Alex O’Brien

Lizard, a good writer and smart man, offers up the following in a piece on treatment of homeless people and victims of natural disasters in our brave new world:

Establishing that this meme is crank terrain is standard operating procedure when it comes to any subject covered by Alex Jones and the other circus animals that populate conspiracy culture…

It’s a good piece, and I have no quarrel with him, including the small bit at the opening that I cite above. I am just using that as a gateway to the world he speaks of, as I have traveled it, and even understand it. If you have confidence in your intellectual abilities and a reserve of solid judgment to be able to examine evidence without being subject to the group mind, such a journey can be useful.

In Orwell’s 1984, Winston Smith manages to break free of the total information control system, a remarkable accomplishment. Searching for answers, looking for escape, he finds O’Brien, supposedly the leader of an organized resistance group. In the end he learns that O’Brien’s job was to monitor people like Smith and his lover Julia, and to offer them hope. He then crushed that hope, and they were reintegrated into the system. It is a most unhappy ending.

Orwell’s dystopia is set in England, and is well-known throughout the world. Here in the US it is widely circulated, even taught in schools. A casual survey of those who have read it would probably yield general notion that the book is about Stalinism. On the right, the word “Ingsoc” clues them to its real purpose: to warn of the dangers of socialism, even as Orwell bluntly stated that he was a socialist.

The book is about totalitarianism. It don’t see a hint of ideology in it, but emphasize “total.” Alex Jones is one of our many O’Brien’s, guarding the perimeters of the village. If you are smart enough to work your way out of the normal system of TV, education and movies, Jones will take you to another dead-end. “Total” means just that – escape from one prison leads to another. “Prison Planet” is highly apropos.

I find Jones unpleasant and untrustworthy. But I understand those who do like him and wish them well on their journey. Jones is but one stop on the road to freedom. His type of work is called a “limited hangout,” that is much of what he says might be true, but never enough to be truly enlightening. Any who openly associate with him are branded with his vile nature and anger, his raspy voice and instant certainty on all matters. That’s Lizard’s reaction above, and the intended effect of Alex Jones. He’s like a FEMA camp, a haven but also a place for quarantine, multi-purposed.

Please do move on. Eventually you’ll find yourself among people of your own kind. They don’t hammer you with information or try to organize you for a cause. They are the few who truly understand the meaning of “pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the spirit.” They take solace in one another, and explore life in all of its intricacy. It’s a self-guided journey. Truly public-spirited people do not tell you what to think. They only advise that you exercise your cranium.

In the meantime, our only true “mission” is to help those in our very small circles as we can – friends, family and acquaintances, and to receive their help and solace as well.

18 thoughts on “Alex O’Brien

  1. thank you Mark. notice that, despite my lead-in, I still didn’t insulate myself from the first commenter telling me to not give Jones any credence. to quote Vonnegut: and so it goes…

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  2. Please do move on. Eventually you’ll find yourself among people of your own kind.

    Would be nice if we could have such freedom of association. But diversity is our strength, so the EEOC will be stopping by to rearrange things.

    In the meantime, our only true “mission” is to help those in our very small circles as we can – friends, family and acquaintances, and to receive their help and solace as well.

    Gee, what a revolutionary thought: encourage those who look like us and are related to us. That be raciss. I’m sure the proper authorities will be stopping by to get your mind right. You will have to atone by sending your daughter to Haiti to service the population…

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    1. Our daughter did just that, or did you know that? We didn’t send her there. But that’s youthful idealism. I don’t see any great shaking going on in the American population, you know. So mind your affairs, take care of those close to you. You’re free to associate with any you choose, you know.

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    2. Yeah, I knew. It was meant as a poke in the ribs.

      I don’t see any great shaking going on in the American population

      Well, we’re absorbing a lot of immigrants. Good for GDP growth and innovation and all that. Diversity is our strength, you know (note the Czech-Polish comment). Or maybe not so much.

      You’re free to associate with any you choose, you know.

      To some extent. But there are a lot of minders out there policing such things. Free of charge. Makes one feel bad for all the old regimes that paid for such enforcement.

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  3. The thought of working for nothing with only a promise by Congress to “reimburse” you later illustrates something wrong with labor today. And there is a rather simple fix. What if TSA and air-traffic controllers announced a general strike until their pay is restored. What if othere government employees joined in solidarity? Are these not “essential” jobs, at least as essential as Pentagon and CIA jobs? Nobody should work for nothing. We are in a government shutdown, so why aren’t government unions and the workers they represent preparing for the only rational response labor has ever had to employer abuse, refusing to work for no pay?

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  4. An Independent producer at MCAT (Missoula Community Access TV) just loves Alex Jones and puts his videos on the local MCAT cable channel.

    I can’t stand Jones for the same reasons you can’t, Mark. Plus I’m convinced he’s a sham. He’s fronting for Ron and Rand Paul and he’s a Koch Bros tool.

    But I get along fine with the IP. I just don’t watch the show. Boring disinfo isn’t fun. Or necessary. It’s self inflicted torture.

    Steve K, the workers probably know they are going to get paid so they show up. It’s a hassle, not a deal breaker. They should sue for damages after they get paid for hours.

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    1. Like I said, Jack, if you have confidence in your intellectual abilities and a reserve of solid judgment to be able to examine evidence without being subject to the group mind, such a journey can be useful.

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  5. Passive labor has taken it in the shorts for decades. Organized labor still thinks Democrats care. Mountains of evidence support the opposite. Greece, Spain, and other European countries have not lost that pre-WWII knowledge that workers don’t have to be slaves, despite repeated attempts by Central Banks, World Bank and IMF to marginalize workers at every turn. TPP is more of the same old NAFTA-GATT-WTO neoliberal bs, only much bigger. Everything with a hint of FDR and LBJ is on the chopping block. Will Obama do what Clinton did? Deja vu.

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    1. Passive labor has taken it in the shorts for decades.

      In the battle between capital and labor, it looks like capital is winning. In our robotic future, will capital even have to trade with labor?

      I have a hard time considering gov’t employees to be the type needing protection from a union.

      It seems blazingly obvious that labor advocates should be for restricting immigration, but we have the opposite. Good luck making that work, which it doesn’t. Cry me a river.

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  6. Workers in Mexico, Central America and South America suffer the same neoliberal policies as workers in the U.S. “Restricting immigration” is an age-old, divide-and-conquer tool that perpetuates divisions to prevent a unified worker response to universal abuse. Government workers are no less workers than anyone else. All workers are being treated poorly by today’s global financial systems. Our tax code makes robots an attractive “investment” because of depreciation rules, while human workers are non-deductible liabilities to every employer with monthly payroll expenditures. Taxing work makes robots look like a bargain. One problem with robots. Robots can’t buy houses, cars, iphones or food. So who will buy all that stuff built with robots? Cry me a river indeed.

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    1. That’s some pretty grandiose stuff.

      The fact remains that labor unions, and labor in general, only prospers in times of some kind of labor shortage. When employers can freely import people/export jobs, why complain when the cheaper man prevails?

      All workers are being treated poorly by today’s global financial systems.

      Indeed. But maybe they are also being treated poorly by the fecund womb in the Third World, but we are not allowed to think about that.

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  7. right….

    Glad you liked it, but you brought up government workers, robots and immigration. Why not think about third-world poverty? Ever think that poverty might just be a root cause of overpopulation? Chicken or egg? And let’s not forget that behind many a pregnancy was a man on a manly mission trying just one more time for a male heir.

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      1. Fred: Just so my actions here are understood, Kralj put up a semi-coherent comment asking you to go to Montana Cowgirl and engage in the ongoing debate there. I took down his comment because of the rules I laid out for him – no caps, no nicknames, correct spelling.

        But you should know about the invitation. He says that’s where the big dogs are.

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