The strangeness of Alex Jones

Recently John Oliver had this fantastic bit on right wing conspiracy nut Alex Jones.

Jones is a fascinating character not because of his lunacy but because his lunacy draws people in. Here’s Jones interviewing director David Lynch.

I mean, Lynch isn’t an idiot. He must realise Jones is at best, a xenophobic lunatic, at worst a far-right conspiracy theorist that helps neo-fascists like Donald Trump? And make no doubt about it, Jones is way, way, way out there but back in the early days of the internet Jones was just a conspiracy theorist who attracted the attention of Jon Ronson for his 2000 series, Secret Rulers of the World.

For most of us in the UK this was our first look at Jones and hey, he was someone to point and laugh at because there was no way a nut like Jones could get anywhere near influencing power?

Fuck.

Jones big break was 911. He was one of those who carved himself a niche after that day (and there’s a lot of folk who tried) and used the attacks to vindicate not only his strangeness, but help build up his business which as Oliver points out in his video, is pretty substantive and worth millions to him.

Jones mined the early days of the internet when people would come online and look at weird stuff. UFO, JFK stuff, but also Jones’s libertarianism cut across right and left, yet it is perfectly clear what Jones is; a far right demagogue who has undue, undemocratic influence upon the American president. It’s only right Jones should be scrutinised because people like him were the vanguard of the alt-right, and indeed, all the online extremists from all political persuasions. He’s a danger to democracy and I find it extraordinary that people like Lynch and other somewhat sensible seeming people give him the time of day.

Don’t share anything from Jones. Don’t give him the clicks. Most of all don’t believe that he’s actually Bill Hicks!

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Why we should and shouldn’t feel guilty about enjoying the World Cup

This really is the last chance to enjoy a World Cup. Why? The next one is in Russia, that well known country of tolerance and equality, and after that in 2022 it’s in Qatar. Fucking Qatar!

I adore the World Cup. It’s something that I’ve spent every four years waiting for since seeing the 1974 World Cup in West Germany and watching a brilliant Scotland side fail to qualify for the second stage even though they were the only unbeaten side in the tournament. Sadly, watching Scotland fail to qualify for the second stage I’d do again in 1978, and 1982, 1986, 1990 and 1998. I’m amazed I didn’t die of a stroke watching my nation fail in so many gloriously spectacular ways…

There’s nary a Scot alive who doesn’t feel the loins mustering while watching that clip…

That to this day is what the World Cup is about. It’s seeing your country compete with the best in the hope, sometimes a vain hope, that you’ll beat the likes of Holland or Brazil. If you supported one of the bigger nations, the hope was to win the thing and then never, ever, ever stop wittering on about it like the English have…

But now the problem is that FIFA are so fucking corrupt that they’ve pissed in the soup of millions upon millions of football fans around the world. Why FIFA are evil can be best summed up in this bit of brilliance from John Oliver…

If anyone struggles to articulate why there’s a dilemma for football fans in supporting the World Cup but at the same time, they hate FIFA and especially that toad Sepp Blatter, then show them that video and it’ll be made perfectly clear. See, we all love football, but we hate FIFA.

This really is the last World Cup for the foreseeable future to truly throw yourself into. I will watch the Russian one in four years through very gritted teeth but fuck 2022. I won’t be watching any of it. I won’t be part of something that stands for the egalitarian and socialist roots of football as it was born in the cities of Victorian Britain all that time ago. Qatar should be boycotted by every football fan because of the sheer evil of seeing people die for a corrupt, repressive nation hosting what should an open joyous occasion.

So I’m going to love every minute of this World Cup, apart from the opening ceremony which seemed to feature Jennifer Lopez looking embarrassed about standing next to a Right Said Fred impersonator…..