As regular readers know, we like to take a few minutes each day to “bully the alt-Right bullies,” so to speak.
Some folks probably see this as a superfluous distraction from markets and/or from serious political commentary, but those folks are wrong. Here’s why…
The alt-Right blogosphere (which is a global phenomenon) has become a mainstay of the political and financial punditry. But they aren’t like Fox News. As ridiculous as this sounds, Fox News is held to some faint degree of accountability. To be sure, they say all kinds of ridiculous things (see here for the latest example) and they apparently have a thing for harboring alleged sexual predators, but at the end of the day, there’s only so far you can go down the “fake news” rabbit hole if you want to keep your spot on national television. So there’s a built in “check” on the insanity.
There is no check on the alt-Right blogosphere’s insanity and that would be fine were it not for the fact that this corner of the web is actually taken seriously by a non-negligible number of people. So you know, if this were just profiteers exploiting people sitting in their basements with tinfoil hats on for a couple of thousand dollars a month then we could write it off as largely harmless. But it’s not. Witness how the alt-Right’s reporting on the “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory ended up inspiring a guy to show up at Comet Ping Pong with a rifle.
And here’s the frustrating part: everyone we talk to about this says the same goddamn thing. Here’s the refrain: “don’t worry about it, no one takes these people seriously.”
But those would be the same people who follow these folks religiously and, even if they don’t admit it, do take them seriously on some stories.
Mercifully, this phenomenon looks to have seen its “beginning of the end” moment with the custody battle of alt-Right “hero” and guy who could definitely pass for a coked out high school football coach, Alex Jones. We’ve documented that court room drama extensively (see here and work your way back for a few good laughs).
The bottom line: Jones admitted, through his attorneys, that none of what he says is real. He is “playing a character.” Or, put differently, when the kids were on the line, Jones quickly admitted it’s all bullshit designed solely to profit from uneducated netizens (he didn’t put it that way, but that’s what the “performance artist” defense amounted to).
Of course that didn’t stop Jones from jumping right back in front of the camera and suggesting he would take donations from those same netizens to help him fight a lawsuit filed by Chobani (the yogurt company) who is suing him for defamation. Undoubtedly, his viewers will be happy to hand him money directly just as they hand him money indirectly by watching his show.
So with all of that in mind, we wanted to make a quick (and hopefully humorous) point about a favorite alt-Right theme: the ubiquitous “red pills” meme.
Here are two recent examples from popular alt-Right bloggers:
“Red pill” has become a goddamn verb.
As a reminder, “redpills” is a reference to the scene in the film The Matrix when Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) offers Neo (Keanu Reeves) a choice between two pills: a red one and a blue one. The red one is the key to “reality.”
Now what the alt-Right likes to do is pitch conspiracy theories about everything from Syrian false flag gas attacks to fake school shootings as a chance for readers to “take the red pill,” and thus open their minds to the “truth.”
The irony of course, is that if you take the alt-Right’s “red pill” you are actually taking the “blue pill,” because you won’t get the truth. You’ll get deluded. Just like Neo was before he chose the red pill.
So that’s the ironic part.
But the punchline in all of this is that in the film, taking the red pill plunged Neo down a rabbit hole at the end of which was a cabal of evil machines who are creating what Wikipedia describes as “a detailed computer simulation of reality.”
In that sense, you really will get “redpilled” if you follow the alt-Right.
Because by reading that shit, you’re subjecting yourself to a detailed computer simulation of reality constructed by bad actors.