A Facebook friend posted a video of Alan Jones talking about opening up the borders. I listened carefully and while he made a couple of reasonable points, the fact remains that people in states without COVID-19 are reluctant to allow in potential carriers. This makes perfect sense. At the moment, I am not aware of anyone in my neighbourhood with the virus even though I live in Victoria. Were one of my neighbours to knock on my door and tell me that their partner had just needed a test because half their workplace tested positive so could they stay with us until he or she was given the all clear, I suspect that I may suggest that the person go to a hotel… or something that rhymes with hotel.
Anyway, given the person on Facebook has always given the impression of being extremely left wing and alternative, I was tempted to write something like, “At last you’ve realised that all those things you’ve believed were just bunkum and you recognise Alan as the genius that he is!”
I thought better of it because I knew what she would say: “Jones is a tool of the reactionary capitalists and a fool. He just happens to be right this time!” And then I’d have to point out that using him as a source to back you up only works when you think that the source is right most of the time.
But it is a strange phenomenon. I can sort of see the “Look, even the Republicans are voting against Donald Trump on this one, so it’s hard to argue that he’s right,” but that’s not the same as using Alan Jones as backup to your argument. I’m not saying that he’ll never be correct; I’m just suggesting that he doesn’t add to your case.
It’s not like a whistle-blower who’s jumped ship and is now spilling the beans on all the secrets about what his fellow-workers did. Of course, one still has to be a little suspect of the spies who jump ship. Basically, I don’t trust anything I’m told completely. That’s why I’ve taken Noam Chomsky’s advice and I read the finance pages for basic information. Yeah, sure, their slant is a little warped, but they’re less likely to lie to you on the financial pages because people with money get upset when they lose it because of inaccurate information and then they buy shares in the paper and have journalists who convinced them that there wasn’t going to be a revolution so they didn’t need to sell their shares in Third World Exploitation Pty Ltd. only to have the coup make their twenty thousand shares worthless two weeks later when the Marxists take over.
Somehow though I still end up in dialogues like this:
“Why are you wearing that mask?”
“Some people think that it helps slow the spread of the virus…”
“What virus? That fake Covid-19 propaganda that we get from the media? Don’t tell me that you’re just another one of those sheeple who believes everything that they’re told!”
“I don’t believe everything that I’m told. In fact, I’m highly cynical about the media, but medical experts are saying…”
“Medical experts? You mean the tools of Big Pharma?”
“I’m no fan of drug companies, but doctors…”
“Doctors are all in the employ of Big Pharma. You can’t trust them. They push vaccinations on us.”
“Oh, you’re an anti-vaxxer?
“Why must you sheeple reduce everything to simple name-calling without debating the issues?”
“Well, vaccinations have enabled us eradicate a number of diseases, like small pox.”
“Small pox? There’s no such thing. It was just made up by capitalists to justify the vaccinations…”
“But small pox was around centuries ago.”
“So the agents of Big Pharma want us to believe!”
“Anyway, I’m wearing a mask. What harm can it do?”
“Actually a lot. You could get carbon dioxide poisoning.”
“No, apparently carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring gas and couldn’t do me any harm.”
“Who told you that?”
“You did, when you were trying to convince me that climate change was a hoax to enable governments to distract people from their true agenda…”
“Anyway, I’ve read an article that says that this whole thing is a hoax and there’s no need to worry.”
“Weren’t you trying to tell me that I shouldn’t believe everything I read?”
“Don’t believe what you read in the media, sure. But this was different… It was on the internet and apparently it keeps getting taken down which just proves it’s true.”
“Then how did you read it?”
“I read it before it was taken down again.”
“Anyway, why should I believe it?”
“It was written by a doctor.”
“I thought you didn’t trust doctors.”
“This one’s ok because he’s telling the truth.”
“In other words, he agrees with you.”
“Of course, otherwise it wouldn’t be the truth, would it?”
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