Friday, May 6, 2016

"'s what's wrong with the mainstream corporate whore media..."

Alex Jones Shirtless Rant Against The Young Turks

I've been putting off writing this piece for a while. Why? Well, on the one hand it's just too hard. Oodles and oodles of great, exciting, inflammatory, sportin' for a fight content yes, but processing this stuff? Finding some common thread so that it can be commented on by other than simply describing it as it presents itself? Hmmmmmmmmmmmm. I don't know...

On the other hand, maybe it's just too easy. Here we have very successful, liberal YouTubers engaged in a most entertaining, ongoing conflict with an archetypal conservative wing nut. Who's who in this web-based, WWF Wrestling style conflict of social commentators is easy to figure. Not hard to choose the side you identify with.

But let's face it, who doesn't like a good fight so long as there's never any actual blood and most of it amounts to world class posturing, threatening, and declaring victory?
Let's start with the Young Turks Show video shown above...

Female 'Young Turk' to male co-host: "We should have a weekly segment - Crazies vs. The Young Turks because every week it turns out there's someone attacking us who has a couple of screws loose."

Male Young Turk responds to female co-host: "Yeah, and by the way; (who) have no attachment to reality or fact... Alex Jones apparently is going to set US straight - So, let's have some fun!" and with that cue the Young Turks' producers roll footage of Alex Jones ranting about how HE is the top dog on alternative media (read that YouTube Television)...

Alex Jones: "I saw a video yesterday where the Young Turds were saying that they're the number one Internet news show? I mean. I'm on over a hundred am/fm stations... xm... but on the Internet ... just look at my videos, more views! I mean, they're full of crap. I'm number one in alternative media, Period! Globally! I'm number one!"

All right, you get the point. Alex Jones, who sits by himself in front of his camera, makes boastful claims and then the Young Turks give actual facts and figures and prove him wrong. Amusing? Sure!

The Young Turks, by the way (here comes the obligatory, little background passage that fits so nicely at this point of the discussion), is an online American liberal/progressive/left-wing political and social commentary program hosted by Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian. It claims to be "the world's largest online news show." YouTube video views for the TYT Network stood at a total of 2 billion as of July 2014. The show offers internet-only video content via their YouTube channel, which by November 2014 had drawn over 1,400,000 views a day (SOURCE: Wikipedia).

The Young Turks Caught Lying To Viewers!

And in this corner, Alex Jones, who pulls no punches and (no doubt in his own mind and those of his fans) lays his opponents, The Young Turks, to waste with a dazzling line of argument.

"Alright, I want to respond here to the Young Turks controversy... and their deception... and I'm going to prove that they knowingly tried to manipulate and deceive their audience, and it's truly disgusting and it's what's wrong with the mainstream corporate whore media that they've attempted to grovel up next to, right as the dinosaur falls down and basically rots to death..."

This goes on for over 7 minutes. By the way, my take on this is that Alex is wrong, that he didn't say what he says he did... But what am I trying to do here? Take sides with The Lucid? Impose some rationality on the appealing irrationality of all this?

I followed both videos' conversations and as a result I think (and this is a pathetically obvious observation I'm making, I know) The Young Turks are calm and balanced and lucid and Alex Jones is a ranting, hot head who goes off on romping tangents. Yeah, I know... duh! What else is new?

And so we come to the 2nd spot in this little piece where a little background info might help us understand...

(from Wikipedia, too) Alexander Emerick "Alex" Jones is an American conspiracy theorist, radio show host, documentary filmmaker, and writer. His syndicated news/talk show The Alex Jones Show airs across the United States, and on the Internet in video form. Jones has been the center of many controversies, including his controversial statements about gun control in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.  He has accused the U.S. government of being involved in the Oklahoma City bombing, the September 11 attacks and the filming of fake Moon landings to hide NASA's secret technology. He believes that government and big business have colluded to create a New World Order through "manufactured economic crises, sophisticated surveillance tech and—above all—inside-job terror attacks that fuel exploitable hysteria". 

By the way, both of these contenders actually have a principal schtick of their own beyond battling it out with the other over bragging rights to the most popularity.  The Young Turks presents videos, often of police or other authorities misusing their power, as the jumping off point for discussions about how we need to vigilantly monitor and protect our American freedoms and maintain our dignity and level-headed equanimity in our Internet-driven, increasingly out of control world. Alex Jones, who self-acknowledges as hosting a "Conspiracy Show" does just that; he presents an ongoing buffet of commentaries on prominent people and situations that all add up to some sort of grand design, malevolent, globalist cabal - something that seems to continuously grow as it dodges our ability to fully perceive its identity, constituent membership, and anything else that might help us get a firm handle on it.

Hard to believe that anyone really cares about who is number one here. After all, this is a medium about which we all understand that a video of a puppy dog might eclipse either of these contenders if it just happens to hit the right note accidentally at the right moment.  No, this gets at something far deeper, the eternal need for humans to exercise their rivalrousness, their need to take sides, their need to follow a fight and decide who the winner is and who is the loser.

Some, no doubt, are concerned with style here. Is calm, and rise-above-it-all good manners and balance what we want to show up with in the world as we attempt to make sense of it? Or is foaming at the mouth and howling at the moon verbosity a good survival strategy, so long as it's done with the relentless energy needed to defeat one's foes, be they real or imaginary. or to convince oneself and one's allies that you've prevailed even when buried in defeat?

For both of these video producing entities, fighting the good fight is the real point; not the winning or losing of it. On the one hand we see the self styled heir to the Jimmy Stewart character, Mr. Smith,  who's gone to Washington to change the world by earnestly telling the truth and somehow, after so many years, remains in spirit on YouTube to continue his struggle. On the other hand, we find Cervantes' Don Quixote tilting at bigger and badder governmental and corporate windmills on a particularly bi-polar day and with far too much caffeine in his system.  

So which flavor do you prefer? Chocolate or Strawberry? Which draws your mouse clicks?

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