‘Alex’s War’ – Mash Note to Culture’s No. 1 Conspiracy TheoristJuly 26, 2022
Director Alex Lee Moyer deserves credit for spotlighting one of the most incendiary public figures in modern life.
Alex Jones went from a conspiracy theorist to Public Enemy No. 1 when Big Tech and the media decided to censor voices that didn’t align with the groupthink.
The same media which treated Jones like a curiosity suddenly deemed him an enemy of the state. Yet he persevered, arguably growing more powerful as a result.
Hello, Streisand Effect.
Any documentary about Jones has endless angles from which to choose.
- How Jones reflects the culture at large
- His role in Big Tech censorship
- How his bombast challenges free speech
- How he predicted the future more than once
- The responsibility a public figure has in our digital age
Moyer’s “Alex’s War” doesn’t dig deeply into any of the above. Instead, it essentially gives Jones the microphone and lets him ramble for more than two hours.
No talking heads. No fact checks. No context as to his place and meaning in the public square.
That approach might have connected if Moyer’s camera caught more than the obvious tics. We see Jones spouting the same talking points about the global new world order over and again. We watch fans surrounding him, worshipping his message and bulldog tenacity.
What about the ways he cobbles together an outlaw media venture? The closest we come to seeing what being Alex Jones means is seeing a few naysayers mock him in public.
What’s missing? Jones’ dropping his guard dropping.
A documentary filmmaker should be able to snag those moments, divorcing the subject from his or her brand so we learn something real about the subject.
That never happens in “Alex’s War,” one of the film’s sizable flaws. Oh, and it should be about 30 minutes shorter.
Instead, we hear him say he’d like to take a step back from his bully pulpit, but God told him that isn’t the path meant for him.
Cue the tears.
What’s missing from “Alex’s War?” Jones’ legion of critics, captured briefly via video clips and critical news headlines. We’re treated to very short interviews with his colleagues, but those interrogations reveal nothing worthy of the final cut.
“Alex’s War” indirectly highlights some of Jones’ unique strengths. Like a certain ex-President, Jones avoids phony, coerced apologies. Even his greatest public mistake, insisting the Sandy Hook school shooting was fake without a scrap of evidence, elicits little in the way of a heartfelt mea culpa.
Cancel Culture’s ability to coax “hostage”-like apologies out of people is gross, but Jones’ Sandy Hook commentary requires seismic self-reflection.
He’s also willing to anger his base if he believes in a certain argument or cause. Jones is right-of-center but routinely pummels GOP figures and talking points. That’s courageous, a quality more public figures should emulate.
It’s obvious that some of Jones’ warnings have come to pass. He predicted some of the governmental overreach tied to the recent pandemic, for example. He also talked about a terrorist attack months before 9/11.
And, after you’ve heard a few New World Order-types break down the Great Reset, it’s hard not to connect the revelations with Jones’ warnings.
Is he a prophet, a visionary who sees the future better than most? Could he simply be a conspiracy monger who makes so many bold statements he’s bound to get some right? A rigorous interview might tease more clarity out of Jones and his gifts, or even a roll call of predictions that never came close to becoming true.
Nothing of the kind happens here.
Either Jones never goes off script, or Moyer didn’t get the job done.
Instead, there’s endless “behind-the-scenes” footage of Jones’ InfoWars operation, clips sure to please hardcore fans but do nothing to illuminate the subjects in play. Other sequences seem generated to speak directly to his base, not audiences eager to learn more about a cultural phenomenon.
“Alex’s War” is too close to fan service for true believers.
This article is insane and just a lie. @gawker has been harassing me for months now and I just ignore it because it’s not real journalism, but this has to be retracted. I never heard of this movie until now and wasn’t anywhere near Austin at the premiere. https://t.co/bWRxDv1Eqq
— Thomas Chatterton Williams (@thomaschattwill) July 26, 2022
Another angle missing from “Alex’s War?” How Jones’ cancellation from all major platforms paved the way for future punishments.
The mainstream once played footsie with Jones. He appeared on “The View,” for example, and news clips show him pontificating on traditional news outlets.
And then Donald Trump became president, and any Trump-like figure became a cultural target. None proved as juicy as Jones.
It’s barely hinted at in the narrative, but when Twitter and co. banned Jones it sent a not-subtle reference.
We can do it again.
How? Few cried foul as Jones endured a digital erasure, including many on the Right who should have seen where this could lead.
Big Tech, sensing no true opposition, marched ahead with more cancellations of far less offensive figures, even satirical news sites (The Babylon Bee).
Might be interesting to hear Jones weigh in on that, right?
Important question from @ggreenwald:
Why is Alex Jones declared persona non grata while WMD hoaxers and ethnic cleaning advocates have well-paying jobs at MSNBC and the Atlantic? pic.twitter.com/NW4eLO8ZY9
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) July 24, 2022
It’s clear that with or without “Alex’s War,” Alex Jones matters in 2022.
Modern times fuel the conspiratorial mindset. The government, media and Big Tech routinely collude to tell us big, bald lies:
- COVID-19 didn’t come from the Wuhan Lab
- The all-mighty vaccine means you won’t even contract the virus
- The Hunter Biden laptop is just more “Russian disinformation”
- Trump teamed with Russia to win the 2016 election
- Nicholas Sandmann racially attacked a Native American elder
And that’s a very short list.
All of that misdirection empowers Jones. Now, his blustery statements suggest a truth being kept at arm’s length, and only he’s brave enough to warn us.
Like Trump, Jones is a by-product of our crumbling institutions, a sign that we can no longer trust the bodies that once enjoyed our unshakable faith.
That angle might yield a better documentary than what Moyer assembled.
“Alex’s War” opens with a disclaimer.
“This film will contain coverage of real events, as well as ideas and perspectives held by the film’s participants which some viewers may feel upset by or disagree with.”
It’s a cute way to defend free speech, but it’s also unnecessary.
Most audiences and critics will steer clear of anything associated with Jones. If a single mainstream critic reviews “Alex’s War” it will be shocking.
What “Alex’s War” fails to do is give those brave enough to experience it, or cheer its very existence, a reward for having an open mind.