011721_Making Sense

“The Q Anon Shaman: The Return of the Mythic” on Rebelwisdom on YouTube, is a discussion about the gregarious man in the Viking hat who helped storm the capital. Speakers, including Erik Davis, discussed the Q Shaman primarily as a likely social phenomenon of conspiracy thinking, which apparently requires a visual culture to really grow in power, hence badges, flags, costumes, language, acronyms. This form of communication is similar to branding/advertising spin which gains momentum through “identification” with the brand. Wikipedia describes Q Anon (c.2017) as ‘a disproven and discredited far-right conspiracy theory alleging that a cabal of Satan-worshipping cannibalistic pedophiles is running a global child sex-trafficking ring and plotting against U.S. president Donald Trump, who is fighting the cabal. U.S. prosecutors have called it “a group commonly referred to as a cult”. Cults develop through the ability to create feelings and sense of belonging. They have identifying markers, signs, clothing, agreement on their ideology, and members. Mobs also form out of immediate need for attention and the power of “unity” and “identification.”

The era of Trump’s lies and his and his Administration’s quest for power has been the dominant ideological position for 4 years, plenty of time to go from Pizzagate (2016) to QAnon (2021); for followings and “followers” to flock to their screens to see what else has been posted in a disturbingly accelerated pace of development. The sense-making apparatus of civil discourse is inherently progressive and productive because it reveres the exchange of differing ideas and opinion over individual authority. The disillusioned and disingenous empowered populus enerate new “forms” of sense not based in fact or reality and believe their own ideology because it is “right” cannot see their way out of the bottle. Trump has fueled the lean, illogical, ill-informed and ignorant formation of ideas. Social media accelerated the pace of his poisonous “reach” and helped the lies (and his entranced followers) to gain unusually threatening momentum.

The QShaman was a centrally-poised figure in media from the Capitol. Colorful, humorous, raving on and seemingly in control, he acted out a fantasy of control, for what spectator?