Narrative reversal

It has never been hard to reconcile this blog covering both science-fiction stories and the toxic weirdness of far-right extremists because both involve counter-factual storytelling. The difference is like the difference between a stage magician whose act involves an agreement between performer and audience to suspend belief and a con artist who uses misdirection and spectacle to deceive. Both the stage magician and the SFF author are also held to higher standards of consistency and elegance in maintaining the audience’s illusions.

Inevitably, I’ll be circling back to the January 6 2021 US Capitol Riot, in which Trump supporters stormed the US legislature to prevent the certification of the 2020 Presidential Election. The riot successfully delayed the vote but only for a time and did not usher in a Trump second term as predicted by QANON supporters.

At the time, there were three kinds of reactions I was seeing on the right:

  • Muted condemnation from some people
  • Praise and excitement
  • Claims that riot was being orchestrated by ANTIFA or the “Deep Sate” to some degree

The last dot point had actually been a common position the day before the protest. There was an expectation that there might be violence or police confrontations and commenters were claiming in advance that if there was any trouble it would be caused by left-wing agent provocateurs.

On the day itself, there was a duel between the bottom two narratives as people tried to sort out which of the two stories was the right one. Was the weirdly costumed “Q-Shaman” (the shirtless man with the tattoos and the horned furry helmet) an obvious infiltrator or a heroic symbol of the Q movement? [Spoilers: he was definitely part of the Q contingent].

Both Sarah Hoyt and Vox Day settled on the second dot point at the time. In particular, Day had been calling for Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act as a means to seize power and saw the use of force as a legitimate response. He was also widely predicting that, despite everything, Trump would be inaugurated president before the end of January.

You can read contemporary reactions from Day here: https://archive.is/ZR2Oi and here: https://archive.is/4N7V7

Quotes include:

  • “The President orders his troops to stand down… presumably because their job is done. The certification was stopped and the Congress has been rounded up and secured.”
  • “President Trump’s silence so far suggests a major announcement is coming tonight. And I have to admit, this is already the greatest thing I have seen or heard since the Miracle on Ice in 1980.”
  • “Listening to Anderson Cooper’s voice shake as he tries to explain why it was right for blacks and gays to protest but wrong for the DC protestors to take over the Capital building is hysterical. You can hear the fear in the voices of the CNN commentators. They are TERRIFIED that Trump is crossing the Rubicon.”

Fast forward to June 17 2021 and I am sure you will all be shocked to learn that Day is now firmly in the “false flag” camp. Promoting a story from RT.com (aka “Russia Today”) which itself links to Tucker Carlson/Fox News, as well as an even more obscure right-wing news outlet, Day is advancing the theory that the whole riot was engineered by the FBI. The speculation arose from court documents which (according to the articles) show a number of unnamed and unindicted co-conspirators in the cases laid against protestors who have been prosecuted. The assumption being that these unnamed people are FBI agents who had infiltrated far-right groups such as The Proud Boys. It’s speculation and of course, it’s not impossible but from thin facts to speculation to the conclusion that the FBI organised the riot to discredit the right requires several unsupported leaps. https://archive.ph/3k3y3

The particular theory is not my focus though. What is interesting is the shift. In January 2021 (at least prior to Joe Biden’s inauguration and the complete absence of Trump staging a military coup) Day regarded the Capitol riot as a blow against the Deep State/Democrats/”elites”/SJWs/writers who put romance elements in science fiction novels/sundry other enemies. Now, he’s pushing the claim that the whole thing, even down to booking hotel rooms and flights, was a cunning Deep State plan.

“The false flags are getting a little more sophisticated. This is why Boomer-style mass demonstrations are such a bad idea. Whether the organization is suborned like the Tea Party or false-flagged like the Capital Hill fake riot, the probabilities lie with the situation being very different than the participants imagine.”

https://archive.ph/3k3y3

Anyway, Day has a message for everybody:

“Never take an Internet tough guy at face value, especially not when he’s publicly preaching violence against the government.”

Hey! For once I agree!

20 thoughts on “Narrative reversal

  1. Whatever you do, don’t read the replies to Vox. They make him look sane as they think Pence is part of the Deep State and predicted that Trump was doing to declare Martial Law thereby being to effectively rule for life as President if he wanted.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. All of which involved ignoring what Trump was like and how things work, but then Ted was old hat at that.

      Like

    1. Vox is metaphorically speaking a piece of really smelly shit. The kind that you have after a really bad meal. Among the Puppies, he’s the very worst of them by far.

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  2. Sigh. The main problem with everyone – left, right, up, down, in, out – is that they think, and they want, life to have writers, and a coherent plot. But it doesn’t, because life isn’t a story, it’s a bunch of things happening in arbitrary ways driven by the actions of billions of individual people. The Capitol riot was never going to be anything but a bunch of hooligans who would be put down, even if they had managed to cause more death and chaos than they did. The election was never going to be overturned by some complicated maneuvering. But people demand stories, so we have conspiracies, and lab leak theories, and Russian plots, and voter suppression, and voter fraud, and on and on. It’s all just the sheerest nonsense, and people would do well to take a break from it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Curious… do you honestly believe there hasn’t been an uptick in voter suppression since the supreme court decision in 2013 overturning key elements of the 1965 voting rights act? I could get specific about laws enacted in various states that just barely swung to Trump in 2016, but that’d take a few minutes of googling to re-acquaint myself with the specifics.

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  3. At this point I’m wondering if we should put ol’ Teddy through the Mirror Test and see if he has even an ounce of self self awareness.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Ayyup. This particular subject is just a game to Beale, and he will play, because really what are the consequences where he stands?

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      1. More readers, more customers for what grift it is this week regardless. Again, that’s the real Xanatos gambit.

        As illustrated by the fact that I wrote this reply on the WordPress sidebar so I’d lost track of which post this was a comment to and I thought I was still in a Debarkle chapter and then spotted my error but the answer still worked 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Enh, they always have to be the superior, right, good people. So when they had the rally and Trump told them to attack and the white supremacists brought guns and pipe bombs, it was all a wonderful and justified rebellion for them, a show of power. And Trump refusing to send the National Guard despite desperate pleas let them rampage for awhile and film themselves.

    But then people watched those films. The insurrectionists smeared feces, stole stuff, marched around with a Confederate flag, followed a Black man while screaming racial slurs away from the Senate chamber, beat up cops and reporters. Several people died in and after the attack, politicians who were trapped in their offices set up videos saying goodbye to loved ones, people got to see the violence. And they were angry. They did not see it as right and good after all. Many white Republicans were angry enough to stop supporting Trump or even leave the party. The main media was shocked, a number of Republican Congresspeople were angry at almost being killed or taken hostage.

    So almost right away, the “bad” thing was blamed on the “bad guys” — the imaginary antifa conspiracy, etc. But then the FBI kept making arrests and used video evidence to find the insurrectionists and it turned out they were all established Trump supporters, militia and Proud Boys, etc. The antifa false flag theory didn’t have as much juice. So now they felt they had to refute the FBI. So what’s simpler than saying it’s the FBI — who were supposed to be Trump’s servants — who did the false flag operation. Give it a few weeks and they’ll come up with something else.

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  5. And Beale somehow thinks that “they’re terrified that Trump is about to overthrow the Republic” means that he’s right, and his opponents should, what, quietly sit back and let them overthrow the government?

    Liked by 3 people

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