I think the death of Art Bell put me in a time warp. Here’s an interesting story about an army fellow who actually was listening in on Art Bell’s broadcasts while looking for Russkis. He makes the same point I did, that he really was an enabler for the alt-right and wackaloon conservatism.
Once I learned what had happened, I could no longer listen to those favorite talk radio shows anymore. Alex Jones was not simply a funny or stupid clown now. I understood that he was not simply sharing airwaves with disturbed people and utter fanatics, he was borrowing their silly ideas, and listeners who would not otherwise accept anti-Semitic or racist material learned to accept the narrative frameworks of those ideas through him.
As Jones made it okay to believe in this alternate reality, Art Bell made it okay to believe whatever you liked, often on the same station at a later hour. Vampires and werewolves? Ghosts and goblins? Area 51 cover-ups of alien bodies and interstellar spacecraft? Subterranean lizard people controlling the banks? Maybe some of them were real, or maybe all of them were real.
Even greater weirdness: did you know the FBI was investigating those dangerous Dungeons & Dragons players while hunting for the Unabomber?
And then…oh dear.
Aren’t you glad to be living in the second decade of the 20th century when everything is normal again?