February 06, 2024
A common 1940s Looney Tunes running gag was a dude saying, “Now I’ve seen everything,” then shooting himself in the head. The idea was that once you’ve “seen all there is to see,” you blow your brains out.
I’ve known a few suicides in my time, and that’s never been the cause. It’s usually crippling depression.
The right has its own version of the “now I’ve seen everything <KABLAM>” trope. It’s “now I don’t believe anything.”
And the “kablam” is figurative, a self-imposed disabling of the frontal lobe, not via bullet but bullshit.
We can study the phenomenon by examining the marijuana legalization debate.
Pot decriminalizers were never satisfied with the “free choice” argument. Potheads are evangelists—I’ve never met one who doesn’t preach the virtues of weed. If pot’s illegal, if everyone from Reagan to Big Tobacco wants it banned, it must be good. Pot propaganda, which was huge in the 1980s and ’90s, crowed about how pot heals! It’s natural medicine; no Big Pharma! With enough pot, we could save redwoods by growing hemp and end pharmaceutical dependency by huffing on an innocent little plant.
Now that by-and-large everybody can light up to their heart’s content, we’re seeing very serious side effects, both individual (health issues) and societal (the “competency crisis” I discussed last week. Pot is neck-and-neck with DEI as the prime causational factor, and truth be told, for a lot of jobs I’d prefer a mediocre black who’s sober to a higher-IQ white who’s stoned).
Throughout the legalization debate, not enough people asked, “Putting decriminalization aside, is this shit as good for you as the propagandists say?”
A similar thing happened on the right when social media began cracking down on “conspiracy theories” following the 2016 election, and post-2020 when the Biden Administration created (with the assistance of the press) the “misinformation Stasi.” The wackiest wackbags on the net—Alex Jones, Andrew Anglin, Nick Fuentes—found themselves social-media banned, and rightists became like potheads. It wasn’t enough to argue for “choice;” one had to preach benefit.
“I’ll bet ‘they’re’ keeping this information from us because ‘they’ know that these truths are our key to freedom!”
That the people making the decisions to suppress “misinfo” were such subhuman grotesqueries—from Biden’s censorship czar Nina Jankowicz to Jack Dorsey’s Punjabi poo-flinger Parag Agrawal—only heightened the belief that a malevolent “they” was purposely denying “we the people” (and please, MAGA, you need to tweet that phrase more; it’s not even remotely corny) the truth.
That the “misinfo” censors drew no distinction between the factually provable (“black crime stats are high” —Jared Taylor) and the schizophrenically stupid (“Jews faked the Holocaust and drink adrenochrome” —Ron Unz) only served to link the commonsensical to the zero-sensical in the minds of rightists (I’m not saying this was calculated, but if leftists did execute an “op” to manipulate the right into bundling black crime and closed borders with Holocaust denial, turning rightists into dipshits who can’t embrace one without the other, it’s been the most effective op ever).
Social media banning and Biden Administration “misinfo” crusading created the same dynamic we saw regarding marijuana decriminalization. The dumbest among us couldn’t just argue “free choice.” Rather, the banned “substance” had to be presented as the key to overcoming all evil. A magical cure-all withheld from “we the people” (again, MAGAs, consider including that phrase in your tweets every now and then) by an oppressive and malevolent “they.”
“Allowing” Unz, Jones, Anglin, Fuentes, isn’t enough. They must be embraced, as they are the path to victory!
Say rightists who haven’t won a single victory since adopting that view.
Jones, Unz, and the massive-following Holocaust denial MAGA-nuts like Stew Peters, Owen Benjamin, etc., are pollutants. That doesn’t mean they should be banned, but they’re a purely negative force. Their sole purpose is to detach rightists from reality, to submerge them in a sea of “everything’s a false flag” and “everything’s Jew trickery” and “reality itself cannot be believed.” This is, of course, a callback to my column two weeks ago in which I explained why Holocaust denial is growing so rapidly on the right. It’s a tool, employed expertly by Unz in particular, to make you say “now I don’t believe anything.”
If “they” could fake the Holocaust, then “they” could fake 9/11, J6, October 7th, and every mass shooting from Sandy Hook to the one that’ll likely happen between when I write this and when you read it.
I’m not arguing that any speech should be banned. I’m counseling you to avoid the trap of “if ‘they’ want it banned, it must be true.”
Like I said, if leftists were running an op to manipulate the right into trading real-world politics for voter-alienating fantasy, they couldn’t be doing a better job than they are now. But it isn’t an op; it’s organic. On the left, you have a mix of people who possess a genuine concern for misinformation (yes, some folks sincerely believe that Holocaust denial shouldn’t be online. Their methods may be wrong, but they’re not “withholding the truth” from you) coupled with shameless partisan hacks who deceitfully mislabel as disinfo accurate stories like the Hunter laptop to steer political events. And on the right, there are the other shameless hacks—the “influencers” who deceitfully tether Holocaust denial to issues that matter, but also, there are sincere, ordinary rightists who are simply dissatisfied with reality (and I can’t see how any rightist could, today, be anything but dissatisfied with reality after so many defeats), so they cling to detachment as cope, Novocaine, like a pot user. No malice, just escapism.
But the shameless hacks on the left have a bunch of wins in their column. Making the Hunter laptop story seem like a Russia-backed conspiracy theory may have swayed an election. Can you name one electoral success that’s come from the rightist fad of “now I don’t believe anything! Not the Holocaust, not the moon landing, not the Paul Pelosi assault”?
“Now I don’t believe anything” has zero wins in its column.
Yes, leftists and rightists have hacks and liars in their corner who promote reality detachment. The difference is, leftist reality detachment accomplishes things, be it burying the laptop story, or furthering anarcho-tyranny (what’s more reality-detached than “the best way to dissuade crime is to not punish criminals,” yet that nonsense has won dozens of DA races), or destroying the things leftists hate most, like white people (saying “whites must be removed from positions of responsibility” is lunatic, yet it’s happening) and biological reality (“some souls are born in the wrong body, so children require surgical and chemical intervention to correct nature’s error”—what could possibly be more reality-detached than that? Yet leftists have spun it into a billion-dollar child mutilation industry that even has GOP governors in its pocket).
My point is, leftists can show genuine gain from their bullshit. 2020 influenced by the laptop cover-up, blacks out of prison or not prosecuted at all, whites out of jobs or not getting hired, and a generation of children with scrambled brains who think biology is a “cis conspiracy.”
But I’ll ask again, can you name any electoral gains for the right thanks to denying the Holocaust or the Pelosi attack or Sandy Hook or J6?
I can show you plenty of losses. Can you name one gain? Has that path won an election? Closed a border? Put a Daquan behind bars? Won a white guy his job back? Saved a preteen girl from genital butchery?
It’s not just that leftists are better at this kind of thing—though they certainly are—it’s that when leftists employ reality detachment it’s usually for a cause. There’s a goal. But some of you guys embrace reality detachment for purely personal reasons. You’re disheartened and unhappy that political/societal events are not favoring you, so you get lost in fantasy. The Unz comments section is your marijuana. You can live there, far away from real life, and light up till you’re numb.
I’ll close with this: After I attacked Poso the Clown’s “Taylor Swift is an op” viral mania last week, the harlequin himself doubled down (as did his followers) by claiming that the op extends to the entire NFL—the season and the Super Bowl are/were rigged so that the Swift op can ensure Biden’s reelection.
As “proof,” Poso tweeted a screenshot from CNN. His caption read: “CNN is now calling it a conspiracy theory to talk about the very thing CNN was reporting in the morning.” Poso claimed that the CNN screencap proves that the Taylor Swift op is genuine.
And what did the screencap show? What did CNN actually say?
“Taylor Swift may have driven 30,000+ new voter registrations in 2018.”
To repeat my point from last week, doing something the correct way is not an “op,” and anyone who sees normalcy as conspiracy is mentally unwell. Yes, Swift—a Democrat—encourages her followers to register to vote. She doesn’t tweet Holocaust denial memes; she seeks to influence events in a practical way.
That’s how it’s supposed to go. A popular celebrity using influence to make an impact electorally.
Now, let’s examine how some of the right’s “cool celebrities” used—and blew—their cred. Gina Carano, as untalented an actress as ever sullied a greenscreen, won the “lucky idiot” lottery and became the lead on a mega-viral big-ratings Star Wars spin-off. She could’ve spent that cred on voter registration, but she blew it all on a Holocaust meme.
Curt Schilling, a baseball legend, could’ve used his Gen-X sports cred on voter registration, but he lost it all on…yes…a Holocaust meme.
Nick Searcy had tremendous across-the-political-spectrum cred when he costarred on Justified…but now he spends his time making “documentaries” that claim J6 was a hoax.
Ted Nugent? A rock & roll legend who, despite his well-known conservatism, was always welcome on mainstream talk shows. Then he tweeted a “know your enemy” meme of Jews with the Star of David branded on their foreheads.
Roseanne Barr was on top of the world with her sitcom reboot. Now she slums with Tucker as they discuss how the world is run by demons that can only be defeated by questioning WWII history.
Kanye? Well, you know that tale.
I could go on.
Rightist celebs die on a hill of memes. Leftist celebs are far more likely to focus their influence on things like winning elections.
Rightist reality detachment is a curse, as are the people who promote it. And if you help them, even if only by Twitter-following Holocaust deniers like Peters and Benjamin, you’re one of the baddies (“I just do it for the LULZ!” is no excuse – your “follow” increases their visibility).
Do one positive real-world thing today; unfollow a “now I don’t believe anything” rightist influencer, or remove that Unz bookmark.
Baby steps. We all have to take ’em before we can grow up and walk tall.