But that's it. Almost nothing. Nothing born of nothing. I'd loved and been loved, but I had nothing to show. It was a singularly plain, featureless landscape. I felt like I was in a video game. A surrogate Pacman, crunching blindly through a labyrinth of dotted lines. The only certainty was my death. And it wasn't something you gave easy. Too often, it was a tool your enemies used to hurt you with. Not until you have no choice.
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I found the Velvet Underground material very interesting and worth the trip. This record accompanies Minutes to Go and The Exterminator and demonstrates the early use of the cut up technique. In my mind, Burroughs vinyl is an essential part of a Burroughs collection. Best of all, Burroughs recordings are great fun. The memo took note of a California man arrested in with bomb-making materials. Read: Instagram is full of conspiracy theories and extremism.
QAnon adherents are feared for ferociously attacking skeptics online and for inciting physical violence. Q predicted the imminent arrest of Hillary Clinton and a violent uprising nationwide, posting this:. Q made it clear that he wanted people to believe he was an intelligence officer or military official with Q clearance, a level of access to classified information that includes nuclear-weapons design and other highly sensitive material. What might have languished as a lonely screed on a single image board instead incited fervor.
Its profile was enhanced, according to Brandy Zadrozny and Ben Collins of NBC News , by several conspiracy theorists whose promotion of Q in turn helped build up their own online profiles. As Q has moved from one image board to the next—from 4chan to 8chan to 8kun, seeking a safe harbor—QAnon adherents have only become more devoted. If the internet is one big rabbit hole containing infinitely recursive rabbit holes, QAnon has somehow found its way down all of them, gulping up lesser conspiracy theories as it goes.
From the September issue: How America lost its mind. In its broadest contours, the QAnon belief system looks something like this: Q is an intelligence or military insider with proof that corrupt world leaders are secretly torturing children all over the world; the malefactors are embedded in the deep state; Donald Trump is working tirelessly to thwart them.
To believe Q requires rejecting mainstream institutions, ignoring government officials, battling apostates, and despising the press. On the evening of October 5, —not long before Q first made himself known on 4chan—President Trump stood beside the first lady in a loose semicircle with 20 or so senior military leaders and their spouses for a photo in the State Dining Room at the White House. His repetition seemed to be for dramatic effect.
The whir of camera shutters grew louder. Those 37 seconds of presidential ambiguity made headlines right away—relations with Iran had been tense in recent days—but they would also become foundational lore for eventual followers of Q. You may think he was motioning to the semicircle gathered around him, they say, but he was really drawing the letter Q in the air.
Was Trump playing the role of John the Baptist, proclaiming what was to come? Was he himself the anointed one? Read: Covfefe and the real meaning of a Trump typo turned meme.
At least 35 current or former congressional candidates have embraced Q , according to an online tally by the progressive nonprofit Media Matters for America. Those candidates have either directly praised QAnon in public or approvingly referenced QAnon slogans. She helped lift QAnon from obscurity, facilitating its transition to mainstream social media. On TikTok, videos with the hashtag QAnon have garnered millions of views.
There are too many QAnon Facebook groups, plenty of them ghost towns, to do a proper count, but the most active ones publish thousands of items each day. In , Reddit banned QAnon groups from its platform for inciting violence. Adherents are ever looking out for signs from on high, plumbing for portents when guidance from Q himself is absent.
The coronavirus, for instance—what does it signify? Three days before the World Health Organization officially declared the coronavirus a pandemic, Trump was retweeting a QAnon-themed meme. From the March issue: The billion-dollar disinformation campaign to reelect the president. On March 9, Q himself issued a triptych of ominous posts that seemed definitive: The coronavirus is real, but welcome, and followers should not be afraid.
A month later, on April 8, Q went on a posting spree, dropping nine posts over the span of six hours and touching on several of his favorite topics—God, Pizzagate, and the wickedness of the elites.
Think voting. Are you awake yet? Put on the full armor of God so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. By then, QAnon had already declared Fauci irredeemably compromised, because WikiLeaks had unearthed a pair of emails he sent praising Hillary Clinton in and What is he communicating?
Nothing can stop what is coming. On a bone-cold Thursday in early January, a crowd was swelling in downtown Toledo, Ohio. The air was electric with possibility, and the whole scene possessed a Jimmy Buffett—meets—Michigan Militia atmosphere: lots of white people, a good deal of vaping, red-white-and-blue everything.
Down the street, someone had affixed a two-story banner across the top of a burned-out brick building. It read: president trump, welcome to toledo, ohio: who is q … military intelligence? Vendors at the event were selling Q buttons and T-shirts. I worked my way toward the back of the line, making small talk and asking who, if anyone, knew anything about QAnon. She had worked at a Bridgestone factory, making car parts, for most of her adult life.
Shock came to the Trump rally with her friend Pat Harger, who had retired after 32 years at Whirlpool. Harger and Shock are old friends. Do your own research, make up your own mind. Read: Trump needs conspiracy theories. The QAnon universe is sprawling and deep, with layer upon layer of context, acronyms, characters, and shorthand to learn. At the height of her devotion, Shock was spending four to six hours a day reading and rereading Q drops, scouring documents online, taking notes.
Now, she says, she spends closer to an hour or two a day. Harger, too, once thought Shock had lost it. Shock and Harger rely on information they encounter on Facebook rather than news outlets run by journalists.
And Q. They could not provide specifics and instead encouraged me to do the research myself. He grew up in a family of Democrats. His dad was a union guy. Shock nodded alongside him. At one point, Harger told me I should look into what happened to John F. Kennedy Jr. There she is in a yellow kayak in her profile photo, bright-red hair spilling out of a ski hat, a giant smile on her face. There are the photos of her daughters, and of a granddaughter with Shirley Temple curls.
Yet Q is never far away. X17 Fifth Force Particle. She shows and acts evil, but a man? The message board is notoriously confusing for the uninitiated, nothing like Facebook and other social platforms designed to make it easy to publish quickly and often.
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