Wednesday, January 19, 2011

More on Zeitgeist

In general we try to avoid politics, but conservative columnist Byron York makes enough good points about Jared Loughner and the pan-conspiracy movie Zeitgeist that I thought it deserved a post.


In the end, "Zeitgeist" tells us we must break free of the slavery. "If the people ever realize the truth," the narrator says, "the entire manufactured zeitgeist ... will collapse like a house of cards."

Is all this left or right? Parts of "Zeitgeist," complete with depictions of Fox News as a government propaganda organ, resemble some paranoid, far-left, anti-Bush tracts of 2004-2007. Other parts resemble far-right paranoia from many years ago. But the more important question is what effect the picture had on Jared Loughner.

At a time when Loughner was increasingly unable to control his own mind, he apparently welcomed "Zeitgeist's" message that there were sinister forces out there trying to control it for him. The meaning of "Zeitgeist's" role in the Tucson violence is not that Loughner's motive was political. It's that the movie's insane incoherence proved to be an awful stimulant for one dangerously incoherent mind.

Labels: ,

65 Comments:

At 20 January, 2011 03:45, Blogger GuitarBill said...

Byron York vomits, "...The meaning of 'Zeitgeist's' role in the Tucson violence is not that Loughner's motive was political."

[GuitarBill shakes his head in amazement]

Sweet Jeeeeeeeeeeezus!

Right, Byron. Picking up a firearm and shooting a Democratic Party Congresswoman through the head isn't political at all.

What's really frightening is that certain individuals on the far right, who shall remain nameless, take this tabloid journalistic bilge seriously. The mind boggles.

 
At 20 January, 2011 06:09, Blogger James B. said...

So you thought John Hinckley Jr. was politically motivated?

 
At 20 January, 2011 07:03, Blogger Ian G. said...

The meaning of "Zeitgeist's" role in the Tucson violence is not that Loughner's motive was political. It's that the movie's insane incoherence proved to be an awful stimulant for one dangerously incoherent mind.

Yes, the "awful stimulant for one dangerously incoherent mind" is what gives me the jitters about so much of the rhetoric on the right. When Glenn Beck says that Obama hates white people, what worries me is that some crazy person like Loughner will take Beck seriously, even though I doubt Beck believes that statement.

There's a big difference between disagreeing with Obama or the Democratic Party and denouncing them as traitors or tyrants or illegitimate. That's where the crazies might get the wrong idea and act on it.

 
At 20 January, 2011 07:54, Blogger James B. said...

This is hardly limited to the right. Have you ever watched Keith Olbermann? Hell, the Democrats compared Republicans to Nazi on the floor of the house yesterday. There is a big difference between heated political rhetoric and paranoid utopian fantasies.

 
At 20 January, 2011 08:14, Blogger Lazarus Long said...

"....the movie's insane incoherence proved to be an awful stimulant for one dangerously incoherent mind."

But that didn't stop the reactionary left from trying to deligitize the election results from last November.

That didn't stop the reactionary left from issuing blood libels against decent people who just happen to disagree with them.

That didn't stop the reactionary left from emulating Joseph Goebbels with his "big lie" tactic of repeating and repeating and repeating filthy libels and slanders, did it?

But, that's the reactionary left.

Fear and lies and hate are all they have.

Thank Cthulu that the American people saw through their shit and completely repudiated their anti-American leftist agenda.

 
At 20 January, 2011 08:15, Blogger Lazarus Long said...

" Picking up a firearm and shooting a Democratic Party Congresswoman through the head isn't political at all."

But picking up a firearm and MURDERING a conservative, Republican judge is just jim-dandy in your book?

 
At 20 January, 2011 08:16, Blogger Lazarus Long said...

"....what gives me the jitters about so much of the rhetoric on the right."

Prove it, liar.

 
At 20 January, 2011 08:19, Blogger Lazarus Long said...

"what worries me is that some crazy person like Loughner will take Beck seriously"

If I were you, I'd worry more about Rachael Madcow, or Kweef "Obergruppenfurher" Olberman or SGT "I Know Nossing" Shultz or Chrissy "Thrill Up My Leg" Matthews.

They are the ones spreading hate speech in America, not the conservatives.

 
At 20 January, 2011 08:44, Blogger Ian G. said...

See what I mean? You've got idiots like Lazarus Long who take this stuff seriously.

James, you're a reasonable guy, so let me ask you this: do you think the "birther" conspiracy has more currency on the mainstream right than "9/11 truth" has on the mainstream left?

 
At 20 January, 2011 08:45, Blogger Pat said...

GB, the last holdout for the political theory of Jared Loughner, long after everybody's recognized that he was a fruitcake first and last.

Bill, who's this describing?

"His anger would well up at the sight of President George W. Bush, or in discussing what he considered to be the nefarious designs of government."

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/16/us/16loughner.html?pagewanted=3&_r=1

Hated Bush? The guy must be a liberal.

 
At 20 January, 2011 08:47, Blogger Triterope said...

Oh, come on, can we get past this left-right shit already? Jared Loughner would shoot both of you in the head just to get a clear shot at Pima Fascist Torturer College.

The media response to this killing spree has just been one big search for easy answers: polemics, civility, gun control, Sarah Palin-bashing, and all that rot. None of that is going to help us deal with any future Loughners -- and believe me, there will be future Loughners.

 
At 20 January, 2011 09:30, Blogger Pat said...

Trite, I agree with your first point. Not sure what can be done to prevent future Loughners however; lone nuts can be awfully tough to catch before they snap.

GB, please read what you posted carefully. You have argued that we can impose a very simple template on these types of shootings: Identify the victim's politics and assume the killer was the opposite. Now when we try to impost that template on Hinckley, suddenly we have to look deeper into his (and his parents') associations.

And when we try to impose the revised template on Oswald, suddenly we have to look even deeper, start connecting dots, etc. But heaven forbid we ever use that third template on Loughner.

 
At 20 January, 2011 10:05, Blogger TroyFromWV said...

DEBUNKER FIGHT!!

 
At 20 January, 2011 10:22, Blogger Lonnie Bruner said...

I assume the Troofers are already incorporating the Loughner shootings as part of their everything's-a-conspiracy view of the world. I suppose they'd say something like Loughner was a government agent paid to discredit Trooferism.

Any evidence of this yet from Alex Jones et al?

 
At 20 January, 2011 11:37, Blogger GuitarBill said...

LL babbles, "...But picking up a firearm and MURDERING a conservative, Republican judge is just jim-dandy in your book?"

Bite me!

I've had just about enough of your extremist right-wing Newspeak, LL. Hell, you turn the meaning of well-defined words on their head. For example, "reactionary" and "fascist."

Judge Roll had to live under 24 hour per day protective guard because the rabid far right repeatedly threatened the Judge and his family's life. The Judge, after all, had the temerity to give "illegal" aliens equal protection under the law in his courtroom.

The LA Times wrote--and I quote: "...Roll became the target of conservative anger two years ago when he ruled that a $32-million civil rights lawsuit filed by illegal immigrants could go to court. The suit was filed against rancher Roger Barnett of Douglas, Ariz., and alleged that he violated the migrants' rights when he detained at gunpoint those who crossed his property and then turned them over to U.S. Border Patrol agents.

"The U.S. Marshals Service put Roll and his wife, Maureen, under 24-hour surveillance after talk-radio accounts of the judge's role in the case led to hundreds of anonymous threats. A federal investigation identified four people who had lodged threats, but Roll decided against pressing charges, on the advice of the Marshals Service."


http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jan/09/nation/la-na-0109-judge-roll-killed-20110109

 
At 20 January, 2011 11:50, Blogger GuitarBill said...

Continued...

Loughner had ties to an anti-Semitic, anti-immigration hate group American Renaissance, according to a leaked memo from the Department of Homeland Security, which was reported by Faux Noose.

American Renaissance was referenced on Loughner’s MySpace and YouTube videos, according to the leaked memo.

American Renaissance, moreover, runs a magazine and conferences based on eugenics and the superiority of whites, according to Southern Poverty Law Center.

Thus, Loughner's motive is clear. Apparently the "conservative, Republican judge" wasn't far enough to the extreme right for Loughner. Thus, Loughner assassinated Judge Roll as a result of Roll's intolerable belief that illegal immigrants should have equal protection under the law.

 
At 20 January, 2011 11:59, Blogger GuitarBill said...

Continued...

Pat wrote, "...GB, the last holdout for the political theory of Jared Loughner, long after everybody's recognized that he was a fruitcake first and last....Hated Bush? The guy must be a liberal."

I wouldn't believe you wrote that crap if I wasn't reading it, Pat.

Have you ever heard of a guy named Alex Jones?

Alex Jones, as you understand quite well, is an extremist right-wing conspiracy theorist and all-purpose whack job, who identifies as a right-wing Libertarian

Thus, Bush haters are as prevalent on the extreme right as they are on the extreme left. And all one needs to do in order to test that assertion is count the tens of thousands of Alex Jones fans on the loony extreme right.

So much for that specious and poorly thought out attack on the left.

 
At 20 January, 2011 12:13, Blogger GuitarBill said...

Continued...

James B. wrote, "...So you thought John Hinckley Jr. was politically motivated?"

That explanation would make more sense than the official version of events, which attempts, unsuccessfully in my case, to convince us that Jodie Foster made him do it.

I've never believed that comical "motive" and I never will.

Remember, Hinkley is the scion of an extremely wealthy family with more connections to the powers that be than a freakin' switchboard.

Of course, Hinkley's high-powered and expensive lawyers would never stoop to the insanity defense in order to keep silver spoon in his mouth-born John Hinkley out of a federal penitentiary, now would they?

Well, if nothing, it's been high comedy interacting with you guys today.

 
At 20 January, 2011 12:25, Blogger GuitarBill said...

Continued...

Footnotes:

Concerning allegations of white supremacy and eugenics against American Renaissance:

http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/groups/american-renaissance

Alex Jones--A day in the Life of Libertarian Radio Host:

http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/alex-jones-day-life-libertarian-radio-host/story?id=10891854

Bush–Hinckley family connections:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Hinckley,_Jr.#Bush.E2.80.93Hinckley_family_connections

 
At 20 January, 2011 12:39, Blogger Len said...

Though my politics are closer to GB's I think both he and LL are going overboard.

-I've seen no evidence Loughner knew who Roll was. Apparently he was shot after shielding an already injured Giffords staffer. If he was a target he probably would have been the 2nd person shot.

- Since he ruled illegal immigrants could sue the rancher who detained them and was friends with a Democratic congresswoman he probably isn't a CONSERVATIVE Republican.

- Neither Conservatives nor Liberals have a monopoly on over the top rhetoric.

- The evidence that Loughner's crime was political is weak; he seems to have been angry at Giffords because he did not like her answer to his nonsensical question. He probably would have shot her even if she was to the right of Jesse Helms or the left of Bernie Sanders.

- LL's rhetoric is especially over the top, in a previous thread he argued that liking Mein Kampf made him a leftist.

 
At 20 January, 2011 12:46, Blogger Len said...

I assume the Troofers are already incorporating the Loughner shootings as part of their everything's-a-conspiracy view of the world. I suppose they'd say something like Loughner was a government agent paid to discredit Trooferism.

Of course:

- one witness said Giffords was shot in the back of the head - some doctors said she was shot from the front

- a 9/11 caller said the gunman, wearing a black hoodie ran north

 
At 20 January, 2011 12:55, Blogger GuitarBill said...

TroyFromWV wrote, "...DEBUNKER FIGHT!!"

LOL!

%^)

 
At 20 January, 2011 13:09, Blogger Lazarus Long said...

"do you think the "birther" conspiracy has more currency on the mainstream right than "9/11 truth" has on the mainstream left?"

Birthers are insnae, just as bad as Truthers.

 
At 20 January, 2011 13:10, Blogger Lazarus Long said...

"Oh, come on, can we get past this left-right shit already?"

No.

The reactionary left hates America and wants to destroy it.

 
At 20 January, 2011 13:12, Blogger Lazarus Long said...

"Judge Roll had to live under 24 hour per day protective guard because the rabid far right repeatedly threatened the Judge and his family's life."

Yet he was murdered by a reactionary leftist.

Strange, that.

 
At 20 January, 2011 13:13, Blogger Lazarus Long said...

"American Renaissance, moreover, runs a magazine and conferences based on eugenics and the superiority of whites, according to Southern Poverty Law Center."

Oh.

Just like the Democrat KKK.

Strange, that.

 
At 20 January, 2011 13:15, Blogger GuitarBill said...

I have to admit that as a conservative (remember, there's a huge difference between a conservative and a right winger) I never thought I'd find myself defending the left, but here I am doing just that, gentlemen.

Recall, if you will, that shortly after this tragic event took place, many American political pundits, not to mention Tuscon Sheriff Dupnick, associated the shooting with incendiary rhetoric emanating from certain political pundits and AM talk radio loudmouths.

Notice that the left didn't take to the offensive by claiming something like, "What? Us? We had nothing to do with this tragedy."

On the contrary, it was the extreme right who IMMEDIATELY responded defensively to the aforementioned accusations.

The far rights' reaction to this tragedy speaks volumes, in my opinion.

That said, the far right is well aware that they regularly use violent, incendiary rhetoric and exploit tragedy for political gain.

 
At 20 January, 2011 13:24, Blogger Lazarus Long said...

"A week after President Obama’s stirring remarks at the Tucson memorial service comes an important Civility Test for liberals.

ABC’s Jonathan Karl reports that Democratic Representative Steve Cohen went to the well of the House and compared what Republicans are saying on health care to the work of the infamous Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.

“They say it’s a government takeover of health care, a big lie just like Goebbels,” Cohen said. “You say it enough, you repeat the lie, you repeat the lie, you repeat the lie, and eventually, people believe it. Like ‘blood libel.’ That’s the same kind of thing. The Germans said enough about the Jews and the people believed it and you had the Holocaust. You tell a lie over and over again. We heard on this floor, government takeover of health care.”

In our post-Tucson world, I’m eager to see people like E.J. Dionne Jr., Dana Milbank, and Harold Meyerson of the Washington Post; George Packer of the New Yorker; James Fallows of the Atlantic; Paul Krugman, Frank Rich, and the editorial page of the New York Times; Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, and Ed Schultz of MSNBC, and scores of other commentators and reporters all across America both publicize and condemn Representative Cohen’s slander.

Each of them will have plenty of opportunities to do so. I hope they take advantage of it. I hope, too, that reporters ask White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs what his reaction is. And I trust President Obama, who spoke so eloquently last week about the importance of civility in our national life, has something to say about this ugly episode as well. If the president were to repudiate Mr. Cohen quickly and publicly, it would be good for him, good for politics, and good for the nation.

But if the president and his liberal allies remain silent or criticize Cohen in the gentlest way possible, it’s only reasonable to conclude that their expressions of concern about incivility in public discourse are partisan rather than genuine, that what they care about isn’t public discourse but gamesmanship, not restoring civility but gaining power."

My bet is on the fact that reactionary leftists are a bunch of power hungry thugs.

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/wehner/387145

 
At 20 January, 2011 13:27, Blogger Lazarus Long said...

"On the contrary, it was the extreme right who IMMEDIATELY responded defensively to the aforementioned accusations."

Oh, ok.

Conservatives, classical liberals, libertarians, they were all supposed to bend over and say "Please, sir, would you like to fuck my ass again?"


Screw you and your defending reactionary leftist blood libels.

 
At 20 January, 2011 13:28, Blogger GuitarBill said...

LL wrote, "...Yet he was murdered by a reactionary leftist."

Give up the Newspeak, LL.

Trust me, I'm prepared to tear the source of this stupidity, Jonah Goldberg, to rhetorical shreds.

In fact, Goldberg's Liberal Fascism was torn apart by conservative and liberal critics, who trashed Goldberg for his sloppy "scholarship":

H.G. Wells Liberal Fascism

http://www.philipcoupland.com/article---hg-wells-liberal-fascism.php

Goldberg's Trivial Pursuit

http://amconmag.com/article/2008/jan/28/00028/

Jonah Goldberg's Bizarro History

http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=jonah_goldbergs_bizarro_history

Heil Woodrow!

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/30/books/review/Oshinsky-t.html?_r=1

Jackboots and Whole Foods

http://www.tnr.com/article/books/jackboots-and-whole-foods

David Neiwert critiques "Liberal Fascism."

http://www.hnn.us/articles/122469.html

So much for Jonah Goldberg's Newspeak.

 
At 20 January, 2011 13:32, Blogger GuitarBill said...

LL wrote, "...Screw you and your defending reactionary leftist blood libels."

Blood libel?

You can't be stupid enough to parrot that idiot, Sarah Palin, can you, LL?

Are you sure want to go there, LL?

After all, I know the real meaning of the term "blood libel."

Do you really want to go there? Because to do so could be extremely embarrassing for you.

 
At 20 January, 2011 13:57, Blogger Pat said...

And Alex Jones hated Zeitgeist, while Loughner loved it. What did Jones say about Zeitgeist? That guys like Stalin and Mao had the same ideas.

You can't fit Loughner neatly into this traditional left/right axis for the same reason that it's futile to do that for the Truthers.

It's because the real division is not left/right, but sane/insane, or rational/irrational if you prefer. Loughner is a nut and so he picked and chose from the nutty ideas of both sides.

 
At 20 January, 2011 14:32, Blogger Lazarus Long said...

"Loughner is a nut and so he picked and chose from the nutty ideas of both sides."

Give me an example of a mainstream conservative idea that Loughner agrred with, please.

 
At 20 January, 2011 14:34, Blogger Lazarus Long said...

"Give up the Newspeak, LL."

Sorry, GB, I've been using that term as an exact description of the fascists for, oh, 10 or 12 years now.

 
At 20 January, 2011 14:35, Blogger Lazarus Long said...

"In fact, Goldberg's Liberal Fascism was torn apart by conservative and liberal critics, who trashed Goldberg for his sloppy "scholarship""



In your dreams, maybe.

 
At 20 January, 2011 14:46, Blogger GuitarBill said...

LL wrote, "...In your dreams, maybe."

Really? No kidding?

What are the six links to critiques of Goldberg's Newspeak I just gave you? Chopped liver?

 
At 20 January, 2011 14:48, Blogger GuitarBill said...

LL wrote, "...Sorry, GB, I've been using that term as an exact description of the fascists for, oh, 10 or 12 years now."

That's nice, LL. It's dishonest historical revision nonetheless.

 
At 20 January, 2011 14:51, Blogger GuitarBill said...

LL wrote, "...Give me an example of a mainstream conservative idea that Loughner agrred with, please."

Who claimed that Loughner is a "mainstream conservative"? I certainly didn't.

Loughner is no more of a "mainstream conservative" than you are, LL.

Didn't I just state that there's a vast difference between a conservative and a right-wing radical? Why yes, I did.

 
At 20 January, 2011 15:09, Blogger Lazarus Long said...

"That's nice, LL. It's dishonest historical revision nonetheless."

Sorry, it's an exact description of reality.

Denial, it just ain't a river in Egypt any more.

 
At 20 January, 2011 15:29, Blogger GuitarBill said...

LL wrote, "...Sorry, it's an exact description of reality."

No, it not "an exact description of reality." It's Newspeak.

Reactionary adj. Characterized by reaction, especially opposition to progress or liberalism; extremely conservative. 2. An opponent of progress or liberalism; an extreme conservative.

http://www.answers.com/topic/reactionary

Reactionary adj. relating to, marked by, or favoring reaction; especially : ultraconservative in politics

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reactionary

Thus, there's no such thing as a "reactionary liberal." The term is pure Orwellian Newspeak.

 
At 20 January, 2011 15:40, Blogger GuitarBill said...

And bear in mind that the political spectrum is essentially a circle--and left-wing and right-wing extremists meet at the same point on the circle.

And for that precise reason, it's easy for right-wing demagogues to confuse right-wing extremism with left-wing extremism.

Left wingers, however, don't arm themselves to the teeth in order to intimidate their political opponents or advocate "second amendment remedies" (Sharron Angle); "don't retreat, reload" (Sarah Palin); "this time we didn't bring or guns" (Tea Party protest sign), etc. This brand of violent, incendiary rhetoric is the domain of the extreme right, and the extreme right only.

 
At 20 January, 2011 16:13, Blogger Triterope said...

No. The reactionary left hates America and wants to destroy it.

Grow up.

 
At 20 January, 2011 18:32, Blogger M Gregory Ferris said...

Okay, seriously?

60 Minutes had the best story about this and it is worth your time to watch it:

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7253008n&tag=contentMain;cbsCarousel

I posted a blog about this silliness, so I won't waste time re-typing it again:

http://axxman300tool.blogspot.com/

 
At 20 January, 2011 19:17, Blogger paul w said...

“You say it enough, you repeat the lie, you repeat the lie, you repeat the lie, and eventually, people believe it."


In Australian politics, that the standard way to paint your opponent whatever colour you want.

The important thing is to get in first (set the agenda), then repeat, repeat, repeat.

Both sides do it, and as a result, political discussion becomes a race to the bottom.

 
At 21 January, 2011 00:10, Blogger Pat said...

Wow, what a shock, Dave Neiwert, the New Republic, the New York Times and the American Prospect all disagree with Jonah Goldberg? And I suppose you threw in the American Conservative nutbars for balance?

LL, I can't name one mainstream conservative thing that Loughner agreed with. Perhaps you missed my point that he picked only nutty ideas from the left and right?

 
At 21 January, 2011 09:12, Blogger Pat Cowardly said...

"It's because the real division is not left/right, but sane/insane, or rational/irrational if you prefer. Loughner is a nut and so he picked and chose from the nutty ideas of both sides." -Pat the Cur

What about fat assholes with who claim to be "anti-truther", and then say they're "all for" bringing the NORAD generals to account for committing perjury to the 9/11 Commission? Are you really a nutty truther, Pat?

 
At 21 January, 2011 10:29, Blogger James B. said...

Nobody on the far left threatens violence?

Bill Ayres could not be reached for comment...

 
At 21 January, 2011 12:05, Blogger Lazarus Long said...

"That's nice, LL. It's dishonest historical revision nonetheless."

No, it's an exact description of reality.

Deal with it.

 
At 21 January, 2011 12:07, Blogger Lazarus Long said...

"Thus, there's no such thing as a "reactionary liberal." The term is pure Orwellian Newspeak."

Thus your denial of reality goes on and on and on.

Leftists are reactionaries.

Conservatives are the one who promote progress.

 
At 21 January, 2011 12:13, Blogger Lazarus Long said...

"Left wingers, however, don't arm themselves to the teeth in order to intimidate their political opponents or advocate "second amendment remedies"

Political terroism is an attribute of the reactionary left, from Presidential assasinations, to riots in the estreet, to attempts to intimidate voters, to thuggish attempts to stifle the free speech of conservative, classical liberals and libertarians. And that's just a sampling of reactionary leftist terrorism.

Reactionaries, thugs, liars, haters, libelers, slanderers and terrorists.

It's what they do, it's who they are.

 
At 21 January, 2011 13:27, Blogger GuitarBill said...

JamesB wrote, "...Nobody on the far left threatens violence? Bill Ayres could not be reached for comment..."

Telling half-truths, James?

Tell us about Bill Ayers connections to the Republican Party and the Annenberg Foundation.

 
At 21 January, 2011 14:00, Blogger James B. said...

And Barack Obama?

 
At 21 January, 2011 14:07, Blogger GuitarBill said...

That's not an answer, JamesB. That's an evasion.

 
At 21 January, 2011 15:07, Blogger Triterope said...

Thus your denial of reality goes on and on and on. Leftists are reactionaries. Conservatives are the one who promote progress.

God, you sound just like Brian Good.

 
At 21 January, 2011 17:07, Blogger James B. said...

It is a stupid question. You are acting like a conspiracy theorist. Making irrelevant connections while ignoring the larger context.

 
At 21 January, 2011 17:27, Blogger GuitarBill said...

Yeah, let's look at the alleged "larger context." Shall we?

Terrorism directed at 'liberal' and 'government' targets since July 2008: An interactive map.

http://crooksandliars.com/david-neiwert/violence-directed-liberal-and-govern

 
At 21 January, 2011 17:47, Blogger GuitarBill said...

And how relevant to current events is bringing up one man, Bill Ayers, who committed a crime over 40 years ago?

The alleged "larger context" aside, you wouldn't know relevant if it jumped up and bit you on the ass, James.

 
At 21 January, 2011 18:17, Blogger paul w said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 21 January, 2011 18:20, Blogger paul w said...

I think it's more about the times, GB.

I looked at the map, and I looked at the killers.

Here's one:

http://crooksandliars.com/david-neiwert/neo-nazis-obama-and-real-domestic-te

Man, that moron is looking for ANY excuse to kill.

I don't think left, right, centre, wouldn't matter to that lunatic.

And that's the issue; lunatic.

Does some of the idiotic rhetoric from the right help? Of course not, but I think the killers would respond to anything that rung their twisted bell, just as it did for the those bombers in the USA in the 60s, which was, I believe, more from the left, such as the weathermen.

As the environment becomes more of an issue, I can see more eco-terrorism killings, and that's definitely coming from the left.

 
At 22 January, 2011 08:32, Blogger WhyAskQuestions said...

Can't we all just get along or gang up on Brian Good instead of ourselves?

:-D

 
At 22 January, 2011 13:43, OpenID ktesibios said...

Umm... I have a hypothesis that y'all might want to consider in your spare time from flinging political rhetoric-

My observation of CTers online has led me to think that paranoid conspiracy theories have certain features, notably their insistence on belief in an Evil Other who poses an Immediate Threat and must be Rooted Out, which are peculiarly appealing to people who have authoritarian-follower personalities There's even some evidence of a positive correlation between high RWA3D scores and belief in conspiracy theories.

Authoritarian-follower personalities do tend to gravitate towards the political "right", but you can find them on the "left" as well- they're the guys who are yelling "SPLITTER!" at each other.

Something else relevant to the Loughner case- people who fall into serious delusion commonly- one might even say normally- draw memes from the socieity they live in as building blocks for the delusional beliefs. A classic example would be James Tilly Matthews, the first documented case of "influencing machine" delusions we have.

Matthews atrributed the remarkably unpleasant symptoms he experienced to a gang of conspirators "skilled in Pneumatic Chemistry" who assailed him with rays from a device called an "Air Loom" (look these up on Wiki for more). Nowadays there are people who experience the same symptoms but attribute them to the CIA assailing them with electromagnetic mind-control devices.

In Matthews' time the work of scientists like Priestly, Lavoisier, Davy and so on in elucidating the properties of gases was a somewhat hot topic. Our modern schizos live in a world where it seems like you can do anything with electronics, so it's there that they turn to cobble together an explanation for their misery.

No doubt there were similarly afflicted people 200 years before Matthews; lacking any kewl pop science to draw on they had to attribute their troubles to the malice of witches.

With an entire industry dedicated to manufacturing shite tailor-made to suit the worldview of delusional people, it's no surprise that Loughner would have incorporated elements of popular CTs into his personal set of batshit beliefs.

"Sell bullshit to crazy people" doesn't sound like much of a business plan, but it does seem to be working for the AJs of this world.

 
At 22 January, 2011 18:35, Blogger Triterope said...

Thank you for that very insightful post.

 
At 23 January, 2011 14:39, Blogger snug.bug said...

It works until one of the crazies gets the notion that AJ is a disinfo agent and comes gunning for him.

It's a dangerous game.

 
At 24 January, 2011 10:04, Blogger WhyAskQuestions said...

It works until one of the crazies gets the notion that AJ is a disinfo agent and comes gunning for him.

Brian,

Is it us or are you gunning for Kevin Barret & Willie Rodriguez?

Since you are making threats to Kevin & Willie, shall I contact them & warn them of their inpending "deaths" from a retard named Brian Good?

 
At 24 January, 2011 10:05, Blogger WhyAskQuestions said...

"Inpending"

I meant Impending!

 

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