Joel Mathis (Joel)

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Editors' note: Unfortunate changes in lawrence.com staffing

I mean no disrespect to any of the people who are carrying forward Lawrence.com -- some of whom are friends and former colleagues of mine -- when I say that Phil Cauthon was the heart and soul of the site.

These are very, very tough times in the media industry, and I doubt such a decision was made lightly. Nonetheless, a very sad development.

June 18, 2010 at 7:22 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

What's the Value in Conspiracy Theory?

"DOTDOT, I sincerely look forward to when you stop being a part of the problem, and start being a part of the solution."

And that, Tim, is why you're full of bullshit.

DotDot has, I think, very reasonably tried to engage you. (He did a much more reasonable, mature job than I, admittedly.) But he looks at the evidence -- not the distortions of the "50 Government Officials" page, and not the unending "questions," but the evidence -- and comes up with reasonable conclusions.

And rather than recognize DotDot's good-faith effort to do those things, rather than recognize that he might've examined and considered the evidence and *simply come up with a different conclusion* -- well, you hit him with a dumb, glib cliché that makes him responsible for your failure to convince him.

Which is always the case. The failure of conspiracy theories never, ever rests on the theorists or their lack of evidence or their overreach of imagination. It's always the fault of the people who don't "get it." How tedious. How predictable. And what a waste of supposedly bright minds.

I call "bullshit" and don't engage you like you want, Tim, because I know how the debate will end up precisely the way it did with DotDot. (For whom, incidentally, I don't pretend to speak.) Sometimes, the best thing to do is call something the bullshit that it is and move on.

Because the truther conspiracies are bullshit. Pure and simple.*

*....and I'd say that just about exhausted a few years of goodwill I earned here at Lawrence.com! It was fun while it lasted!

September 8, 2009 at 4:51 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

What's the Value in Conspiracy Theory?

Tim, I've said it before and I'll say it again: Bullshit.

Here's what I find telling about all this: I work now at Philadelphia Weekly. A few weeks ago we had a story about Philip Berg, a Philly attorney who is the "alpha birther," the guy who filed the first lawsuit charging Barack Obama with *reeeeeally* being a citizen of a foreign nation -- and thus ineligible to be president. In fact, Berg is making a documentary with Alex Jones to promote this theory, entitled: "Fall Of The Republic: The Presidency Of Barack Obama."

http://www.philadelphiaweekly.com/new...

Why is this telling? Well, Berg also filed the first lawsuit, in 2004, suggesting the government had brought down the Twin Towers via "controlled demolitions." And Alex Jones? Oh yeah, he made "Loose Change," one of the grandest "truther" documentaries of all.

Get the thread here? The same people who were peddling bullshit conspiracy theories keep coming up with bullshit conspiracy theories -- new ones to fit the politics of the times after everybody's moved on from the old conspiracy theories. Anybody can raise "questions" in perpetuity, but at some point you've got to provide some frigging proof -- something beyond wild-eyed speculation: Documents, witnesses, whatever. But the the truthers and birthers don't need actual proof. They've got their questions and that's *all* they need to keep pushing the bullshit -- because, weirdly, the questions can never, ever be answered to their satisfaction.

Sorry Tim. I'm sure you're a nice guy. I'd rather be respectful and nice about my disagreements. But sometimes somebody has to call bullshit what it is. And you keep peddling bullshit.

Here's the thing: You don't have to like what the Bush Administration did after 9/11 -- the eavesdropping, the torture, the unnecessary invasions of foreign countries. I hate it, personally. But this stuff was *bad enough on its own* without having to pile the conspiracy theories on top of it. In fact, the conspiracy peddling undermines legitimate opposition to the real stuff, because it's terribly easy for our opponents to lump us in with nutters like you.

And that pisses me off.

September 2, 2009 at 1:38 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Race and Family, or “You say her grandfather is WHAT?”

Wait...

Snoop is BLACK!?

June 22, 2009 at 4:54 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

The Sounds

Fally's a blogger! FALLY'S A BLOGGER!

How the hell is there less profanity in this 300-word piece than there is in your standard 140-character tweets? What the hell? Hell, hell, hell!

May 13, 2009 at 12:02 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

My Lovely Lady Trumps

Yes, I wear a sash. Yes, I'm against gay marriage. No, I don't see the paradox.

May 12, 2009 at 4:20 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Adios Larry!

RIP, Deadwood.

May 12, 2009 at 10:59 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Brett Ratner takes the reins on "The Hobbit"

Lemme guess: April Fool?

April 1, 2009 at 3:34 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

The Apes of Wrath

And honestly, I can't even believe I'm the first one to make that joke.

February 24, 2009 at 5:13 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

The Apes of Wrath

President Bush is certainly enjoying his retirement.

Hay-ooooh!

February 24, 2009 at 5:11 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

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