Alex Jones, InfoWars, & Performance Art
I read the news today, oh boi!
So Alex Jones admits to being a performance artist.
She's claiming he shouldn't take custody of the kids because Alex is, essentially, insane. She says the persona on his YouTube channel is the same persona her children have to live around. And she's worried the kids will be living an unhealthy, possibly-criminal lifestyle around their presumably mentally-ill father.
“He’s not a stable person,” she said of the man with whom her 14-year-old son and 9- and 12-year-old daughters have lived since her 2015 divorce. “He says he wants to break Alec Baldwin’s neck. He wants J-Lo to get raped.
“I’m concerned that he is engaged in felonious behavior, threatening a member of Congress,” she said, referring to his recent comments about California Democrat Adam Schiff. “He broadcasts from home. The children are there, watching him broadcast.”
Alex Jones is claiming he's a performance artist. Via his lawyer, he's stating that to use the videos as evidence of his mental health would be unfair: since the persona he "plays" on the channel is not his true self. His true self is a caring, entrepreneurial, family man in the entertainment industry, etc.
At a recent pretrial hearing, attorney Randall Wilhite told state District Judge Orlinda Naranjo that using his client Alex Jones’s on-air InfoWars persona to evaluate Alex Jones as a father would be like judging Jack Nicholson in a custody dispute based on his performance as the Joker in “Batman.”
“He’s playing a character,” Wilhite said of Jones. “He is a performance artist.”
Why does this fascinate me?
I'm not new to the whole Alex Jones thing. I've been catching up with his content every now-and-then since around 2005ish. I also wrote a satirical screenplay about his entire enterprise titled "The May Day Play." As an online loony, and a creator of media, I'm familiar with his work.
However, one question I've always wondered about him was - "Is this dude for real?"
I feel like that's the question with these media industry folks. Is anybody for real? I'm starting to realize - No. Nobody is "for real."
It's all for attention, it's all for branding, it's all for your entertainment, it's all for sales.
The louder you are, the more controversial you are, the crazier you are, the more extreme you are, the more culture will reward you...
It's an act.
It's an illusion.
The public work of a media personality is all performance art.
Alex Jones has revealed himself to be part of this way of doing things. In fact, it seems this is the only way to properly succeed as an artist.
You must highlight your natural strengths as a showman, and exaggerate them to such an extent you embody that archetype within society.
At the start of your career, you must attach your name and reputation to a quality, an image, that sets you apart from other people. This image can be something like a characteristic style of dress, or a personality quirk that amuses people and gets talked about. Once the image is established, you have an appearance, a place in the sky for your star...
Of course Alex Jones is a performance artist. He couldn't have succeeded any other way. Is he insane? Likely. Is he toxic to American culture? Yes. Should he have custody of his kids? Probably not. But boi-o-boi does he have A LOT of followers on social media!