Sunday, July 16, 2023

Kennedy, Caviezel, and the Conspiracy Theories


I was prepared to just dedicate a little space to the "surprise" movie of the summer, a little action picture (I guess it's action?) starring Jim Caviezel (whose work on "Person of Interest" was quite all right) and which is just a bit controversial. You know, in the way that the movie is at least thematically related to Qanon, and Jim Caviezel is a big old Q-Krazy. As in, when he promotes the movie, he adds a dollop of adenochrome discussion which is a descendant of the gnarly old anti-Semitic blood libel, which itself can be traced back to "the Jews killed Jesus".

So of course it's being promoted to Christian groups and conservatives with a "pay it forward' scheme that seems to be plumping its box office totals, in rather the way mass book-buys aid conservatives on the best-seller lists. 

Now, as for me, I don't like to criticize art I haven't sampled and don't mean to yuck anyone's yum over wanting to see the movie--which may very well be worth it at the price! I'm just naturally skeptical over something that might very well be soft-peddling hard bullshit that misrepresents human trafficking and how to combat it. It also strikes me as really odd that just as focus has come upon the real-life group formed by Tim Ballard who inspired the movie--he's checking out for a while. That may or may not be anything sketchy. 

But I'd hate to see anyone fall unawares into any of the Qanon-related "rabbit-holes".  Or decide to freelance to combat human trafficking because they think they are "helping".

(I do have to say that this "raising awareness" of human trafficking with a look of earnestness reminds me a bit of the "Kony 2012" viral video from nearly a dozen years ago. I recall one of the makers of that video was briefly checked into a health clinic or something in the surrounding attention. And some very cringe music videos surfaced.) 

Anyway, not to be outdone in the promotion of self-righteously batshit harm, RFK, Jr. who I was especially not going to write about this week over his inane Ukraine comments after pickling over MGT and Cornel West for the same, had to get extra weird and offensive and suggest that China and the US are engaged in biowarfare, and that COVID-19 looks to have been engineered to do less harm to Chinese and Ashkenazi Jewish people. He denies what he said was intended to be anti-Semitic or anti-Asian

Intentions are funny things, aren't they? We in consensual reality know Asian people faced increased hate crimes in this country in the wake of COVID-19, and so have Jews for reasons an educated person should be well aware of.  Kennedy is no biochemist. He has to be told that a "furin cleavage docking site" is not the thing of when a virus cleaves to "furiners", I guess. The idea of a genetically-targeted virus is from a James Bond movie. And of course, the idea that the US is cooking up these little bastards ourselves comes from Russia propaganda that we had mobile biowarfare labs in Ukraine. 

It's top-to-bottom offensive batshit. It's not just stupid, but it's the kind of obvious stupidity that should have just been recognized as being engineered to create division and smear people. And yet, just like a medieval peasant who believes children are kidnapped to make matzoh or that wells are poisoned to make plagues happen, these 21st century humans seem to literally believe appalling things and not realize the dark and ignorant history they come from. 

But there's a perverse logic to how conspiracy theories work. For one thing, they are intended to act on the emotions, not the rational mind. They resonate with prejudices a person already has. They make use of the "gaps" in one's existing knowledge about things work. And they are self-rewarding: the holder of a conspiracy theory feels justified and different: an independent thinker, a crusader, a person who "does his own research", a "voice in the wilderness". And this is why they resist debunking attempts. How dare you make them not special! 

In a way, I hope some of the controversy "inoculates" people against the badly-conceived and dangerous notions these people are spreading. But as long as I've been paying attention, I've found willingness to believe can even outweigh the willingness not to be deceived.

(Also, if it helps at all--MY GOD PEOPLE, wake up and smell the OP! Kennedy and Caviezel are both adjacent to Flynn and Bannon, promoters of Pizzagate and anti-vax nonsense. They are trying to soften the skulls of all these crabs out here by wrecking social bonds and faith in institutions. It's bullshit, but with a purpose.)

UPDATE: I'm not sure how I forgot to squeeze this in before hitting "submit: but the House GOP was supposed to have Kennedy at a hearing on Thursday, so we'll see about that.)

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