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Alex Jones: The toxic masculinity show?

Alex Jones is mad as hell

So this little Alex Jones “greatest hits” video I’ve pasted in below  — more like a greatest fits video, amirite? — got me thinking. Take a minute (and 34 seconds) to watch it and join me below.

Jones has been doing this for years — the yelling, the threats, you name it. Hell, sometimes he literally takes his shirt off and beats his chest like a gorilla. Poke around on Youtube and you can find any number of videos documenting his regular meltdowns. Here’s one of them, in case you haven’t yet reached your Alex Jones limit for the day.

And here’s a loop of Jones yelling for ten minutes.

Thing is, though, “meltdown” isn’t really the right word for what Jones is doing here. These tantrums of his don’t seem to drive viewers away from Jones. If they did, I suspect that Jones — who’s a lot cannier than many people give him credit for — would discover his self control in a big hurry, and the “meltdowns” would cease.

No, these fits seem to be part of Jones’ appeal. Why? What’s appealing about them?

I suspect that a lot of Alex’s fans — especially the men — get a charge out of seeing a man reveling in his own toxic masculinity. Male tantrums aren’t really about men “losing control” over their emotions. Most of these men can control their emotions just fine when they have to. When men throw Alex Jones style fits in real life, it’s often a way to cow and control those around them. If a man throws a fit whenever he doesn’t get what he wants, those around him often realize that the safest course of action is to give him what he wants.

Jones has simply brought this rudimentary “toxic male” tactic to the world of politics. And a lot of men are eating it up.

No wonder he and Trump get along so swimmingly.

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Rhuu
Rhuu
3 years ago

I was going to chime in with the same thing. Canada has a ridiculous amount of land with very few people living on it.

If you look at a place like Toronto, this 2011 census says

Land area is 630.21 square kilometres with a population density of 4,149.5 persons per square kilometre.

That is kilometre, not mile. Someone else will have to do the math, haha. But it’s a lot more than 3. 😉

kale
kale
3 years ago

the yelling is a HUGE Actual-PTSD-trigger for me btw

dlouwe
dlouwe
3 years ago

Canada has a population density of 3. THREE

So, statistically speaking, at least 5 of the people in my office don’t exist. With my luck, I’m probably one of them.

numerobis
numerobis
3 years ago

Rough estimate: the southern land border is about 6,500 km long (I’m not counting Alaska). The strip that’s within 100 miles of the border is roughly 1 million square km estimated by just multiplying as if the border were straight (it’s not, so the estimate is a bit off, but close enough).

90% of the population lives in that strip, which is over 30 million people. That means above 30 people per sq km.

Doing the numbers more precisely I get 83 people per sq mi — almost the same as the US. A bit less than the US if you exclude Alaska.

In the rest of the country, part of it has cities full of white people; there’s health care in Edmonton, Halifax, St John’s, Moncton, Val d’Or, etc. Those parts are still populated at basically the same level as the US.

The rest has formerly nomadic first nations and inuit people corralled into some small towns separated by the territory that they used to range over but which is now basically empty. Those people don’t get health care. We could provide it. It would cost about twice as much per capita to pay doctors to live in these remote towns — but given how few people it is, the national budget would barely notice. But we don’t.

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
3 years ago

@Rhuu:

That is kilometre, not mile.

$ units
2411 units, 71 prefixes, 33 nonlinear units

You have: 4195.5 km ^ -2
You want: mi ^ -2
* 10866.295
/ 9.2027686e-05

So, 4195.5 people/sq.km == 10866 people/sq.mi.

(Yes, there’s actually an old Unix program just for converting units like this, that’s what I used. But a back of the envelope calculation says that’s about right, 1mi==1.6km, so 1sq.mi==2.56sq.km, so 4000*2.5 == 10000).

Some Guy
Some Guy
3 years ago

I feel like this is another manifestation of the “FREE SPEECH!!!1!!” problem, a.k.a. an inability to tell the difference between “can’t” and “shouldn’t”

In short (and only in part, there’s lots of other reasons), people do this sort of shock stuff because they think they’re being told “you can’t” and are responding with “haha you can’t stop me”. When in fact they’re being told “you shouldn’t”.

The net effect is something like sticking your hand in a fire and then blaming the liberal SJW Illuminati for the resulting burn.

numerobis
numerobis
3 years ago

Jenora Feuer: I used units and hated it, until google came out with their setup. I find it easier to type in what I’m looking for, e.g. “100 acre * 2 ft in m^3” — and it handles translations that don’t meet at the origin (e.g. C in F).

numerobis
numerobis
3 years ago

Oh look, the auditor-general just blasted the health system in Nunavut:
http://www.lapresse.ca/actualites/politique/politique-canadienne/201703/07/01-5076485-le-verificateur-general-critique-le-systeme-de-sante-au-nunavut.php

Apparently the budget is $420M / year, for 35,000 people — about $12k per person per year. About $70M of that goes to flying patients around.

There’s no doctor in most communities. If there were, you wouldn’t need to fly as many patients around!

Anon hon
Anon hon
3 years ago

Alex Jones rhetorical style reminds me of Hitler. What we see in these types of videos are only the crescendos of performances. It’s hard to understand the appeal of Jones if you only look at these “meltdown” videos that cherrypick the craziest moments.

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
3 years ago

@numerobis:
My understanding is that there already is some (obviously insufficient) amount of paying doctors just to set up shop in remote communities. And that’s on top of the tax breaks from the Northern Residents Deductions. Unless we’re going to start forcing doctors to do that, perhaps as a form of residency requirement for a GP licence, it may not be easy to manage full coverage, because a lot of doctors aren’t going to want to live out ‘in the middle of nowhere’. (Remote locations would generally only need a GP/family doctor; anything needing a specialist would probably still have to be flown around.)

Then you get into the problem that health funding is a provincial/territorial issue. There are enough problems getting family doctors in remote parts of northern Ontario where there’s a much larger budget to work with.

I agree with you that we need to do a lot better. And I agree that, particularly for Nunavut, there’s almost certainly a degree of implicit racism involved. I just think that we need to do a lot more than just throw money at it.

Actually, a more long-term idea I just had: start with better medical scholarships for people already living in the north. For that matter, set up more medical schools there, which can focus the curriculum on acting as a doctor for a low-density community. People already from the region would be much more likely to be willing to work as doctors in the region, especially if they’re not spending years in Toronto disconnected from their family getting a degree first. We shouldn’t just send people there, we need to plan at least a generation ahead to make things more self-sufficient.

leftwingfox
leftwingfox
3 years ago

Just to clarify, I don’t want to suggest Canada’s system is perfect, and the issues numerobis raises regarding the challenges and institutional neglect towards native and arctic populations are completely valid.

My point is simply that population density is a relatively minor factor in the US healthcare costs. If the US moved to a single-payer system, I would expect the healthcare spending to drop dramatically with better outcomes, even if it never reaches quite the lower level of the UK or Canada’s per capita spending. Going from $9000/person to $5000/person would be a massive improvement.

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
3 years ago

@lwf

If the US moved to a single-payer system, I would expect the healthcare spending to drop dramatically with better outcomes, even if it never reaches quite the lower level of the UK or Canada’s per capita spending. Going from $9000/person to $5000/person would be a massive improvement

Indeed

RadicalBacon
RadicalBacon
3 years ago

Alex Jones is more like the radioactive graphite fire after Chernobyl had its fun time prompt critical power excursion than a meltdown itself. That’s what spread the radioactive contamination around. We need to build proper containment and set an exclusion zone up around him.

numerobis
numerobis
3 years ago

Jenora: (which the damn autocorrect keeps trying to “fix” to Lenora, apologies in advance if I fail to de-auto-correct it someday)

My sweetheart is a health worker in Iqaluit. The pay is more than twice as much as in Montreal. Plus it’s full-time and pretty stable rather than cobbling together a bunch of precarious part-time gigs. Plus there’s faster advancement because of high turnover. There’s high turnover because most southerners don’t want to live in a small town. But in Iqaluit, they fill the positions pretty easily.

The 24 other communities are in rougher shape. One of the key barriers to hiring health workers in the smaller communities is a shortage of housing. There’s a bunch of positions that should be open but aren’t getting recruited for because there’s no housing for the people who would be working those positions.

Arctic College has a nursing program. They can’t train enough nurses for Nunavut, because of lack of demand for the training. The main barriers to entry, according to one of their directors that I was chatting with: (1) educational achievement is really poor for various reasons, so there isn’t a big pool of eligible applicants; (2) if you cross that barrier, then you’re likely able to make $100k/year in the North and provide for several members of your family. Going back to school at that point is very hard.

numerobis
numerobis
3 years ago

leftwingfox: if the US were to switch to single-payer, what I’ve read suggests that it would not reduce spending quickly. Instead, it would just slow down medical inflation a lot.

I’m not sure I fully believe that. A lot of spending is just paying the insurer and doctor to play ping pong with each other until then suddenly pay a collector to go after you for not paying the bill you haven’t received. All that BS goes away overnight when medicare/medicaid takes over.

It would be a real job killer to switch suddenly. Doctors currently have to employ teams of assistants to deal with payment issues, and insurers have their counterparts, and bankruptcy lawyers and collections agents mostly deal with medical debt. Most those people would be out of work!

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
3 years ago

@numerobis:
You are obviously considerably more knowledgeable on this than I am. (Not surprising. I may have been born in Prince George, B.C., but I’ve spent more of my life within the ‘100 miles of the border’ than north of that.)

You’ve also certainly solidified the idea that fixing this first requires setting up enough support structures so that things can be fixed in a lasting manner. I hadn’t considered the housing issue, though it’s hardly a surprise given some of the recent scandals about housing falling apart in First Nations communities. And it’s probably a lot worse in the Arctic, as a lot of the standard pre-fab housing is unlikely to last long under the environmental conditions.

(My mother was a teacher in Quesnel; she used to tell me about a new school building using a plan from California where the main playground was basically a courtyard inside a school building around the edge of a square. It was a lovely design… until it snowed, and then cleaning up the playground meant they had to open up the gymnasium at both ends and truck snow through it in wheelbarrows. Proper building design can be a lot more weather-dependent than people think about.)

Educational achievement is one of those poverty vicious cycles. Poverty limits the ability to get a better education, and a limited education makes poverty more likely.

And that’s not even touching the lasting distrust of formal education in some communities as a result of the residential school system…

numerobis
numerobis
3 years ago

My high school has that plan; the courtyard was useless most the year, being filled with snow until late spring, and then thawing dead pigeons who’d smashed themselves on the windows of the second floor. Good intentions. Road to hell.

On the optimistic side: Education is also a virtuous cycle.

Most my life has been in southern Canada or the US. I’m not yet living up north, just retelling what my girlfriend mentions, and what I’ve read, or heard on my one trip there. I’m heading up this summer.

numerobis
numerobis
3 years ago

How the hell did we get from Alex Jones to here?

eli
eli
3 years ago

Who cares? 🙂

I’m listening in and wishing we lived in a world where we could easily train people who are already in the community onsite to become healthcare professionals to serve underserved communities.

I understand the credentialing process and the potential for poor/mis-education.

How many times have people worldwide gone off to study medicine to help their community and then find themselves a new world and new connections and don’t want to go back?

There are no pat answers, but it seems like there are lots of ways that we do things in this world that don’t serve us in the ways that we need to serve ourselves.

Taking things from one place and putting them in another place mindlessly because they worked there, they’ll work here and then they don’t.

I hope you’ll stick around after your move numerobis and let us know how it goes. Thank you.

numerobis
numerobis
3 years ago

How many times have people worldwide gone off to study medicine to help their community and then find themselves a new world and new connections and don’t want to go back?

I think most people count it as a success if one individual in their community leaves and ends up better off for themselves.

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
3 years ago

@numerobis:

My high school has that plan

I am very glad that mine didn’t. Victoria may not get anywhere near that much snow, but it would still have been a problem.

(Granted, getting to one of the practice fields at my middle school involved walking around to the other side of an industrial gravel pit.)

How the hell did we get from Alex Jones to here?

We didn’t, really. Jesalin’s off-topic post about the Republican Obamacare replacement bill -> Alan’s asking about what the per-capita cost difference is between US and UK -> Axecalibur’s reference to population density as a contributing factor -> leftwingfox’ comment about Canada’s population density being 3/mi^2 shooting down any attempts on blaming the US’ higher costs on that -> you coming in and pointing out that north vs. south makes a big difference in Canada, and then drilling down from there.

So the first comment that started this conversation thread was already off-topic.

(Sorry. ‘How did we get to talking about this, anyway?’ is a question that comes up often with some of my friends. I find it interesting to trace sometimes.)

I think most people count it as a success if one individual in their community leaves and ends up better off for themselves.

That’s true, and it usually is good for the people and the family if money gets sent back. Unfortunately, that can leave the community itself poorer as a result as its best and brightest tend to be the most likely to leave.

anon
anon
3 years ago

I’m not sure Jones does know what he is really doing. There’s a video about where he is drunk and starts ranting about Jesus. He’s a radical Christian, and it seems he mostly keeps that aggressive rhetoric tucked away. Well, the subject material, not the delivery style: the Alexalanche.

It is easy to straw-man people we don’t know, but here we go: he looks to have no world view other than one based on faith. What is true or false is what his authority figures say, not what any independent evidence may suggest. Naturally, “evidence” is routinely redefined in a way which reflects no understanding of objectivity.

Alex Jones is closed minded. Who’da thunk eet?

He does try and knit together possibly conflicting “truths”, and goes down the path of super-conspiracies, rather than going “this is just bonkers, perhaps the initial idea is faulty”.

And how the Illuminati (Jones’ pet super-conspiracy) works is basically the same as God: a veiled entity effectively with super human powers, that is effectively everywhere, and is defined by human-like characteristics such as emotion or cravings for power.