Statistical outliers

Posted on 14 Jul 2022.
Russel Brand, October 2014 Image by (CC-BY).

These are strange times, also for Americans. We read in the New York Times that – expectedly – opinion in that country on matters such as gun control, abortion, presidential self-management, etc, is divided along party lines. What is strange is how certain voices cannot but surface, providing a more sane view of the current political climate. Eg, toward the end of said NYT article we find the following interview:

Jacqueline Beck-Manheimer, 58, is an independent who has voted for third-party candidates in recent presidential contests. She works at an employment services company in Albuquerque and said her news diet consisted of YouTube shows that presented stories they claim the mainstream media is ignoring, including the channel of Russell Brand, an actor who has become a prominent purveyor of coronavirus conspiracy theories.

Ms. Beck-Manheimer said she was upset about the Supreme Court’s rollback of abortion rights, members of Congress who took corporate campaign contributions, the increased size of the defense budget and profits that pharmaceutical companies made in selling coronavirus vaccines to the federal government.

The government’s problems would be easier to solve, she said, if the news media weren’t invested in sowing division among Americans.

“It’s the media who stokes the culture war,” she said. “It’s all a provocation to distract us from what what’s really going on, and what’s really going on is nothing but big businesses and their money.”

One thing is that “conspiracy theorist” now has become a catch-all to plaster on anyone who has a different opinion than Jeff Bezos’s Washington Post, another is that it is as if pointing out that the pharmaceutical sector, one of the world’s most profitable (see eg this recent link), is making enormous gains on our present obsession with good health, has now become a concern of statistical outliers.

Strange times, indeed.

About Torgeir Fjeld
I am a writer, publisher, and educational administrator with PhDs in Cultural Theory (Roehampton, 2012) and Philosophy (EGS, 2017). My latest books are Introducing Ereignis: philosophy, technology, way of life and Rock Philosophy. I have published many articles in journals such as Sport, Ethics and Philosophy, International Journal of Žižek Studies, Teaching Philosophy, Journal of Silence Studies in Education, and Oxford Left Review. I am currently Head of the Ereignis Center for Philosophy and the Arts, Publisher at Tankebanen forlag, and Editor-in-Chief of the peer-reviewed journal Inscriptions. I have taught at many universities in North America, Europe, and Africa, including the University of Minnesota, Roehampton University, the University of Gdańsk, and the University of kwaZulu/Natal. On this page you will find a section entirely dedicated to poetry in translation. This page has a cookie policy.