Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Loosers Make Salon

Farhad Manjoo does a pretty good takedown of the Loosers.

Quizzing Dylan Avery on the events of 9/11 is like taking a peek into an alternate history, a parallel universe of half-truths and audacious propositions that rarely ever disturb the peace of the reality-based world. In another time, that long-ago pre-digital age, you might have dismissed such theories as the rantings of a crank; what a young man like Avery believes about a world-shattering event like 9/11 would seem to be of little consequence to the larger narratives that have grown out of the misery of that day.

But these are days of amateur experts and self-made provocateurs, an era in which a young man with a laptop and a few far-out ideas can easily garner a huge audience in the self-referential online watering holes that dominate modern rhetoric. In the spring of 2005, Avery released "Loose Change," a feature-length documentary film that proposes that the terrorist attacks on America weren't terrorist attacks at all, and were instead conceived, planned and executed by people at the highest levels of the government. Though it has not been distributed in theaters, Avery's film -- sold on DVD and available for free online -- has emerged as the leading gateway drug for thousands, and possibly millions, of converts to the "9/11 truth movement," the loose affiliation of skeptics who doubt the official story. The film has transformed Avery into one of world's most influential proselytizers of the theory that the 9/11 attacks were an "inside job."

I love the characterization of LC as a gateway drug. As you can tell, Manjoo mostly finds the CTers amusing and nutty, but he does seem to buy into the WTC7 story here:

Then I watched what are perhaps the most compelling images supporting the notion of a forced demolition -- the many videos showing the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 at 5:20 p.m. on 9/11. The collapse, which FEMA also pinned on the fires started in the neighboring twin towers, is extraordinary; the building simply disappears into itself, disintegrating like it had been planned for weeks. In one shot from CBS News, Dan Rather, narrating the scene, says the sight is "reminiscent of those pictures we've all seen when a building was deliberately destroyed by world-class dynamite to knock it down." His immediate reaction seems just right -- the building falls so gracefully, so cleanly, it's mystifying.

Of course, controlled demolition of WTC7 doesn't make any sense on its own, which I believe is why the Truthers push it; it's the gateway drug again.

Hat Tip: SLC reader Rick.


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