Earth and The Vril in one day - my third eye can only be opened so wide in 24 hours. And of course, none of this coverage has moved B.o.B. an inch, if anything it's only convinced him more that the media's being harnessed to shut down the revolutionary views he's trying to spread. So we'll just have to tackle human cloning on some later date.
In the meantime, let's all just pray the ice at the Southern edge of the world doesn't melt.