WORDS: Mike Cow
I get it, I do, Alex Jones is a bellend, but should he be free to be a bellend and spew bellendery around about the internet until time immemorial?
Yes, absolutely, in my opinion anyway.
And that is the crux of the issue: opinions. When did that become a pejorative term?
In my opinion you have to be off your head to feel like Alex Jones is a danger to society, his shtick is performance art at best and at worst hilarious. However, some of the things he says and sheds light on are factual, Operation Northwoods for example (Google it). And predictably some of you reading this will auto-respond with more than a bit of snark: “Well even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day”, pat yourself on the back and move on with your day.
To my mind that is simply not good enough, it’s lazy minded in my opinion, and there it is again: opinion. Why did that become a pejorative term? Let me attempt to give my opinion on why people seem to not be allowed to have opinions; at least in my opinion.
EVERYBODY HAS TURNED INTO A BELLEND.
“I’m not a bellend, you utter bellend, how dare you call me a bellend!”, I fully imagine you reacted to REALLY BIG SHOUTY LETTERS JUDGING YOU FACELESSLY BEHIND A SCREEN. Happens everyday though doesn’t it?, you do it, i do it, we all do it, and I’m DEFINITELY a bellend. Or so I’m told at least, by faceless, screechy, snarky bellends through a screen over some minor slight, real or imagined, as if their life depended on it at least twice a day. I have DEFINITELY done that, and so have you.
For those who don’t know, Alex Jones, internet mouthpiece, conspiracy theorist, tin foil hatter, geopolitics shitlord, bellend, call him what you will has been deleted from Youtube, Facebook, Spotify and Apple Podcasts all within the space of a 12 hour period. Now I know I’m not alone in finding that slightly sinister. I’ve seen as much online, where not only that opinion is available, a range of others are too, even some conflicting ones that i agree with, imagine that, being able to see the validity in 2 conflicting opinions at the same time, madness, it’s madness i tell you.
One of the opinions I’ve seen, predominantly from people on the left, is along the lines of: These are private corporations, they can decide who they allow to use their platforms.
Yes, quite, they can, often without warning, no clear rules on ‘where the line is’ and with an effectiveness not seen since the Death Star; as if millions of voices cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.
Does it not concern you that ‘progressive left wing people’ are cheerleading for corporations? Putting the flags out for the Empire? Aren’t we supposed to be the Rebel Alliance or something? And that’s just it, we have allowed ourselves to be atomised into narrow lanes of thought, base concepts of ‘good and evil’, via the very corporations we appear to be happy to cheerlead for when bellends like Alex Jones and Tommy Robinson are booted without warning.
Why are their voices being silenced?
For absolute clarity i am left wing, i have a long history in activism, voted for Corbyn’s Labour Party in the last election (and would do again), opinions not only not shared by the likes of Alex Jones and Tommy Robinson but laughed at, derided, belittled, railed against and labelled as ‘cultural Marxism’ (whatever the hell that is). Good, i am absolutely good with that, because they should be able to do that and i should be able to challenge them back because quite simply many of their ideas and opinions are wrong, and we can prove it!
So, why are ‘we’ reduced to the level that we cheer for the Empire? Why is Darth Zuckerberg suddenly ‘our boy’? Lord Analytica of Cambridge himself lionised as ‘one of our own’.
You are frightened, you might as well admit it, we all are, including myself and that is okay. Why? Control. We have none, not yet anyway. We have increasingly and often consensually handed our thoughts, feelings and data over to corporations which make money from our souls and that is scary. They have shaped the outcome of elections -ironically Alex Jones was one of the first people to point that out-, and facilitated the increasing atomisation of society whereby we are never more connected yet never more alone.
Frightened and alone people will cheer pretty much anything if it makes them feel more secure, more so when they feel part of something, like an online community which confirms their biases for example. Most of us tend to listen to information which confirms our beliefs, 2 people who have different ideologies can listen to the same story and take away from that information that which validates their existing point of view. The issue of facelessness seems to have increasingly weaponised people’s response to difference, perceived or otherwise, on a micro level we see affinity groups online mobbing up to effectively ruin people’s reputations, contacting people’s employers and getting them sacked. On a macro level, Facebook, Spotify, Youtube and Apple Podcasts are deleting people’s opinions, people like Alex Jones are being deplatformed, all under the citation of ‘hate speech’.
What is ‘hate speech’ and who gets to decide?
According to the Merriam-Webster legal definition hate speech is:
‘Speech that is intended to insult, offend, or intimidate a person because of some trait (as race, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, or disability.’
To my mind that definition is so open to interpretation as to render it really quite dangerous in terms of what i consider to be a healthy and open exchange of ideas. To go further, in practice it often seems like it translates to:
‘Speech that my side agrees with should be protected whereas anything the other side agrees with should be banned’.
This applies, sadly, to whatever side or standpoint people are approaching opinions from. This is dangerous, and the remedy is to stand up for people’s right to express their opinions even if we do not agree with them.
The protection and right to free speech used to be one of the things that the left could be proud of, in the contemporary age this doesn’t seem to be the case at all. Large parts of the left appear to be wanking themselves in spasmodic glee whenever an arm of the state or corporate sector remove the right to freedom of expression and speech from people who they don’t agree with. We are becoming fluffers for the corporatocracy, Salacious Crumb to Jabba the Hutt, Richard Hammond to Jeremy Clarkson.
People who consider themselves to be radicals fast turn into bootlickers when they get their way and see this shit as victory. In reality you didn’t do shit, it’s not your victory, in fact it’s not a victory at all. An unholy marriage of big business and increasingly smaller government now tell us how to think, feel and respond. And do we ever respond, react, admonish and defame.
Tell me again how you aren’t subconsciously editing yourself, typing out that tweet and deleting it, editing that Facebook post, worrying that you are next, because you will be next, there are rules, but you aren’t allowed to know them,they are private, just like your data was, the people who fixed the election said so. You can trust them, they are on your side, aren’t they?
Alex Jones, oh he of ‘we need much smaller government, let the free market decide’ fame has been shafted right up the arse by the very set of circumstances he has been advocating for years, meanwhile Alanis Morrisette takes off her painstakingly handcrafted tin foil hat, feels the cold steel of her government sanctioned revolver on her temple and squeezes the trigger with a wry smile.
Back and to the left. Back and to the left.
FADE TO BLACK.