Thursday, September 06, 2007

Portrait of the Seattle Deniers

Here's an interesting look at the Seattle Troof Brigade.

The eight of them huddled around a table at a coffee shop could easily be confused for a comic-book fan society, or a Dungeons & Dragons kaffeeklatsch. They're mostly white men in their 20s and 30s, many with creative facial hair. They're dressed casually. The majority of them are computer programmers. Nearly half of them work at Microsoft, although they coyly refer to it as a "major computer-software firm based out of Redmond," presumably for fear of workplace repercussions.

"I'd like to call this meeting to a quorum," a guy named Robin says, presumably hamming it up because a member of the media is present, "and I'd also like to point out that we're all mostly white guys and that that's how this whole thing started."

Robin, of couse, is Robin Hordon. But I found this portrait of another kook interesting:

He's the oldest of the group, but in many ways the most passionate, followed closely by a charismatic man named Giancarlo. Giancarlo's father brought him to the U.S. 20 years ago from "a Communist country"—he evades questions about which country specifically.

This is like the third "Truther" that I know of with that background. Luke Rudkowski is a Polish immigrant, while Gypsy Taub hails from the former Soviet Union.

Welcome to America; if you had tried to engage in this smearing of your former country, you would have been sent to the Gulag.

The article hits on a lot of good notes, noting the hostility the group encounters and comparing them (quite accurately) to the devotees of Lyndon LaRouche. Hilariously, one of the Changers was asked not to meet the press. Guess who:

After the coffee shop meeting with We Are Truth Seattle, I got the first in a series of e-mails from a woman named Rebecca. Rebecca was angry that she wasn't allowed to take part in the group interview, a decision that Konrad justified as a way to present a "more united front" to the media. Konrad told me that Rebecca claimed this was a sign of organizational sexism. He said, "I wish that more women would get involved, but for whatever reason, we're primarily white males."

Rebecca and three other founders of 9/11 Truth Seattle—the umbrella entity that makes communication between various Truth groups in Seattle possible—had recently decided to abandon We Are Change Seattle anyway, after trying unsuccessfully to have "two 9/11 Scholars for Truth speak out about their controversial theories that the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center were a large-scale weapons test of top-secret electromagnetic scalar weapons, and that no planes were used to topple the buildings."

Yep, the no-planer was included out.

And the writer pans Loose Change:

For an amateur production, Change is pretty amazing: a documentary that's paced and edited like a mainstream documentary. It's a shame that it's so bad. Director/narrator Dylan Avery's voice is nasally, reminiscent of Ira Glass's, which partly explains why Change seems like an ordinary episode of This American Life on acid—crazy suggestions are accompanied with Avery stopping and saying, in a folksy stage-exclamation, "Wait a minute! What did I just say?" The last third of the film goes into the belief that Flight 93 never crashed in Pennsylvania. By this point it's clear that Change is the work of someone who's spent too long examining the evidence and needs to step out for fresh air.

But there are some flat sounds as well:

They could do a lot better by dropping the arguments about the melting point of steel and whether or not planes actually did hit buildings. What they already have in their hands is priceless: In just a couple years, they've created, from nothing, a truly democratic, highly visible grassroots framework for a new kind of peace and civil rights organization that could use that concept of "civil informationing" to bring about change. It would require the movement to endorse some candidates, and make some compromises, but there comes a time in every adult's life when you've got to get to work because it's time to stop pointing at the heavens and shouting, "Why?"

Clearly he buys into the ridiculous poll numbers that get floated around. One would think that the miniscule size of the "Truther" contingent in the Emerald City would let him know that this is not some huge grassroots tide sweeping over the the land. And the endorsement of the kooks is a double-edged sword, as even Ron Paul has discovered.

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