In the modern era — in which every civilian carries a video camera in his pocket and has instant access to a 24/7 global publishing platform — the idea of cover-ups no longer makes any sense. There are secrets, sure — witness the NSA — but, if anything, we’re awash in way too much evidence. If the Kennedy assassination happened today, we wouldn’t be rewatching every frame of the Zapruder film; we’d be sifting through 10,000 camera-phone videos taken from every angle and algorithmically sorting through tweets, sent live, in real time, from the scene. Think of the days following the Boston Marathon: The problem wasn’t too little proof, but too much, and a million nameless Redditors (and the New York Post) cluelessly Wiki-sorting through the endless amounts of evidentiary data. 9/11 was likely the most documented mass-tragedy in history. Thus we have the post-9/11 version of the conspiracy nut: the so-called “truther,” to whom every bit of the copious evidence must be questioned, repudiated, and disproved. As time marches on and new technology allows us to, say, see the American flags left by astronauts on the moon, the moon-landing hoax morphs from a cover-up (they’re hiding the evidence!) to a truther-style conspiracy (they’re faking the evidence!). For a truther, the goal is no longer to find the smoking gun, but to figure out which of a dozen readily available smoking guns is the one that fired the killing shot.
This is why Wolf’s rantings felt so alarming, yet so familiar: It’s a conspiracy theory precisely tailored to the modern surveillance age. Sure, there’s actual video footage of the atrocity being committed, but guess what? The footage is fake. And the news reports detailing the crimes? Bogus — the reporters are in on it, too. And all those real people, filmed from a dozen angles, who were clearly left emotionally ravaged? Actors, every single one of them. (Drawn, apparently, from some inexhaustible pool of expert and unrecognizable thespians who can convincingly play grieving relatives and be trusted somehow not to post about it minutes later on Facebook.) The essential job of the modern conspiracy nut — the truther — is not to uncover evidence, but to explain exactly why the overabundance of evidence is untrustworthy and wrong.
Which makes Gone Girl the ultimate truther fable. […] Nick is not the victim of a cover-up, but by the end, he’s definitely an Amy truther. As are we, the audience. Nick’s tale confirms what Wolf and her truther ilk suspect. All the proof is untrustworthy. All the footage is faked. All the victims are actors. And the defining, vaguely nihilistic belief of the modern conspiracy theorist is no longer that the truth is out there. It’s that nothing out there is the truth."
— “Gone Girl is The Ultimate Truther Movie”, Adam Sternbergh, Vulture, 2014. (via aintgotnoladytronblues)