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tv   Dale Beran It Came From Something Awful  CSPAN  August 24, 2019 11:20am-12:31pm EDT

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play during the cold war. in "an conspicuous consumption" science writer tatyana schlossberg describes the impact each of us have on the environment. look for these titles in bookstores this coming week and watch for many of the authors book tv on c-span2. [inaudible background conversations] hello and welcome this evening. with thank you to everyone for being here. we get to get started which is wonderful moment. my name is emma i'm the owner of the iv bookshop and partner here at bird in hand. it's a delight to welcome folks to this space, especially on a hot summer night we all get together to gather together surrounded by carefully curated books. if it's your first time at bergen hand it's about cafc.
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we have delicious locally sourced food and drinks. and a careful book selection not around you. we invite people and we have a lot of regulars. some of our regulars write books. sometimes we get to celebrate those books the day after they are launched into the world. tonight we are incredibly excited to welcome dale brand here to bergen hand. ãb this week of all weeks i think it feels especially special to welcome dale to speak about this topic in the city of baltimore. in a space we often like to say yes you got coffee, yes we got food, yes we have books. there is a transaction element that we are really here to build community and celebrate culture in a place where that's incredibly important. i think i'm speaking to a room full of people who know and love baltimore. i think that assertion is the only real answer to a week like this week where maybe a certain meme culture and reduction of
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nuance truths has come to the forefront and possibly we get to discuss that tonight. as dale who is a writer cartoonist professor at morgan state university will lead us. we are proud to note that he wrote at least a portion of the book here. aided and abetted by the reese does who know his drink order by heart. he is more than just a loyal customer with exceptionally good taste of what cafc city over, he's a shrewd observer of a counterculture that can no longer be written off or pushed aside. some of us might feel so here lies a certain elements of our culture. the trolls have arrived, they are powerful and depicted on the cover of this excellent book. his piece on medium, the skeleton key to the rise of trump tied the toxic forms of that online discourse to the rise of the albright the far right and in a fitting metaphor for world beyond satire to the rise of our president donald
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trump. he expanded the essay into a serious study of a culture that was incredibly unserious. trolls who do it for the goals, if that doesn't make sense to you it's because you are a decent human being. you go to the right places online you go to the right places in life but dale is here to tell us about it to bring light to a dark topic but a serious topic. it's often posed in unserious way and something i think we need to grapple with the world and the effects it has on our broader culture and ability to talk to one another in the future in which i think we hope for a healthier version of that. dale, take it away. thank you. [applause] >> hi everyone. thank you, that was a great introduction. that's more than i have to say.
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thank you for being here. tonight of all nights when we are braving the great plague of rodents rats and other trump inspired manifestations. coming into a city it's nice when trump insults baltimore to have written a book that deeply insults him. he then presented in baltimore i guess that's convenient timing. i can tell you a little bit about this book. how it came to be. i had written a piece on medium so no one would publish it. [laughter] i had written it just partly for my own edification but also because at the time there was sort of a local baltimore thing that was
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happening where the show space with the great arts community around here were being intimidated by fortune trolls. i should also say what 4chan is. the book is essentially about a set of horrible horrible online spaces. something awful is one and then it gets worse from there. 4chan ãare message boards where people have congregated for 10, 15, 20 years and only gotten more and more unhappy. to the extent where now they are there and they are angry and murderous. select two of the last shootings the one in poway california and also the one in new zealand, those were h chan shootings that came out these websites. and the same population a lot of them had become fascist. they had become so deeply
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disenchanted with their existence that they have decided that they want to destroy civilization and instead sort of rebuild it as a factious fantasy. that's the subject matter of the book and when i first started researching it i was in internet cartoonist my last gig was making cartoon for cartoon network. but i started writing about this in 2016 because they were intimidating local baltimore artists and attempting to close loans show spaces and doing that across the same because etched at the end of 2060 limited to unconnected the building and building. i found myself around crystal are you trying to explain to a friend of mine who these people
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were who she organized the list of all the events of musical show in 4chan was intimidating her. and i said, no they are nerds they are idiots. i was trying to explain the long history of where they come from. it turns out probably by coincidence that i remembered them, they use to meet 4chan only when it first came around on 2003 it would meet one place in the world which was baltimore's outer column the anime convention. that was so strange after 15 to 20 years how do we get the new fascist counterculture artisan anime message board. i wrote that into a piece and i thought 300 people would read it but millions of people read it. now i was cursed to forever write about this subgroup after that. i asked my agent, can i write
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another book he was like you have to write this book. so it was sort of like after i took the assignment i was like, the assignment was essentially drink all this poison and tell us how it tastes. it tasted terrible. [laughter] i spent the next two years researching them seeking out people on the sites, seeking out people that spent 10, 15 years on the site and sort of all sets of this sub community to figure out what was going on. everyone around me was helping me create the book were very cheerful about humanity in the sense they were late, it might be irrelevant by the time the book comes out. fortunately for everyone and fortunately for the book, not really for me, it's still keeps going on and on. that's what the book is about. i would like to read a passage i'm going to read just the
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introduction the introduction at first was very short and then my editor said you need to tell people more about yourself i said no. [laughter] but he eventually convinced me so now the introduction is probably for the better i think now the introduction is about my experience first encountering this group at otocon in 2006-ish.there will be a question series after sense most of the group my friends and because of the subject matter the format of the question can be just like, what the hell? i will even accept like, why? anything like that is also fine. that's what we will do.
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... i found myself in the frigid air of baltimore's convention center attending a gathering of superfans of japanese media, anime and manga. i didn't particularly like anime and felt i was too old for the event. i attended a few times in high school in the late 90s. back then it had been held in a
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set of contest rooms, obscure animation, taped off of japanese tv but in recent years the clouds are big enough for the largest venue. the event evolved into an elaborate festival where isolated suburban kids came to bond over their favorite tv shows. the convention was held in the inner harbor, an outdoor shopping mall with a super shift in the black water of chain restaurants. the meeting hall like the mall was brutalist and modern made of hard angles, truncated geometric shapes and whirling structural triangles, which was a science-fiction deathtrap for the shoot. i was there with an old high school friend, we graduated college and wanted to be professional artists. i was particularly interested in becoming a writer so i came -- had no idea how to do it.
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we made a short called lessons learned but the damage is irreversible. most people were reading it and we went to hand out flyers to promote it. it hadn't been all that great a year. after i graduated my father died suddenly of a heart attack and i spent the previous month winding up complicated affairs of his finances and psychiatry practice badly. when the dust settled there wasn't really an inheritance when split among my siblings, more of a series of minor problems. as a child i had willfully shut myself up in the abstract realm of book so the transition out of childhood into adult realm i didn't quite understand. defying tasks and bureaucratic forms was painful. it mingled with absence reason
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safe bubble that attempted to commune with the comfort and kids fantasy on the other side felt unsettling to me so i couldn't put my finger on why. at a certain point wondering -- wooden ships trapped in bottles, handing out flyers from my web comic, things started to get weird. not for me, then, i hardly knew what i was seeing but for all of us, years later i realized i was an indifferent witness to a turning point, a secret hinge on which world events would fling. what did i see? more of the same. kids in costumes. of the front of one room was a 15-year-old boy with golden
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locks and a baseball cap going to a power point presentation that was a minister of website statistics include jokes mocking cartoon pornography. this included many images of the boy himself depicted as a curvaceous cat girl wearing white panties. in the increasingly silly photoshop drawings and as they slid by the raucous crowd shouted words of encouragement gearing up for the late-night techno dance party that would follow. despite all the adulation the boy seemed slightly ill at ease. the was a little too low as if to disguise his eyes and he let his friends do most of the talking. this was one of the first meetings of the infamous online message board. the boy in the was the site's founder, christopher pull.
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in october 2003 board and in need of porn he had programmed on a whim to trade pictures of anime girls with his friends within discovered thousands and millions of other people wanted to use it. it seems ridiculous to say the site was important but even more ridiculously, its importance is documented in history books. david wrote the nazi worshiping all the right began with people talking online about japanese anime. few of these books offer an explanation for how this could have possibly happened. how we got from anime to the anime nazis of 2016 and onward. how all of this resulted in internet weirdos marching with tiki torches and similar fantasy themes costumes in charlottesville in 2017. the kids in that room weren't nazis. far from it.
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last thing they wanted to discuss was politics. at that moment i didn't feel i was present for some great turning point in history. it seemed i was confronting yet another moment of anti-history as the vast landscape of the american suburban nowhere land was in the convention center. a place that it is expansive, clean, carpeting, model ships and humbling geometric shapes felt like an infinite kids restroom. the kids were not trying to make a mark on the world, but to escape from it by pantomiming scraps of fiction. however, looking back at the crazy premonition, as the microphone was passed from trenchcoat mafia kids, to ask their curly headed leader questions, the teens/monsters
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kept debating about means and trolls. in the mid-2000s these terms were meaningless to anyone outside that room but later they broke out and saturated every inch of the world and stranger still, from 2016 on word they became central concepts, almost overnight the terms invaded the domain and redefined the contest between them, now there are russian trolls, facebook trolls and the original fortran trolls all jiggling to the ether. back then i was surprised to find that i knew what these terms meant. before i encountered that the site constantly popped up in my referral logs. the data that shows where people come from when they visit your site. when it began it wasn't that different from other online message boards. it was a place to post content
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and talk to people on the internet. it imported a few innovations from japanese sides which accounted for some of its popularity. it was easy to post images and following the japanese customer didn't require the user to sign up for an account. anyone could post under a default name which eventually became the name of all 4 chan users, anonymous. this hardly explained why it ballooned so rapidly, as soon as it appeared people began gathering to celebrate, and it doubled in number until finally the hordes went out of the room and they stopped holding meetings. by 20104 chan was one of the most popular websites ever. how did this mutate into the altar right? to borrow a phrase, what happens not just to the election but politics, culture and counterculture as it was
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heaped into the garbage fire that was 2016, as old ideas and norms burned away in the future. the garbage fire as we understand it. to put a finer point on it, how did the pornographic anime website performed from a post cultural garbage heap, on which the great events of the age stood? >> that is the story of this book. strangely, when i began to write it many of the disasters and it had not yet occurred. the manifestation of internet nazis in charlottesville in defense of their cause and in 2017, street battles all lay in the future. the mystical realm of fake news and trolls was not yet
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ascended. the washington post had not run articles reporting on 4 chan posts, the new york times had not put out calls on its tip line to fox to disrupt the election. pepe the frog as a symbol during the campaign and richard spencer, had not been stopped during trump's inauguration. all of this is not their first trade in politics as many 4 chan conspiracy theories turned into political causes. gamer gate and pizzagate in 2016 and a few years prior to that, international far left, played a role in occupy wall street. as the trump presidency, the increasingly bizarre stories that appear for major publications.
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how is that going to fit? trump era events are so preposterous. they would not fit into my scheme or others. they are totally random. strangers would gas when they said the subject of my book was be all right, very timely, they would reply but another thought would occur, how? it must be so difficult. they would add sympathetically every week it changes. what they meant by this is the media reports trump, fake news, late-night tv and talking head pundits on 24 hour cable news all tangled with a heap of social media where the font of confusion, the great source of chaos.
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what they were saying was how can you even understand the font of confusion? it is where confusion comes from. this book attempts to provide an answer. the idea is to trace the way culture and counterculture, the internet and reality and politics and entertainment came to reflect one another in a hall of mirrors and terminated with the manifestation of a once unimaginable into tea, a reality tv president. new language has been invented to describe this uncanny mirroring. we are a political era of echo chambers as messages bounce in and out of social media through tv personalities who were once politicians and vice versa. close-up contemporary events appear in a recursive haze that manifests. when you take a video camera back at the monitor to explain what it is filming, the message itself gets lost in infinite replication. this work aspires to draw far
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back enough to look at how the system is wired up in the first place, to provide clarity by widening the historical frame. the key to understanding what happens will be 4chan itself and this book details how trump's 2016 campaign was intimately wrapped up with the site's user base and while this occurred is part of a larger narrative in counterculture. 4 chan was so influential on mainstream culture because it was the center of the counterculture and stranger still the site became the place for counterculture catastrophically split into left and right camps in 2017. the first section of this book traces the history of counterculture prior to 4chan and describes how all counterculture in the 60s onward suffered a similar fate, they got eaten by the screen. it is a sad but familiar tale.
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as late 60s counterculture struggles with the burden of infinite choice and postwar plenty manufacturers are struggling with the same problem. all the basic needs of human beings were met, the factories were still running. how would they get people to buy their products? the solution they came up with was to manufacture need as american capitalism transitioned to practical necessities, the products at gateways into ideals, counterculture was employed as the advertiser's most powerful tool. what followed from the 70s and 90s was a game of predator and prey in which new counterculture is emerged to combat the forces of materialism and marketing only to be swallowed whole by marketing campaigns that adored transcendents and rebellion.
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by the 80s counterculture after defeated counterculture were used to bludgeon and stand next to counterculture. the hippie labor, anti-glamour punk, filthy glamour etc.. as a result counterculture is hoping to resist co-optation in the 90s, employed nihilism as a survival strategy. they became about nothing, no value system. leaving the house of their minds, morals and desires empty so there was nothing to feel. this numb indifference complementary numb indifference to politics, the end of history. in the wake of the collapse of the soviet union the then neoconservative philosopher francis fukuyama defined up political idea of the period, the latest utopian projects would never emerge. capitalism wooden door for all
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eternity. this seems to be the natural terminus of counterculture. the advent of the web reduced in the void. genuinely by this point it hardly mattered come younger generations were migrating out of real life into the stream. still contemptuous they celebrated escapism. something wonky or happens. the 90s contest to outpace co-optation by diving into nihilism. it is offensive and grotesque. the second part of the book details 4 chan one. it became a place people
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achieve new lows. prior to the internet, screen world has gone one way, for manufacturer to subject. computers were reversing that process allowing new generations to vomit up colorful garbage shut down their gullet since they were born telling them who and how to be. with the advent of the web, all the discarded pieces of pop culture, entertainment, fiction, advertising in video games that manufacturers had sold to use to tell them how the beat began to rise in their gorge to spice up digitized chunks. once ejected they could be refashioned snippet by snippet into a homemade culture of jokes. the new youth culture was created based on this gag reflex. 4 became a hub growth for this, the number one psychic garbage dump into which people discharged their misery
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and creativity into a pile of old art, cartoons, ads, video games, movies, tv shows, comic books and toys and as it turned out everyone needed what 4 chan had created. everyone created a means to feel agency over the stream of nonsense gushing from the screen not only for fiction but nonfiction as well. in 20084 chan sides creations drift into the world to take root. it spot hacker controlling collectives the propagated joke narratives in mainstream media to parody efforts to manufacture consent and to the surprise of everyone, what started as a joke transformed into something unseen since the 1960s, a sincere countercultural political movements. absurdly 4 chan's ultra nihilistic, ultra apathetic culture of post 90s indifference went through a black hole and emerged on the other side as a genuine political force.
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for a brief a few years from 2008-20114 chan denison no longer believe they were powerless we trapped behind their screens. they could affect great change through their screens. during this period, their anarchic user base metamorphosed into anonymous, and anticorporate anti-power structure, pro-democracy hacker collective which went on to play a key role in international protest and revolution. however, by 2012 the movement had collapsed. its principal members arrested by the fbi. the last part of this book details how in the wake of this collapse 4 chan's bond the alt right. with the dissolution of 4 chan's new in -- agency, the undreamt of lows.
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a new generation of young people, even more interesting screen worlds than the last flooded onto the site while older gen x users found their prospects diminishing after the 2008 crash. scores of young people young men in particular were retreated from work in the world and never returned. it was in this environment the alt right formed. these new groups coalesced around the resurgent lifestyle celebrated on 4 chan like it was 2005. 4 chan was populated by a group of the class individuals, set so far apart from society and so lacking, they began to obsess of it, they clung to race as a means of self-definition. these fascist movements emerge much as the first ones have out of decontextualized people.
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and it was a cruel power struggle because they were constantly losing it, and they converted to this ideology and in 2015 a teamed up with steve bannon and milo young up a list to back the candidacy of donald trump who promised american users they would win so much they would get sick of winning. the youth counterculture, orbited around another popular image sharing website, 4 chan's arrival, youth were so deeply steeped in screen world, means and fantasies, they created a new counterculture to match. the countercultural marketer with self-definition.
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and bannon and you not bliss precipitated. a catastrophic clash that snowballed into street demonstration and brawls and violence of charlottesville. in the wake of the rise to power something broken youth culture and politics in general. it appears they were lost for good in a mirrored maze of the screen. another clear pattern was emerging, politics, long constrained in a narrow band of debate, liberal capitalism and slightly more liberal capitalism begin sorting themselves into youth battles that were a century or two all between socialism and fascism, democracy and depression,
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broader themes from the 19th and 20th centuries emerge as american-style capitalism grew larger. by 2018 even the new york times is an op-eds like american capitalism is important and the author of the end of history and the last man is big idea was american capitalism might last for ever and socialism, quote, should come back because, quote, at this juncture it seems to me certain things karl marx said were turning out to be true. where does that leave us? after i encountered baby 4 chan in the 2000s i started to read and document the site because i needed something to write about but was also because 4 chan attracted people like me. the first ten years of my adult life were not that different from the second.
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i spent most of it unemployed or unemployable drifting gig to gig quitting jobs that paid less with virtual items on the internet. now i know nothing outside school debt. hard to tell how much of this came from a successful artist friend of mine put it, quote, ruining your life. i was luckier than most. i had the benefit of, new with fatalistic certainty that there was no way out. it was behind cash registers and cubicles, less on the horizon, not just economically but for lack of a better word, spiritually. and whatever hope remains.
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ridiculously, as it is and it is also sided convinced me to never join it. how else does one interpret negative assets, owning less than nothing, somehow into more lessons. and there's more than this. and locking myself in the glass orb as a team and even sadder cubicle and later why wasn't i on the street drawing blood, why did i stock said nerds and watch them from a distance slowly transform into nazis? took me years to realize this but the reason my father's affairs were a mess when he died, part of the reason he died was totalitarianism. when my father was in his 20s
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he escaped from the iron curtain in the backseat of a morris many minor, a nazi lugar pressed against his chest. when he reached the freedom of the west without having to fire it, his first act as a westerner was to dismantle the gun and throw pieces into a lake. he always into the detail that way, concluding the pieces are probably still there rusting away at the bottom of the lake. never told me who helped him across the border into the west. he had a companion next to him. never learned who that was either. in my childhood imagination the pieces of the gun seemed to embody this mystery but my father said they were still there, lying inaccessible at the bottom of an unnamed lake resonated with the unfathomable and after he died and was reduced to nothing but a memory
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strangely enough, the memories he became, not as i knew him but as i used to imagine him in the story. and underneath sleeping bag next to this unknown companion with the lugar pressed against his chest. i knew how he felt then, but expressed the same emotions the rest of his life. anger and resentment. he remained furious he had been placed in such an absurd position. they he had to employ the tactics of idiots and evil men, and what the pieces meant to him. and he could abandon it for life in the united states. those pieces did not quite abandon him and were still dissolving in the story, never
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dissolved. he did tell me how he got the gun. it started when thousands of nazi soldiers surrounded his village in czechoslovakia 17 years earlier in 1945 when he was 5 years old. they line their tanks on a ridge and told the town to evacuate. the next morning they were going to show it into oblivion. the next morning came and the town was still there, so were the tanks. instead of leveling his village, hundreds of tons of it and walked away with nothing but their coats and hats. he never forgot how ridiculous it all seemed, how the vaporous substance of ideas could compel millions of men to madness for dissolving in the blink of an i. how in an instant the nightmarish dream of the men, the reich, war simply end did to do that. the war. to him then.
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the world appeared to him then as he always insisted it was, a joke, a thin sheen of rationality. he used the same language the political order of the united states, a dream that could world away in an instant. he had seen it happen. it could happen here, americans don't has to be. it seems and thinkable to them but it could happen anywhere, kept passports up-to-date, and many new guns to replace the one rusting in the lake, guns in the house, guns in the car, guns buried with emergency camping gear. i wasn't supposed to tell these stories. i wasn't supposed to tell these stories.
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the nazis, the communists, stalin spies, vss, the men had all died but they weren't dead, only sleeping. the factions would come again angry he had bested them, take revenge for grievances. when he returned to his village after the fall of the iron curtain people blanched, he said, thought they had seen a ghost when a person materially vanished during communism, it meant the regime made them disappear. he laughed when he said this and i thought it was a joke. the way he talked about it with nations going mad in a lighthearted way. it was part of the czech national style. just before hitler rose to power, the czech author kyle shot back road a novel in which he is destroyed when the world decides to go to war with subhuman species of nude.
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that took me years to realize in my stupidity i had received the child's version in the adventure where no one got hurt or killed. we lived on a per class life. my father adored the comfortable assistance the traumatized postwar america created in the suburbs, the barnes & noble and the starbucks. he delighted at how americans consciously crafted a meaningless empty experience bereft of culture. and in the halls, something that we almost choked and died on. as we got older the trauma came bubbling back up along with the paranoia. as we buy from bob's big boy to walmart. more american to him in the
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skyscraper with the superstores. he began to pile on top of apocalypse guns, food and camping supplies, heat of other items, furniture, computers, exercise equipment, sporting goods, vcrs, entertainment centers, the consumerist baby boomer nonsense of the previous decade. inch by inch, slowly learning what is happening he was suffering and dying in the midst of the clean break. rusting at the bottom of the lake. post communism, post fascism, the product of america forever, the end of history. in other words a mirage. when he died the house switched to the brim with several american households layered on
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top of one another and an absurd parody of overproduction. i was in the process of throwing it all away. the nazis would return one day he insisted even in america, not dead, only sleeping, i never believed him. in 2015, a resurgent nazi themed youth movement in the united states seems and thinkable but one aligned with a sitting us president in 2016 it was a reality and more absurdly it was largely composed of young men my age, in their 30s and 40s on the fringes of society they hated dearly. a fully my father had lived to see it, how the movement arose from that ridiculous room with little kids and said adults dressed as cartoons. he would have laughed so hard. history repeats itself, first
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this tragedy, then a spark. karl marx wrote, correcting hegel. but what is next? there is no other word for a farce of a farce. here you are, time to pick up the pieces. the story of anime to anime nazi, internet utopia to dystopia, reality tv to reality, america to trump. i hope you laugh too. [applause] >> thanks, guys. i will now take questions on any subject from the audience, doesn't matter, civics, biology.
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>> have you had any people around you or anything like that? >> it is very true. great question. i get that a lot. the short answer is no. if only they would pay attention to me. it is like so many other people. now and again i get some crazy emails which i love and i have gotten some embittered people write me and so forth but for the most part there hasn't been a lot of scary stuff happening to me. as i have gone along i have gotten -- they have grown more ridiculous and less scary. i just go to their rallies and don't care. i went, covered the last all to write rally three weeks ago and it is full of crazy alt right
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people, i interviewed mcginnis in front of his crowd was, he wanted to fight me, offered to fight me 3 times, it was funny. i left. he called my laughter fake. it was genuine laughter. it is not too big an issue right now. i think it is a problem. if i were a woman or a different race it might be a much bigger issue. right now, i dipped my toes into this news and have yet to die. >> if the left wing people
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convert to the right-wing? >> good question. there was a lot of dropping out that happened. one writer put it that when the far left activist movement collapsed there was a moral vacuum. that is on them for chan described itself. left to do activism or got arrested or went in hiding. so the people that remained on the site were the ones that weren't into that but were devoted to that. there were the people that were into it who were a little bit into it incrementally. they remained. the alt right is composed generally is men under 40 so men my age that have been online for 20 years, their lives are going nowhere and they recruit younger ones, it
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was the ones left on the site that didn't move on with their lives. you can't do that for 20 years, you have to -- can't live in that vacuum for so long. far right thinking was a desperate attempt to fix their situation, a naïve one. >> i am curious about the introduction. there is a big distinction in the seriousness, the energy trying to downplay the seriousness of leverage during the election that the alt right and media platforms were granted despite the evidence we have in terms of violence and
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murders and things like that. >> that is a good point. there is a strong distinction between russian trolls and fortran -- 4 chan trolls. it makes sense. to confuse those two, what you are referencing is the idea of a russian troll farm, russian intelligence creating, influencing foreign elections. i agree with chen's reporting. his conclusion was reported been to these places. the effect on the election was minimal or at least does not explain trump in and of itself. a lot of the time it is used to say if trump cheated his way into office, the best way to make sense of it is grassroots support.
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i agree with his takeaway. there is some connection and i describe the connection which is during the activist collective years in 2008-2012 the activists accidentally ran into programs by the us government or us government contractors and other large contractors that were doing similar things in the us and abroad, generally in the us, hack the us chamber of commerce in 2011, that is what they discovered. those guys, one of those guys became a reporter, started with anonymous and still covering the cambridge analytic a story. when the russian troll farm is broke, he said i have been covering this for years, we knew the russians do it and the
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american government does it and they have names for it and for years they were trying to figure out how to make one fake facebook user 20 fake facebook users and should a lot of information into social media that way. the activist collective gets mixed up with it and steve bannon owns cambridge analyticasa when he recruits, his companies recruiting 4 chan trolls, he is also working with cambridge analytica to do similar work to the russian troll farms. those are the labyrinthine collection stories. >> i assume with 4 chan, euro the book since then, one final thing, i am wondering how you
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deal with your thoughts? >> probably dealt with it very poorly. it wasn't fun to get the assignment again to say i have to live with it for two years. there is a lot of other people that cover this and they complain about the same thing and some of it you get numb, the blister over it but when the blister pops, oh no, i don't want to look at this ever again. some of it is ridiculous, some of it is silly and like having a sense of humor about it because the subject matter of both trump and the alt right is terrifying and scary. trump is inherently a comedian, the same thing as the alt right. the other half is however seriously you take it you have
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to take it with a grain of salt, and not seriously at all or in a contradictory way. >> i know a lot of this is kind of perfect storm, different influences and people -- technology we have. do you have a sense of the next iteration or what possibilities are out there? >> good question. i do have predictions for what will happen next. the state of the movement when i submit the manuscript 6 or 8 months ago or even longer, there has been migration, people weren't sure what would happen after charlottesville and the idea was the surface manifestation of the alt right
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broke but underlying surface, the economic and spiritual crisis, the group of young people still exist so the idea they retreated back online, there are stories how a lot of it came to youtube and they have been in discord, discord is a chat apps, they are congregating online spaces and reforming but they are scared to go outside so the last -- i was surprised they spoke in dc and that is when i went to see them and cover the story. it was full of literally crazy people. people who are like prince is communicating with me to tell you robin williams hates everyone because of the illuminati conspiracy. it was like 300 people there
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but people dedicated 4 chaners, they were frightened of me. everyone was frightened of being humiliated and being filmed being humiliated. mcginnis himself surrounded himself with a bodyguard. it felt like he was fearful in a sense of bad media because charlottesville was so embarrassing, a disaster for them. it is not going to go away unless the underlying forces address the system which the left has better answers. society has done a worse job giving these people meaningful education, meaningful jobs, hope in their life but genuine
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needs, generates false needs like i will play video games all day or tv or anime, stuff the replaces real genuine things society doesn't provide. it could happen if the left does well, it could dissolve. half of trump supporters support andrew yang, the libertarian socialist who wants to give them $1000 and that, young people, 19, they are always changing their mind. they got sucked into this dumb ideology. that is better than fascism. okay. so they are not irredeemable a lot of them. it could change.
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>> the pipeline, you only go to church and family. and move on to adversity. why are you talking about this? is that a is that of real pipeline.
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>> it is internet philosophers, ideas that bounced around online, that is a real pipeline that does exist and sources i talked to that fell into this, most of the informational philosophy working in politics through youtube, a really inadequate vessel. you can't understand the world of politics of philosophy for youtube. and they get easily convinced. the far right philosophy are deeply appealing to people marginalized, good sense of identity that feel they are outside society and have this identity crisis, not like your identity is your whiteness and everyone else is white and pull yourself up by your bootstraps
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that conservatives, with this nihilist way, they watch pornography and play video games. it is a rigid set of values. the situation in society. a lot of men make money off of their youtube, and father figures where they say this is what you should do with your life, what you should be leave and this is why you should be proud of yourself and kids raising themselves online you have this cottage industry of men doing this which are intellectual dark water and men like jordan peterson, their philosophy doesn't make sense, sort of a really vapid social
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darwinism, but there appeal, why they have millions of followers is a group of disenfranchised marginalized young men you need rigid standard rules to make their life better. that is the explanation for what those groups. >> they are selling a life philosophy, give me money. >> as a follow-up to that, the foundation of this movement is not a white phenomenon. it is very close to what they tried to enter. kind of curious how it moved from that to a white line community or is that the reality and happens to be the
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most physical manifestation of that? >> that is a good question. it is more mixed than that. you are right that this is like a debate in alt right circle, what about asian people? set of cranks, i think they are even smarter, one of those idiot philosophers that hang out with richard spencer. in the groups we debate because they love asian culture. it becomes the talk of all this -- consuming japanese products and i also found a few of my sources were african-american men. one was a libertarian socialist, one was a communist but they had been using them for chan for years and were sympathetic to the movements, they were friends, one was friends with a lot of young men
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in the alt right. for the most part, it is strange that they like asian culture and moves from asian culture to white pride but the explanation is really the idea that there is a crisis, a sort of spiritual and self crisis where if you are suspending 10 or 15 years in your computer watching anime playing video games you can't do that forever. you can't live in that void forever. that is where hyper conservatism cashes in and they go to jordan peterson or someone online and say i need a new value system that will get me out of this watery nihilism with nothing to grab onto. it is a clean break where they describe it that way where the ideology, you probably heard of the red pill, the radical far
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right philosophy, there's a black pill where a lot of men on these sites, i will keep hanging out in my mom's basement and watch anime and live my life that way, try that out like i'm going to stick to nihilism and those debates but to me the crisis of that creates the racialism and fascist ideologies. >> you have been talking about another phenomenon, a social phenomenon, the rise in suicide rates in drug overdose and alcohol-related deaths. what do you think of the relationship between these two
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social phenomena? >> i am doing some writing on this. the way the movement has evolved is it has evil and we see a manifest after charlottesville and mass shootings and there is an argument which is mass shootings are like a suicide and for the most part, suicide comes first and shooting comes second. it is about that despair in a way but this, i wrote extensively, the chans are full of suicide. when you're this nihilistic and been there 10 or 15 years and don't know a way out, the chans for years encouraged suicide and their term was to become an hero. that was 2004-2005. they were meaning this idea of going out and having a
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massacre. they would see it in the media in anime. it is the power fantasy inaction films or the matrix or the action films they consume, male fantasy of power. that is cool and they would joke about the idea of going crazy and shooting everyone. but they would worship suicide and it was jokes at first, before the alt right it starts to get real where people kill themselves online and live stream suicides and it picks up and people enact shootings and all the jokes become this despairing reality and that is what we see in the past three or four months. the new zealand shooter
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referenced memes is 2004-2005, the whole tradition, i will live stream the entire thing like this guy did in 2011 and it is for you guys. i want to thank you guys and i will kill myself and do this and that is what people started doing in 2009. everyone on those sites were thrilled for the most part. this is what we want. this is the celebration of that sort of nihilism. it became its own incredibly despairing culture. the underlying point is if these things are increasing the idea that inequality is at record highs only reached in the 1930s, more people feel their lives were hopeless and those statistics would be co-morbid and correlate this other group.
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that is a cheery note. [inaudible question] >> would you go to area 51? >> in an instance, someone -- i love that i am going to cover the alien immigration crisis at the border which is the meme about aliens and area 51, the other half of that anxiety, concentration camps. i'm going to do the other one. i should stop by area 51.
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the answer is yes, i am ready to cover any and all alien stories if there is a producer listening, please, any time. [applause] >> recently on our author interview program afterwords, the new book the conservative sensibility, in this portion of the program mister will offers thoughts on nationalism. >> this patriotism and nationalism. patriotism his love of one's country. there are american patriots, there are italian patriots and danish patriots but not many danish nationalists. the nationalist says normally do i love my country but my country is superior. i believe our country is
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superior so to that extent i am a nationalist, superior in the sense that it embodies a philosophy that is right and not suitable for all people at all times but everyone not to aspire to. i don't want to export it at bayonet point. i want to make it available to people and help when we can and a lot of experience with civil society, democratic society so i am a mild nationalist. >> to watch the rest of the interview visit our website, click on the afterwords tab. primetime on booktv, the challenges that arab and middle eastern women face in reporting on stories from their countries. philip mode, former deputy
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director of the counterterrorism center talked about the suspected terrorists following 9/11 and bioethicist harriet washington talking environmental hazards impacting black communities. also on afterwords media research center founder and president brent bozo argue the media is biased against donald trump, and low wage jobs in america. tune in tonight starting at 7:00 eastern. check your program guide for more schedule information. .. the


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