You probably remember the “information superhighway,” a phrase popularized by then-Vice President Al Gore to describe the Internet. The hope was that universal contact would lead to widespread knowledge and social progress. Instead, we get QAnon, TikTok, metastasizing superstitions, and Donald J. Found the cult of Trump – a speedway of confusion and disorder. We got social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc.
Perhaps we shouldn’t have been surprised. After all, the newspaper you’re reading this probably runs an astrology facility—an ancient belief system based on a pre-Copernican understanding of the heavens, which held that the stars orbited the Earth and controlled human events. They affect.
For most, astrology is a harmless diversion. I once had a neighbor, a banker, who cast detailed horoscopes and gave personalized advice based on the stars. His readings were surprisingly complex and detailed. One time, he overheard my wife and I quarreling about what he saw as the terrible chaos of my office.
The astrologer laughed in his deep voice and said, “It is certain that she is not a girl.”
Now, the question “What’s your mark?” I quote Arkansas humorist Mike Trimble: “Slippery when wet.”
However, my September birthday definitely makes me a Virgo. With odds of 12 to 1 in his favor, the astrologer had got it completely wrong.
You never knew a serious practitioner if you thought his thoughts were shaken. Clearly, my messy office indicated a deep passion for order. or something else. I forgot And while I haven’t seen the fellow in years, I wouldn’t be surprised if he turns out to be a COVID conspiracy maven and vaccine-denialer. I hope it didn’t kill him.
For some people the mere reality is not enough. Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say that it’s too much. For millions of people, contemporary life exceeds their capacity to assimilate and absorb conflicting information. So they turn to social media, where the eccentric and the sly are happy to provide them with magic and circuses: storybook secrets hidden from ordinary mortals but discoverable by the enlightened few.
Check out Alex Jones’ InfoWars website. A disgraced fraud, Jones became a billionaire by popularizing such off-the-wall notions as the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre, a government-sponsored documentary featuring “crisis actors” as grieving parents. It was a hoax. Of course, this is all a conspiracy to confiscate your guns. Guns are magical totems that according to scripture will protect you from “the malice and snares of the devil”.
Hillary Clinton, ie. With international Jewish conspirator George Soros. Also Dr. Anthony Fauci. But hold on to that thought.
On his website, Jones also touts survivalist gear, toxic dietary supplements, and miracle “cures” for COVID-19. It’s unclear whether Jones inspired Trump’s nutball advice to inject bleach.
Even after Jones was ordered by courts last year to pay nearly $1.5 billion in damages to the parents of the children killed, she maintained millions of online followers. Completely shameless, he was among the invited speakers at Trump’s Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” rally.
“We will never get behind the diabolical pedophile, the globalist New World Order and their walking corpse Joe Biden,” Jones declared at a post-election MAGA rally, “and we will never recognize him.” It sounds like self-parody, but he kept a straight face.
Bizarrely, he has since fallen out with QAnon, the political cult that a gang of cannibal pedophiles decided the 2020 election.
Anyway, here’s the thing: From the Black Death of the 14th century to COVID-19, obscure fictions have always arisen to explain the inexplicable. Humans crave simple stories with villains and heroes. History must have a meaning and a moral – the more melody the better.
Social media, meanwhile, allows crackpot fantasies and idle fantasies to develop into full-blown conspiracy theories more quickly and to be disseminated more widely all the time.
The sane people among us should be thankful that Dr. Fauci is not Jewish. Otherwise, there’s no telling how deep the conspiracist wing of the House Republican majority would have been prepared to go to take their stated plan to investigate them.
Even tycoon Elon Musk, who received his medical education at Twitter’s prestigious University, wants to prosecute Fauci. Not to be outdone, exhibitor representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia—she of “Jewish space lasers” fame—jumped straight on board.
Perhaps the most distinguished public health official in US history, Fauci retired from his job as director of the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases this week at the age of 82. He says he has nothing to hide and has no problem in testifying.
“What really, really worries me,” he told the New York Times, “is the politicization of public health principles. How can you have red states under-vaccinated and blue states well-vaccinated and red states People dying are more prevalent because they are under-vaccinated – this is sad for the population.
Jean Lyons is a National Magazine Award winner and co-author of “The Hunting of the President.”
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