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torporchair | 3/19/2007, 7:24 pm EST

Wow, how could I lose my temper and write such horrible things? I was trying (and failing of course) to write like the late Doctor of Journalism, Hunter Thompson, and to sound as smart as he was. Impossible. The sickening truth is that I am a very stupid man, and my writing will never be as sharp and vicious as Hunter Thompson’s. When I first watched Loose Change I was totally duped. I believed these unfortunate youths. I am a totally unimportant person, but I think my journey through the distorted and paranoid world of the ‘truth’ movement might be of interest to people who have seen the film Loose Change and have that truly horrible feeling that Dylan and Jason might have a point.

It took me a few months of research to realize how naive I had been. Being fooled by Loose Change made me realize that I had never really understood the meaning of innuendo. I had never tried to understand what propaganda was or how to avoid being unwittingly taken in by it. I had never considered that citizens, as well as governments, might use propaganda. Nor did I understand the tactic of presenting a couple of indisputable facts then quickly following them with an outlandish claim. I had to hit bottom, the dank sub cellar of gullibility, to realize how wrong I was to believe in the madness that Loose Change was selling. That low point came when I actually paid money for an Alex Jones DVD. And the profound shame is that I bought it from Jones’ operation directly. Alex Jones got my money in exchange for his worse-than-worthless splutterings. But it was Alex, that poor unfortunate fool, who I would actually pity if he weren’t aggressively making his living twisting impressionable people into misled haters who fear that a secret bund will soon take over the world and put us all in camps set up by FEMA, who’s screeching finally gave me serious doubts about the whole culture of knee-jerk suspicion. Alex Jones is not to be pitied, no more than Dick Cheney. They are both profiting from misleading people. The thing about Jones is he may actually believe his nonsense, though that is hard to imagine, whereas anyone can see that Cheney knows damn well he is a huge fraud who traded his morals for great wealth. But back to the point. When I started fact checking Alex Jones, I found he is outrageously inaccurate and, though he is obviously a hard-working man, he is either the lowest kind of treasonous greed-monger or else he is so utterly stupid that he, like the Loose Change crowd, makes George W look clever by comparison. Either way, Jones is a very poisonous man. Greed-without-morals and willful ignorance are both Wrong. Alex Jones is not about power to the people. He may think he is, but his kind of public lunacy is about as healthy for the political climate as the sudden release of millions of Gila monsters at polling places on Election Day.

So, on the one hand, Loose Change was instrumental in my awakening to How Not To Be Duped. And there are probably many like me who were so disturbed by the accusations that Loose Change was making that we could not help but spend many sleepless nights chasing down information on the internet to figure out to the best of our ability if these seemingly well-meaning youths were actually right. So maybe Loose Change serves its purpose by teaching those of us who were too trusting and gullible that we need to research the claims made by those who would have us believe as they do.

But on the other hand, Loose Change is a profoundly unhealthy phenomenon to the extent that it can turn good, curious, citizens who have a healthy distrust for any government, including our own, into tree shrews clinging to ignorance and repeating inane bits of Loose Change lore. The Loose Change crowd is not worth arguing with. They have invested too much in their collective delusions to consider the possibility that they may be mistaken. It will take a horrible serendipitous moment that is too personal to be precipitated by anything other than their own unquiet gizzards before Dylan and Jason will see the overwhelming evidence against their claims and finally end their ranting. Arguing with them is like repeatedly hurling yourself against a rubber wall coated with the vomit of dogmatic and terminally confused wart hogs. I spent enough tortured hours online trying to reason with abusive and self-righteous ‘truther’ zealots to know. Although in fairness Dylan was always very civil and decent in the short exchange I had with him, despite the fact that by that time I was in complete disagreement with him, and I was less than polite at times.

If you want to see the other side of the argument, try the website called Screw Loose Change. Oh, and, as Burmas likes to say, ‘keep an open mind.’ Only the most narrow-minded knucklehead could spend years believing the horribly unfortunate theories that Loose Change promulgates, unless they never bother to question the package that Loose Change sells them. If Burmas and Avery were merely insisting that fast food hamburgers are really made out of maggot-ridden road kill, that would be one thing. They might even make a film about it and draw as many suckers as they could. Who would care? Even the owners of fast food franchises would not care. Nobody wants tragically misguided ‘activists’ in their eatery.

But this is different. I used to think that Dylan would someday be a great patriot (he appears to be much less reactionary and far more inclined to civil discussions than his albatross side kick) once he put aside this colossal mistake he has made. After all, in a democracy we, the citizens, are responsible for distrusting the government. It’s a very important part of the checks and balances required for even a modicum of democracy. But I am beginning to think Dylan and pals should be shown no mercy, should be exposed at every turn for the unnatural and toxic bunglers that they are, at least until they come to their senses and make a film disabusing the curious public of these ugly and wild accusations they have gone to such pains to make. It is as embarrassing to have to admit that the United States’ education system breeds such spasmodically ignorant youths as it is to have to admit that George H. W. Bush is our President. These things are shameful. Having to face these realities is far more painful than something like, to quote the late Doctor of Journalism, “…watching scum freeze on the eyeballs of a jackass…”

Education is the key to any hope for the United States or for humanity itself. A better educated public is far less susceptible to a rogue government running completely amok. Education can also protect us against the kind of stupidity that breeds a baffling phenomenon like Loose Change.


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