Earlier this week, former Arkansas state senator Linda Collins-Smith, 57, was found dead of a gunshot wound in her home. As with most incidents like this, local news was the first to break the story, with conflicting reports about when Collins-Smith was found, the state of her body, and whether she was found wrapped in a blanket or not. Local police have said little, merely that they’re investigating it as a homicide, and a judge issued a gag order preventing the release of medical or legal documents related to the death.
While Collins-Smith’s death is obviously a tragedy for her family and friends, it’s also not the kind of story that would have any real impact on today’s frenetic news cycle. She had a fairly short political career, and her biggest claim to fame as an elected official was authoring a failed anti-trans “bathroom bill” similar to the one that North Carolina passed and immediately regretted.
Oh, and she was a conspiracy theorist who pushed trans panic, sanctuary city hysteria, and at least once retweeted a Gateway Pundit article about the debunked anti-Trump “Spygate” conspiracy. Her biggest dip into the fever swamp came a few months ago when she made an appearance on 24/7 QAnon-themed YouTube Channel “Patriots Soapbox.”
Like digital pilgrims looking for the face of Jesus Christ on a piece of meme toast, QAnon believers have had to spend more and more time dissecting ephemera for clues, because Q is increasingly absent. Since March 29th, Q has made less than 40 posts – leaving his followers to dig deeper and deeper for evidence that they haven’t been abandoned, and that the “great awakening” they’ve been promised is actually going to take place.
Just this past week, we had Q acolytes going crazy over an errant “Q” in a James Comey tweet (which was deleted and reposted,) Fox News interviewing a man wearing a “Q” hat, desperate attempts to parse Robert Mueller’s tone of voice for clues that he “cut a deal” with Trump to pretend to investigate him (he didn’t,) and totally baseless allegations that the horrific shooting in Virginia Beach was actually a false flag signaling an offensive by the deep state against the Q team.
Normally, I’d go through each of these and let people know why they’re bogus signs for a great event that’s never coming. But instead, I want to use this floundering as an opportunity to reach out directly to QAnon believers, who I know read my writing. And what I want to say this:
What happens when a conspiracy theory suffers so many disconfirmations and failures that no reasonable person could still believe in its efficacy? Do its followers walk away? Do the gurus who have spent years monetizing it realize the error of their ways and renounce their work?
No, they believe harder and grift bigger. That’s why many of the biggest names in QAnon have turned from cranking out books and t-shirts to shilling for a supposed “miracle cure” called MMS. Hey, it literally stands for “miracle mineral solution,” so it must actually perform miracles, right?
Some Qanon people are now doubling down on DRINKING BLEACH, angry that @brandyzadrozny wrote a story about some YouTube channels that told parents to feed their kids bleach to "cure" their autism. https://t.co/rsfNmDI5SZ
One word. That’s all it took for the QAnon movement, desperate for something massive to break through the endless cycle of hope and disappointment, to latch on to entertainment icon and *flaming* liberal Cher as their latest and greatest hope.
In the classic (ie, before the internet) sense, the word “anon” simply means “soon” or “shortly.” But in the internet shitposting sense, it means anyone who wants to keep their identity anonymous. QAnon followers are often called “anons” and before Q came on the scene, there was a host of other “secret government insiders” dishing out “inside info” going by code names like “FBI Anon” and “WH Insider Anon.”
Like almost every American male celebrity who saw their star crash thanks to a combination of substance abuse, racial abuse, and physical abuse; Mel Gibson is making a comeback, baby!
Gibson spent about a decade in the Hollywood penalty box after his 2006 drunken tirade at an LA Sheriff’s Department deputy who had the temerity to pull him over for drunk driving. Already seen as something of a paleo-conservative whose gory mythologizing of the Crucifixion got him labeled as an anti-Semite, Gibson immolated his career by slurring at the arresting officer “Fucking Jews… the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world. Are you a Jew?”