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Alex Jones
March 2, 2011 6:47 AM   Subscribe

Talk Radio's Alex Jones, the Most Paranoid Man in America. Charlie Sheen's interviewer opens up.
posted by fixedgear (85 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
The only bigger imbeciles than Jones in this world are those who view him as a prophet. I had a housemate who listened to this man's insane rambling every day. He took colloidal silver as a patent medicine, and then got so sick that he had to be taken to the hospital. He believed in the Amero, the North American Union, the NWO, the Illuminati, and probably the Smurfs.
posted by 1adam12 at 6:57 AM on March 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Alex Jones is actually Bill Hicks.
posted by empath at 7:00 AM on March 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


He believed in the Amero, the North American Union, the NWO, the Illuminati, and probably the Smurfs

The smurfs even more so once the silver turned him into one.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:02 AM on March 2, 2011 [8 favorites]


empath: "Alex Jones is actually Bill Hicks."

It all makes sense now! Oh wait, no it doesn't.

Actually, weren't they friends? I remember hearing that, and was a bit disappointed that Hicks would be friends w/Jones. Scary!
posted by symbioid at 7:09 AM on March 2, 2011


I think they had mutual friends, but in 1993, alex jones was only 19.
posted by empath at 7:10 AM on March 2, 2011


To Jones, what matters most is the "continuity of agenda at the top. When I called Clinton a Wall Street puppet, they called me a right-wing extremist. When I said the same about George W. Bush, they called me an anti-war communist. Now that I'm against Obama for the same reasons, mainline conservatives embrace me. When I attack the next right-wing 'savior,' they're gonna call me a communist again."

He may be crazy, but not entirely off base.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:12 AM on March 2, 2011 [17 favorites]


Alex Jones is only 37? I'm already shocked and this is just the second paragraph.
posted by activitystory at 7:12 AM on March 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


activitystory: "Alex Jones is only 37? I'm already shocked and this is just the second paragraph."

Ditto! I can't believe he's not that much older than me. Damn.

Yeah, he may not be *entirely* off base, but once he starts talking about all these small secret Illuminati clubs that control every little thing, and that MARTIAL LAW IS COMING ANY SECOND!!!! Then, yeah... He starts to be 99 percent off base.

One of the guys I enjoy listening to is Derry Brownfield. That Missouri dude who's all about the tracking of cattle by RFID. I love that quaint folksy accent - reminds me of my Dad a bit.

But he's still nuts as fuck. As is Jack Blood.
posted by symbioid at 7:15 AM on March 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


I have a close friend who loves Alex Jones. I think he is about 70% horseshit and about 30% brilliant (Disclaimer: I don't live in the USA and don't really care much about the local issues, so I tune out a lot of the politics)

He was very good at covering the G8/G20 protests in Toronto - he didn't trust the police version of the events when the rest of the media had whipped even some progressives I know into practically demanding mass arrests. Inquiries are now starting to show that the police lied their asses off about the whole thing.

Some of Jones' stuff around the TSA being a bunch of bullies and thugs rings true to my ears and some some of his guests are also exceptionally good, even though they are often well outside the mainstream - Max Keiser is brilliant, and Gerald Celente is a fascinating guy for example.

I'm not totally dismissive of some conspiracy theories either.

I tend to tune him out because of the endless, cartoonish shilling of products of questionable value, but the guy does talk about some things nobody else does, and I think he is a good part of the alternative media.
posted by Deep Dish at 7:16 AM on March 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


He may be crazy, but not entirely off base.

That's the scary part. He's not entirely off-base, and he presents his case well. I was in my early 20's when I first encountered him (through his rant scene in "Waking Life") and I was drawn further in by his discussions of WTC7. Then I saw the Bohemian Grove/contrails type stuff, and I walked slowly backwards from the crazy. It almost got me, though, and it wasn't because I was an imbecile.

In the 2000-2004 period, there was a lot to be uncertain and suspicious of. I knew this, but I didn't know who had the answers and I was young and impressionable enough to briefly think that it might be him. I can certainly see how it happens to others.
posted by rollbiz at 7:16 AM on March 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'll tell you what he really believes -- he believes that he would like to sell you his DVD and 2 or 3 of his T-shirts. Basically, Alex Jones has found a niche market for merchandise.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:20 AM on March 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


He's not the highest profile conspiracy theorist any more.

Assange goes off the deep end.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:20 AM on March 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Everything important about Alex's personality is thrown into sharp relief in the interview he did with Noam Chomsky:

1 2 3 4 5 (or autoplay)

The interview is certainly worth a listen in its entirety, but the classic Alex moment comes in the final minutes of part 4. After spending nearly an hour in cordial dialog with his guest, in which they agree on every major point, Jones turns on him like a rabid dog and lumps him in with the rest of the NWO villains. He did the same with Julian Assange, and he does it to anyone else who should, in theory, be his comrades.

You can imagine he's a paranoid lunatic; believing everyone is in on the conspiracy but him. That's giving him the benefit of the doubt, however. A less flattering interpretation is to read his hatred of the Global Elite as sour grapes about not being in the club like Limbaugh, and his loathing of Chomsky et al as simple professional jealousy.
posted by clarknova at 7:21 AM on March 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


Alex Jones is only 37? I'm already shocked and this is just the second paragraph. Me too. We were born the same year? WTF? Having never seen his videos, I always assumed someone considerably older.

It's like one of those drawings with a hidden pattern. Once you stare long enough, it appears.

I think this is the basic fallacy, really. EVERYTHING looks like a pattern if you stare at it long enough. (This is why I can't stand patterned sheets when I have a fever, FWIW.) It's hard to admit that sometimes the shit is just random.
posted by epersonae at 7:22 AM on March 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


He may be crazy, but not entirely off base...It almost got me, though, and it wasn't because I was an imbecile.

You sure about that? Stopped clocks are right twice a day.
posted by incessant at 7:22 AM on March 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


If it weren't for his criticism of big business and the Republicans he would have had a show on Fox News long ago. I kind of like it when I see a "9/11 was an inside job" or infowars dot com bumper sticker on a car because it helps me identify the nutjobs.
posted by Daddy-O at 7:29 AM on March 2, 2011


You sure about that? Stopped clocks are right twice a day.

Am I sure about what, exactly?

That he isn't entirely off base? Yeah.

That I'm not an imbecile? No.
posted by rollbiz at 7:31 AM on March 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think this is the basic fallacy, really. EVERYTHING looks like a pattern if you stare at it long enough.

Yeah, this is a manifestation of the Law of Fives.

The other primary fallacy of conspiracy theories is confusion of symbols with their referents.
posted by empath at 7:31 AM on March 2, 2011 [10 favorites]


You know the saying: just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you.

You can change the saying: just because you have conspiracy theories doesn't mean you're crazy.

After all, the most attractive thing about conspiracy theories is that they make a logical kind of sense and certainly aren't impossible.

(For the record, I Am Not a Conspiracy Theorist)
posted by ashbury at 7:35 AM on March 2, 2011


The other primary fallacy of conspiracy theories is confusion of symbols with their referents.

That's cuttingly true. Is that your observation alone or does anyone else say it? I'd be eager to read a book on the semiotics of psychosis.
posted by clarknova at 7:35 AM on March 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


Alex Jones, Webster Tarpley, David Icke et al serve a very important function as shills for the power elite - they make opposition to the status quo and the concentration of wealth and power look insane to reasonable people, and they keep stupid people distracted and preoccupied.

I would be shocked, utterly shocked, if the Illuminazi reptoids weren't cackling in their orbiting space banks and clapping their talons in glee when they listen to Jones's broadcasts.
posted by fleetmouse at 7:36 AM on March 2, 2011 [14 favorites]


That's cuttingly true. Is that your observation alone or does anyone else say it? I'd be eager to read a book on the semiotics of psychosis.

Foucault's Pendulum
posted by empath at 7:37 AM on March 2, 2011 [9 favorites]


I think he is about 70% horseshit and about 30% brilliant

If your shtick is "Trust no one. Believe no one. Everyone's in on the scam" then you'll say things that, if they aren't brilliant, aren't obviously insane about 30% of the time. Astrology is total horseshit with no predictive value whatsoever and yet my horoscope seems surprisingly on the mark with just about that degree of accuracy.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:42 AM on March 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Assange goes off the deep end

Whoops, time to push the call button...looks like we're reaching the point where I get off that bandwagon.
posted by dry white toast at 7:42 AM on March 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Alex Jones, Webster Tarpley, David Icke et al serve a very important function as shills for the power elite - they make opposition to the status quo and the concentration of wealth and power look insane to reasonable people, and they keep stupid people distracted and preoccupied.

Well the really terrifying thing is that it's not a conspiracy, that no one is in control, and the invisible hand of the market that people put so much trust into, is a mad and imbecilic and randomly rewards the undeserving and punishes the innocent.
posted by empath at 7:43 AM on March 2, 2011 [8 favorites]


Hey hey, be fair... Jones isn't into the Reptilians. That's Icke, and he sets the bar on crazy.
posted by symbioid at 7:43 AM on March 2, 2011


Foucault's Pendulum

Oh so that's what I get for trying to slog through his critical works without reading his fiction.

Thanks!
posted by clarknova at 7:44 AM on March 2, 2011


The most paranoid man in America? Hardly. At this moment, I am listening to Glenn Beck talk about how the unions are working with Islamic radicals and Palestinian terrorists to bring Sharia law to America.

Now there is a prophet for you.
posted by three blind mice at 7:47 AM on March 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


Metafilter: "It's comin' your way! Enjoy it, yuppies!"
posted by activitystory at 7:48 AM on March 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


tc;dr (too crazy, didn't read).
Also: before I logged in, I was getting ads for Goldline on this page.
posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 7:53 AM on March 2, 2011


How does Rolling Stone know that his audience is twice as big as Limbaugh/Beck combined? By Neilsen? Please.
posted by spicynuts at 7:56 AM on March 2, 2011


That's Icke, and he sets the bar on crazy.

Bar topped and raised by Val Vlaerian's "Matrix" books. This guy is The Source for nearly every kooky new age UFO conspiracy you've ever heard of, including the lizards.
posted by clarknova at 7:56 AM on March 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


clarknova: "That's Icke, and he sets the bar on crazy.

Bar topped and raised by Val Vlaerian's "Matrix" books. This guy is The Source for nearly every kooky new age UFO conspiracy you've ever heard of, including the lizards.
"

Wow, never heard of that guy - the titles alone look like they're straight out of the mind of a paranoid schizophrenic (no, not joking this time -- I mean seriously unhinged needs medication kind of paranoid delusion)

I would love to get a hold of a copy of some of this, it looks very intriguing!
posted by symbioid at 8:00 AM on March 2, 2011


what fleetmouse said. based on his history, he seems like a shill.

Alex Jones defends Charlie Sheen on The View:

"he didn't kill a million people in Iraq; he wasn't involved in the takedown of Building 7 in New York..."
posted by mrgrimm at 8:07 AM on March 2, 2011


Well the really terrifying thing is that it's not a conspiracy, that no one is in control, and the invisible hand of the market that people put so much trust into, is a mad and imbecilic and randomly rewards the undeserving and punishes the innocent.

Ha! That's what they want you to think.

Seriously though, I think one of the best memes to spread would be that the heroes of the conspiracy movement are in bed with the Illuminati. You can't reason with these people so you might as well confuse them with competing nut-myths.
posted by fleetmouse at 8:10 AM on March 2, 2011


fleetmouse: "Well the really terrifying thing is that it's not a conspiracy, that no one is in control, and the invisible hand of the market that people put so much trust into, is a mad and imbecilic and randomly rewards the undeserving and punishes the innocent.

Ha! That's what they want you to think.

Seriously though, I think one of the best memes to spread would be that the heroes of the conspiracy movement are in bed with the Illuminati. You can't reason with these people so you might as well confuse them with competing nut-myths.
"
---------------

Already working on it with my Alex Jones bumper sticker

The idea came to me when I thought "Cui bono?"
I mean, whose stock went up after 9/11? Alex mothafuckin' Jones.

Hell, there's some of the more right-wing nazi type elements who think Jones is an inside job. Hal Turner (Right Wing bigoted hatemonger) actually WAS an FBI informant... But yeah. I love the idea that Alex Jones was behind 9/11 since his stature went up.

Using their own logic against them, even if just as a joke.
posted by symbioid at 8:19 AM on March 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


At this moment, I am listening to Glenn Beck talk about how the unions are working with Islamic radicals and Palestinian terrorists to bring Sharia law to America.

If you're old, weaselly Murdoch, stick this guy(Beck) on the air, give him a platform, and pretty soon the rest of the spittle freckled windbags on the station look 'reasonable' by comparison and start losing some of the heat they've been taking. That's a potential career option for shills like Jones because sooner or later Beck and his ilk implode, usually quite spectacularly.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 8:25 AM on March 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Phlegmco(tm): "At this moment, I am listening to Glenn Beck talk about how the unions are working with Islamic radicals and Palestinian terrorists to bring Sharia law to America.

If you're old, weaselly Murdoch, stick this guy(Beck) on the air, give him a platform, and pretty soon the rest of the spittle freckled windbags on the station look 'reasonable' by comparison and start losing some of the heat they've been taking. That's a potential career option for shills like Jones because sooner or later Beck and his ilk implode, usually quite spectacularly.
"

Yeah - the funny thing is Beck wrote a book with the title of exactly what he's doing "Overton Window" And he is totally getting away with it. Little fucker.
posted by symbioid at 8:26 AM on March 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'll leave Alex Jones on once in a while when I happen upon his broadcast on the shortwave, for the aesthetics. I couldn't listen if it wasn't laced with the whiny ebb and flow of my handheld's reception.
posted by drowsy at 8:26 AM on March 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


I listen to Alex because it's the best thing on the radio in Austin at that time of the day.
And because I like to listen to the crazy.



[Then your friend starts believing it and it stops being so funny and the crazy starts taking over the country, but you still listen out of habit . . . ]
posted by Seamus at 8:32 AM on March 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


So... Does he like... really believe all that shit? I mean... Like, Glenn Beck, i don't think believes half the shit he says. But I feel like Alex is so far down the hole that he really believes it.
posted by symbioid at 8:34 AM on March 2, 2011


Alex is so far down the hole that he really believes it

Heard him interviewed on the CBC(Canadian public radio) flagship morning program a while back. He sounded okay at first but it's like he can't help himself; by the end of the interview the crazy had to come out. But the very few times I've seen Beck on the tube on another more mainstream show he's nothing like the Mr Nutty McFlakerton you see on his show, so yes, I really do think that Alex Jones understands himself as the one person on the planet who gets it.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 8:41 AM on March 2, 2011


Alex Jones has a great bit in Waking Life. One of the best scenes in the movie. It probably wasn't written by him, but I think it was written for him, and his particular style of angry rhetoric (need to watch the DVD commentary again).
posted by Eideteker at 8:45 AM on March 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


He's also got a walk-on in A Scanner Darkly that I find a little troubling when I contextualize it as being 'Alex Jones': He comes out of the dark, dressed in a suit & tie and shouting on a megaphone about Substance D being a government-corporate plot to control people. He's almost immediately jumped by a gang of thugs in riot gear who taser him and bundle him into an unmarked black van. Meanwhile, Bob Arctor watches slack jawed, obviously torn about whether what he's just seen is real.

I find conspiracy theories fascinating and have gotten into a few over the years, but ultimately I'm afraid they do much, much more harm than good. I struggle with how to draw a line between the ones that serve the oppressor and the ones that serve to undermine them. Jones seems mostly in the former group to me.
posted by lodurr at 8:58 AM on March 2, 2011


A new age of media was dawning, and Jones was one of its earliest pioneers. "Alex Jones is a model for people to create their own media," says Michael Harrison, editor of the industry trade magazine Talkers. "When the history is written of talk broadcasting's transition from the corporate model of the 20th century to the digital, independent model of the 21st century, he will be considered an early trailblazer."

The fact that Alex Jones is to home-produced radio what Dave Sims is to independent comics actually makes a lot of sense to me, in a weird sort of way.
posted by Shepherd at 8:58 AM on March 2, 2011


Do you guys really think Alex Jones is genuine? I've absolutely always took him for a guy doing a shtick knowing that people will love it or hate it, but will always talk about it.
posted by xmutex at 9:28 AM on March 2, 2011


He may once have seen it as a schtick, he definitely believes it now.
In person, the crazy comes through even in discussions about the weather.
posted by Seamus at 9:35 AM on March 2, 2011


Do you mean weather, or are those clouds really chemtrails?
posted by hippybear at 9:41 AM on March 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Do you mean weather, or are those clouds really chemtrails?

Wheels within wheels...
posted by electroboy at 9:45 AM on March 2, 2011


Okay this was a few years ago.
But someone complained about the heat and he turned it into a diatribe about chemtrails in a few heartbeats.
Not on the radio. In a gun shop.
I don't think he can help it anymore, if he ever could.
Watch him with Joe Rogan and you can see flashes of awareness and a sense of hilarity at it all, but then the curtain drops and he's back in that place.
The whole Hicks/Sacred Cow connection is what keeps me wondering.
posted by Seamus at 9:50 AM on March 2, 2011


Cut public schooling funds and make college this expensive lifetime loan repayment = Americans who see conspiracy theories as real except, ironically, the conspiracy to keep them stupid.

Its really incredible. Its a shame that skepticism can't have the same razzle-dazzle that bullshit does. I guess people will always prefer fiction and sensationalism over facts.
posted by damn dirty ape at 9:50 AM on March 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


Bah. Alex Jones is a plant of the US government for the purposes of discrediting the truth about 9/11. There's even proof right in this article:
He was nearing 100 stations on July 25th, 2001, when he looked into the camera and issued a warning that has since become legendary among 9/11 Truthers. "Please!" he implored. "Call Congress. Tell 'em we know the government is planning terrorism." Jones mentioned the World Trade Center by name and warned against the propaganda he expected to accompany the attacks. "Bin Laden is the boogeyman they need in this Orwellian, phony system," he said.
FUCK YOU, you evil whore of Babylon, you government plant! The people know the truth, because they secretly experience my nightly ESP broadcasts!

Hemispheres Only, over and out!
posted by notion at 9:55 AM on March 2, 2011


I started watching Alex Jones on Austin cable access back in the 90s. He'd rant about things and some would make sense until he took a hard left to crazytown. It was fun to watch. His narrative hasn't changed but the production value have improved. I was blown away by an article in the Austin Chronicle years ago when he was in his 20s and I thought the man was 40 at the time. Fighting the NWO 24/7 seems to age a person quickly. He was railing about Ruby Ridge, OKC, Waco. There was a conspiracy with Time Warner Cable and Public Access to get his show off cable access. He got arrested because he didn't want to give his fingerprints when he got his driver's license. 9/11 happened and he started to get more attention.

Like Seamus suggests, look for the Joe Rogan/Sacred Cow stuff (Hicks standup would be on cable access all night in Austin back in the day). Joe Rogan's Alex Jones impression is great and Jones does seem to be pretty normal when the camera/mic are off.

He's a showman like Beck. And I do believe the Beck/and or his staffers follow Jones' rants for material. He connects dots that aren't there. Just look at all the press he's had since his "get" of Charlie Sheen. Poor ladies of the View didn't have a chance.
posted by birdherder at 10:01 AM on March 2, 2011


... omeone complained about the heat and he turned it into a diatribe about chemtrails in a few heartbeats.
Not on the radio. In a gun shop.


jones reminds me of eccentrics I've encountered over the years on the local bar/music scene. they're a little bit unbalanced but people tolerate them because they're entertaining and, what the heck, they've got your back when you're in trouble.

that's how I read jones's bit in Waking Life. I hope that's what got him into Scanner Darkly.
posted by lodurr at 10:01 AM on March 2, 2011


Its a shame that skepticism can't have the same razzle-dazzle that bullshit does. I guess people will always prefer fiction and sensationalism over facts.

There's nothing wrong with fiction and sensationalism as long as you don't mistake it for reality. I love horror movies, but I don't hang wreaths of garlic around my windows. (I put the garlic in my tummy where it belongs)

The great disadvantage reality-based people have when confronting teabaggers, illuminati-hunters and the like is the people you might be attempting to argue with are often literally too stupid to understand what you are saying or grasp its consequences.

I've struggled for years to understand the psychology and sociology of the rubes who form the target market for Worldnet Daily, colloidal silver, Alex Jones, creation museums, the Republican party, etc. and it's as simple as that: stupidity. Conservatives, the tea party backers, fundamentalist preachers, Glenn Beck - all these guys have one thing in common: they target the stupid, deliberately or accidentally. And why wouldn't they? The stupid are easy to fool, easy to rile up. It's diabolically simple.

This is why I'm not even half-joking when I say we should disseminate competing and benign mythologies.
posted by fleetmouse at 10:12 AM on March 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


notion: "Alex Jones is a plant of the US government for the purposes of discrediting the truth about 9/11."

Dave Emory talks about the 9/11 truthers in this respect: controlling both sides of the argument.
posted by wcfields at 10:14 AM on March 2, 2011


Agnotology is big business these days. We get stupider by the minute.
posted by warbaby at 10:20 AM on March 2, 2011


Tangentially related (since two FPPs connected to Charlie Sheen in one day might be a little over the top): Charlie Sheen v Muammar Gaddafi: whose line is it anyway?
posted by TheCavorter at 10:20 AM on March 2, 2011


This is why I'm not even half-joking when I say we should disseminate competing and benign mythologies.

There's no benign way to lie to people.
posted by empath at 10:24 AM on March 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


People like Jones make it much harder for serious people who want to discriminate, scrutinize and empirically defend certain lines of inquiry that fall under the extremely unhelpful rubric of conspiracy theory: i.e. since people like Jones are easy to dismiss as quacks, the "argument" goes, everyone even interested in these topics must be a quack. But not everyone attempting to investigate and discuss some of this stuff is a quack; the sober-minded ones just have to work that much harder to get their points across.
posted by The Emperor of Ice Cream at 10:30 AM on March 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


There's no benign way to lie to people.

Immanuel Kant, ladies and gentlemen!
posted by Hoopo at 10:41 AM on March 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


And, to add but one example of sorts to what I just wrote in defense of sober-minded analysis of subjects otherwise deemed as quack-territory, consider the FPP I recently posted on the case of Raymond Davis in Pakistan. I posted that on 2/8 before it had been admitted by U.S. officials that Davis was indeed a CIA-contracted agent (that was revealed on 2/21, after the U.S. had initially claimed him to only be a minor contractor working in the embassy). Of course, all the indications were that Davis was a potential spook of some kind, yet nevertheless a number of people on the thread jumped on the fact that this was unsubstantiated speculation.

My point here is that sometimes there are ways of reading situations that border on the conspiratorial yet are eventually confirmed as fact: and that tends to get forgotten. Thus, for instance, the recent news that "Curveball" was indeed, as many suspected, feeding bad info to U.S. officials about Iraqi WMD: it's easy to trivialize such a thing as "yeah, well, duh," but believe it or not there were/are plenty of high ranking people who remain in denial over this kind of thing until the news turns out to undeniably confirm the suspicions of most people.

Thus a discussion about something like the case of the death of weapons inspector David Kelly in 2003, a case where (as I noted in a comment on another thread about CT) the UK press is every few months turning up new revelations that suggest foul play, many discussions get bogged down in the meta-discussion of CT.
posted by The Emperor of Ice Cream at 10:55 AM on March 2, 2011


A dude I know from high school who friended me on facebook appears to be a big Alex Jones fan. His posts today:

1. "Documentary" linking fluoride with low IQ.
2. Yahoo news article about lower obesity rates in Canada. His interpretation is that it's caused by the US-government mandated hormones in food.
3. Something about how the dude eliminated on American Idol last night was "the FALL GUY" for something. Didn't care enough to click through.
4. Yahoo news article about analysis paralysis in dating. Reinterpreted as a plant by the NWO to keep people docile.
5. Article about the Supreme Court decision regarding Westboro Baptist.
posted by electroboy at 11:11 AM on March 2, 2011


Conspiracies happen all the time. But conspiracy theory per se is about connecting them all into !!!Conspiracy!!! which is quite different. In CT nothing is ever disconnected, contingent or accidental. So the fishy circumstances surrounding David Kelly's demise are not just evidence of foul play and a potential conspiracy to silence him, but also further evidence (as though any were needed!) that a secret order of Satanic bankers is striving to impose a Masonic new world order and depopulate the earth for Baphomet, or what have you.

It's an amusing pastime, when something big happens, to try to guess how the CT hive mind will spin it. Or it would be amusing if it weren't so alarming and disheartening.
posted by fleetmouse at 11:15 AM on March 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you're old, weaselly Murdoch

"You are old, weaselly Murdoch", the young man said,
"And your shills have become very weird;
The stories they tell are truth, stood on its head--
Aimed at making the public grow feared."

"In my youth", weaselly Murdoch replied to the boy,
"I once tried straight reporting the news;
I didn't make money, elections went wrong,
So now lies are the tools that I use.."
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:11 PM on March 2, 2011 [8 favorites]


empath, I was just remembering this passage from Foucault's Pendulum:

"...In such statements you suspect that something's wrong, but it takes work to show what and why. Morons are tricky. You can spot the fool right away (not to mention the cretin), but the moron reasons almost the way you do; the gap is infinitesimal. A moron is a master of paralogism. ...

"A lunatic is easily recognized. He is a moron who doesn't know the ropes. The moron proves his thesis; he has a logic, however twisted it may be. The lunatic, on the other hand, doesn't concern himself at all with logic; he works by short circuits. For him, everything proves everything else. The lunatic is all idee fixe, and whatever he comes across confirms his lunacy. You can tell him by the liberties he takes with common sense, by his flashes of inspiration, and by the fact that sooner or later he brings up the Templars."
posted by MonkeyToes at 1:17 PM on March 2, 2011 [10 favorites]


I used to know a gang of guys in Austin that would fuck with Jones relentlessly. This was back in his cable access days in the late 90's, before he'd hit national fame. Back then, believe it or not, he was even more crazed than he is now. It probably had something to do with the amount of cocaine he was ingesting at the time - we knew his dealer and, according to Mr. Pusher, Jones was his best customer. I have no idea if he still partakes in the yayo, but it doesn't really seem like it.

It all culminated in a confrontation outside the cable access studios with Jones attacking one of the group of tormentors and ripping his shirt. Just as this was happening, Jones' daddy drove up. The article mentions that Pop is a dentist but what it doesn't mention is he (at least at the time) owned Castle Dental centers, a huge chain of bargain-basement dentist-in-a-boxes. He has a lot of money. Anyway, Papa Jones saw the shirt-ripping take place as he was driving up. He yelled for Alex to get in the goddamn car, muttered an apology for his son's behavior, and handed my acquaintance a $50 bill (it might've been $100 - it's been a long time) to replace his shirt.
posted by item at 2:01 PM on March 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


I think one of the best memes to spread would be that the heroes of the conspiracy movement are in bed with the Illuminati

I loved this twist in the South Park episode about Truthers:
He [GW Bush] explains that the government actually runs all the websites that claim they were responsible, making the conspiracy theories actually a government conspiracy themselves. The point, Bush explains, is that, since one-fourth of Americans are "retarded" and will believe conspiracies, the government wants them to believe that it is all-powerful and could get away with the worst terrorist attack in history, while they tell the other 75% of the country the truth—that 9/11 was caused (in Stan's words) by "a bunch of pissed off Muslims."
posted by epersonae at 2:20 PM on March 2, 2011


You don't want him as your comedic opening act, though.

(Doug Stanhope "The Incident in Austin", bootlegged for years but now available on Youtube in its entirety. Makes the famous Hicks meltdown show in Chicago seem almost cordial. Anyway, in this vid Stanhope has Alex Jones "warm up the crowd" pre-show, and things fall apart from there)
posted by First Post at 2:30 PM on March 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Started up the engine of the afterlife machine
posted by clavdivs at 3:10 PM on March 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Since we're on the subject of Alex Jones, I'll repeat a previous comment of mine:

... when I saw Phantom Menace on opening night in Austin, TX. Sitting behind me, directly behind me, was Alex Jones. Yes, THE Alex Jones, of infowars. ... he was with a date. Remember how they had that "THX" logo before the movie, and it would "break down," and a little red droid would come out and fix it, so the sound would start again? Well, when the red robot came out, Alex shouted out, "FIX IT YOU COMMIE!"

Good times.
posted by Saxon Kane at 5:43 PM on March 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Makes the famous Hicks meltdown show in Chicago

Are you sure that wasn't his act?
posted by clarknova at 5:50 PM on March 2, 2011


INT. MOON BASE

Ten-story windows surround a cathedral-sized space. The view out them is of the grey moonscape bathed in the light of a brilliant Earth, which hangs in the black sky the size of a basketball held at arm's length. Impossible shapes, huge, monstrous, ancient as the universe itself, clutter the massive area.

Voices can be heard. They are not quite human.

VOICE #1:...and when Plan Reticulum Zed comes to fruition, we shall take that lifeforce. The sheep will never know what hit them.

VOICE #2: [laughs] Yes, and all before the Eschaton, but not before our lizard friends have a little...Singularity of their own. [more laughter]

VOICE #2: [laughs] Yessss...and as for this loud sheep, this American.

VOICE #1: Alex Jones.

VOICE #2: Yesssss. Alex Jones. He is to be left alone.

VOICE #1: But he knows. He knows all about--

VOICE #2: [raises a hand that is not quite a hand] It does not matter. He knows the truth about us but no one will truly believe him. He is too busy looking for us in other places and ends up chasing everything. We are safe. We will continue our surveillance, of course, but he is not to be Assimilated.

VOICE #1: Very well. He's The Human Who Cried Wolf, no?

VOICE #2: Indeed.
posted by zardoz at 11:22 PM on March 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Are you sure that wasn't his act?

Hicks? Sure. And no.

My read on Hicks is that by the end, he had no idea any more what was real and what was "act." (Why else would he have insisted so very, very strenuously that it wasn't an act?) But to give Hicks credit, I think he got that way by being orders of magnitude sharper than Alex Jones.
posted by lodurr at 3:38 AM on March 3, 2011


If the "evil" in the world is controlled by one group - once you figure out that "head" - if you separate the head from the body of evil, the evil should die. History has examples of one-human based evil to show such a model can work.

Alex, besides having a model that gets him a living, is trying to figure out the way to stop the evil.

If the "evil" in the world is sociopaths, these people are in power because of the inaction of non sociopaths and therefore the 'common man' is responsible for evil by allowing it.

The model of 'this sucks and you are to blame' doesn't sell well.

Like Mr. Jones and his conclusions or not, they are not formed in a vacuum. You have things like Koch Brothers -> Walker, CIA overthrow of Iran (1950), other nation-states who dress up as Arabs to bomb other nation-states, Operation Northwoods, The Black Panther coloring book. So if you are wanting to shut down 'conspiracy theories', start by not doing things to feed them....sunlight is the best disinfectant.

And when, as an example, you have a General who suggests blowing up an airplane to give a reason to start a conflict - make an example of them not by promotion, but by an actual negative reaction. A reaction so the next dud who tries such will find little support.
posted by rough ashlar at 8:01 AM on March 3, 2011


History has examples of one-human based evil to show such a model can work.

Can you give me some examples of this? Because the only ones I can think of that come close to this are relatively small time, and even they had a lot of help. Jim Jones, for example. When you get up to Hitler or Stalin, you're looking at the evils of a system being controlled by one person, and in such a way that cutting off the "head" can seem to make the problem go away.

Plus, you seem to be contradicting yourself, if I understand what you're saying, because just a few lines later you're talking about the sociopaths being in power because of the inaction of non-sociopaths -- which means that the "evil" is not fixed by cutting off the head, it's just not not-preventing anything at that particular moment in time.
posted by lodurr at 11:18 AM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Charlie Sheen doing his best Hunter S Thompson now.
posted by Sailormom at 12:13 AM on March 9, 2011


holy fuck sailor mom, that's... wow.
posted by symbioid at 7:41 AM on March 9, 2011


metafilter: Canned slabs of jaundiced gorilla pelts.
posted by symbioid at 7:44 AM on March 9, 2011


I ... feel .... wrong listening to it.
posted by symbioid at 7:46 AM on March 9, 2011


is this a riff on thompson, or original stuff?

I ran across some of charlie's poetry somewhere. The stuff I saw was pretty pedestrian compared to this.

the 'messiah' stuff strikes me as baiting, frankly. manic, sure, and yes BP1 manics can get pretty fucking grandiose, but i can't shake the feeling that a lot of his hyperbole at least started out as provocation.
posted by lodurr at 8:18 AM on March 9, 2011


So I guess he's going on tour now. You can buy tickets here.

My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat is Not An Option Show is coming for you.

I'm going on the road. LIVE.

Will there be surprises? Will there be guests? Will there be mayhem? Will you ask questions? Will you laugh? Will you scream? Will you know the truth?
WILL THERE BE MORE?!?!

This IS where you will hear the REAL story from the Warlock.

Bring it. I dare you to keep up with me.

posted by Sailormom at 7:01 PM on March 10, 2011


From an australian writer's facebook page: "Have just stopped following #charliesheen. bored now. my 4 year old can 'winning' every game when he makes the rules, too."
posted by lodurr at 3:34 AM on March 11, 2011


I find conspiracy history (by which I mean the study of conspiracy theories and not of the alleged conspiracies themselves) extremely interesting. I like reading about weird stuff and I like history and so when combined in the form of Templars, Rosicrucianism, Kabbalah and the like I can get very "into" the topic.

I'm reading a lot of Medieval and Renaissance-era magic/esotericism stuff at the moment. Starting with Ramon Llull and Abraham ben Abulafia, through Francesco Giorgio and Giordano Bruno, Agrippa, Johannes Trithemius, Dee and Bacon. Now having read a fair amount of stuff about it I can tell you that I have to deliberately "catch" myself from reading between the lines.

Synchronicity and coincidence seem to be everywhere, particularly when relying on the work of less than scrupulous researchers. I can see where people who aren't constantly running a virus-checker on their thoughts can spin off into conspiracy theory. There are times when on reading something I've had a mini-epiphany and run off to another text and started comparing things with one another and the similarities are staggering. It's only the fact that I am rigorous in fact checking that prevents me from becoming one of Eco's Diabolicals.

So I don't think it takes much to jump from being an interested reader of esoteric or conspiracy ramblings to becoming a full-fledged wackaloon who is trying to summon angels through the sephirot. I watched Aranofsky's Pi again the other night for some light relief and a line stood out to me in all of the film where Sol is speaking to Max after he begins obsessing over the 216-digit number which could represent the Shemhamphorasch, or true name of YHWH -

"As soon as you discard scientific rigor, you're no longer a mathematician, you're a numerologist."

And that's about the best summing-up I can think of about conspiracies, magic(k) and so on. You can be someone who is studying with detachment, someone seeking to understand the processes by which we find conspiracies in what we see or you can be seduced by the falsehood. You can buy into it wholesale and from that point onwards

"You have to slow down. You're losing it. You have to take a breath. Listen to yourself. You're connecting a computer bug I had with a computer bug you might have had and some religious hogwash. You want to find the number 216 in the world, you will be able to find it everywhere. 216 steps from a mere street corner to your front door. 216 seconds you spend riding on the elevator. When your mind becomes obsessed with anything, you will filter everything else out and find that thing everywhere."

Eco's Foucault's Pendulum is probably the best literary treatment of this same confusion between seeing a pattern and random noise and I'd recommend heartily it to anyone who hasn't already read it. Don't be a Belbo, a Casaubon or a Diatovelli! Think critically!
posted by longbaugh at 5:31 AM on March 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


If the "evil" in the world is controlled by one group - once you figure out that "head" - if you separate the head from the body of evil, the evil should die. History has examples of one-human based evil to show such a model can work.

In these cases, it's generally not a secret who is in charge, and so it's not a conspiracy.
posted by empath at 7:19 AM on March 11, 2011


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