Right on Cue, Here Come the UCSB Shooting Truthers (Led by a Punk Icon)

I wasn’t going to give the inevitable UCSB truthers any copy — I mean that. But when somebody you spent your formative years being a big fan of turns out to be one of those leading the charge up Batshit Hill, it’s tough to just shrug off completely.

It will surprise absolutely no one to learn that within a few hours of Elliot Rodger’s deadly rampage last Friday night there were already conspiracy theorists taking to social media to declare the entire thing a hoax, a “false flag” operation engineered by the government for who-the-hell-knows-what reason. The reaction from the paranoiac crowd has become part of the script that these tragedies now follow, as predictable and unintentionally amusing as the second or third Republican response to an Obama-era State of the Union Address. This time around, as with every other, there was nothing in the way of proof to bolster any of the outlandish claims being made, only the unyielding suspicion and blind speculation we’ve come to expect.

Recent events have proven that it’s not always a good idea to ignore these idiots because they are, in fact, capable of doing real damage. But we also want to be careful about elevating mere extras in the conspiracy comedy and giving them a platform they might not otherwise have had. They want the attention, as we’ve seen. It turns out, though, that one of those lining up with the incipient UCSB truther movement and loudly proclaiming its articles of faith is a punk icon quite a bit of my generation grew up really being into: Exene Cervenka, vocalist and co-founder of the legendary L.A. band X.

Apparently, Exene’s been a hardcore conspiracy theorist for a while, but I admit that this is the first I’ve heard of it. Yesterday, she posted a series of tweets questioning whether Rodger’s rampage was nothing more than government-sponsored trickery. In the tweets, she linked to a couple of YouTube videos — because that’s what qualifies as investigative journalism in a post-Loose Change world — one of which claims to have proof, proof that replacement window panes were essentially on hand and ready to go at one of the shooting locations where glass was damaged. This is supposed to show, I guess, that someone knew in advance that the attack was going to happen, proving that it was a staged event. Yeah, as usual, don’t try to think too hard about it — it’ll only give you a migraine.

Another video promoted by Exene alleges that the shadowy figures who engineered UCSB are the same ones responsible for, among other mass-casualty events, Sandy Hook. The video’s creator also attacks our story on the Sandy Hook truther who came forward to brag about having stolen two panels from two separate memorial playgrounds for Sandy Hook victims, saying that someone who honestly believed Sandy Hook was a hoax would never do something that would draw negative attention to the movement. Right. Because these fuckwits are worried about bad publicity. (By the way, he then goes on to describe Illuminati symbols on the sign taken from Chase Kowalski’s playground and highlights a separate YouTube clip from a woman who claims that our entire story is bullshit and the guy who sent us the photos we published last week is, in fact, part of the big conspiracy.)

Exene has her own YouTube channel where she posts clips in which she rants about the supposedly staged Boston Marathon Bombing and alludes to Miley Cyrus and Bill Clinton as being “Illuminati finger puppets.” Sad when you think that this is the woman who gave us one of the most bracing and powerful albums of the punk era, Los Angeles, and who occasionally still shares mic duty with the brilliant John Doe. Oh well, I guess punk rock can always use it’s own Victoria Jackson. Although if I could say anything at all to Exene as a former snotty little punk shit-heel myself, it’d be that there’s a big difference between being anti-establishment and just being really fucking stupid.

(via Raw Story)

  • Harrison Alexander III

    The reason Sandy Hook takes so much shit is that they hide and redact all the documents like they have something to hide.

  • ClobberDobson

    X was a great band, but what do you honestly expect from the mentally defective punk generation? They were disturbed then, they are disturbed now.

  • captkurt

    Oh God, Exene, Exene, Exene, what happened? I used to love you and your band so much. Now I can only love your band, as it was when it released those first 3 amazing albums, not you as the person that you unfortunately seem to be today.

    Yet again, another instance where we must separate the art from the artist. My girlfriend and I often debate whether or not it is OK to like art, or any product of creativity, if the creator is/was a piece of crap. If you base all your appreciation of art on the moral standing and behavior of the artist, you’re going to miss a lot of great art.

    With that said, go ahead and berate Exene as she richly deserves, but stop the hating on X and punk rock! The energy and edge of the vocal interplay between John Doe and Exene’s voices has rarely been equaled by any rock band, even beyond the punk sub-genre. X’s lyrics had a poetic quality that ranged far beyond the punk themes of angst, anger, and boredom (though the case could be made that all they did was add relationship problems to this thematic mix). And, they knew how to fucking play their instruments. If you think Billy Zoom was not a proficient and talented guitarist, there must be a frightening amount of shit crammed in your ears. Not every musician plays to the maximum of their technical ability. Sometimes a great guitar player plays in a punk band, not because that’s all they can play, but because they want to play punk rock.

    • nerdnam

      So sorry. The 80s decided that talent and/or effort wasn’t something that was needed, either for presidents or pop music. And we’re still paying today for those mistakes.

      • Aaron Litz

        That has little to do with punk.

  • Darla

    “use it’s own Victoria Jackson”
    Use it is own Victoria Jackson?
    Use it has own Victoria Jackson?

  • RenoRick

    I’m wondering if she is doing a “performance art” thing. Please Exene, don’t let it be true!

  • disqus_Njs8lVnwOT

    She’s the lead singer of who, in the what? Never heard of her! She couldn’t have been too ‘legendary’, and certainly doesn’t deserve any of the attention you have now so inappropriately bestowed upon her.

    • sizzlepants

      Congratulations on proving your complete ignorance of the punk rock / underground music scene of the 70s and 80s.

      • Mike Lumisch

        To be honest, the whole concept of Underground depends on the pinks never catching on.

  • Synclavius

    Clearly John Doe needs to make a statement like yesterday.

  • nerdnam

    Can we admit now that punk sucked? Look, it was based on having NO TALENT.

    • Aaron Litz

      No.

      • nerdnam

        Yes. Grim, funless punk is like the East Germany of pop. It never changes, never gets better, and is dreary and oppressive. It sucks!

        • That River Gal

          A little humility goes a long way. Your opinion is your opinion, fine and dandy.

          • nerdnam

            You could have told punk rock fans that back in the day. Humility they didn’t have. Belligerence they had in spades.
            What on earth were all those young white middle class Americans so angry about? Particularly the ones with trust funds? A lot of them, like the Ramones and this dumb as a stump lady, were right wingers, thrilled by Reagan.
            They sucked and the eighties sucked. Isn’t it time to admit that and put it behind us?

        • Aaron Litz

          Listen to Bad Religion (for merely one example.) Their lead singer Greg Graffin has a PhD from Cornell and is a professor of Evolutionary Biology who has taught at UCLA and Cornell. Their “oozin’ ahhs” vocal accompaniment and the harmonies in their music are absolutely stunning, and they are a legendary punk band. Punk most definitely did not (and does not) suck.

          • nerdnam

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEl1xSPyOwA
            Sorry, still strikes me as belligerent assault music. Look at the crowd, do they look friendly? Inclusive?

          • Aaron Litz

            Um, yes? They all look quite friendly to me. And it looks like a fun show.

        • Mike Lumisch

          If you think punk is funless, clearly you are doing it wrong.

    • Matthew J

      All art is subjective.

      What we can “admit” is that you didn’t like it — just the way many punks didn’t like ELP.

  • don

    I sure wish we could stop using the Orwellian term “truther”. Just about anything else would be fine: believer, nutcase, bullshit artist, patriot, … whatever. But truther? What’s next? Are we going to call intelligent design types Scientist?

    • nerdnam

      No. The word is good for nothing else. And it’s perfect for what it does.

      • don

        It takes a word and inverts its meaning 180 degrees. It derides people seeking “truth” and the concept of “truth”. Perhaps fanatic?

        • http://thegloomyhistorian.blogspot.com/ The Gloomy Historian

          Maybe the Colbert-inspired “Truthier?”

          • don

            :) … perhaps a truthist who follows the dark political theory of truthism. There every where you know!

        • nerdnam

          There was no word ‘truther’ before truther, and if there was, it certainly didn’t mean seeking after truth.
          No, this is the perfect word for these idiots, a kind of ironic twist of the knife.

  • Kataphractos

    I wonder what the response of these “truther” losers would be if somebody decided to shoot up an Alex Jones rally? Would it be a hoax then? or just a nefarious government plot to destroy their “patriotic” activities.

    • Mike Lumisch

      They would expire in a collective orgasm over the undeniable proof, PROOF I TELL YOU, that they really are so dangerous that the government is drone murdering them to shut them up.

  • aynwrong

    I realize that I just posted some snarky nonsense but since this site loves Star Trek memes I figured this was an apt way of describing conspiracy theorists who claim that other conspiracy theorists are really part of the big conspiracy.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugjvWw4Hbg0

    Also if you watch it all the way through, it seems to sum up how you feel Chez. And I don’t blame you one little bit.

  • Mike Lumisch

    What is it with over the hill celebrities and crackpot theories? Pat Sajak is a global warming denier, Michelle Shocked outed herself as a homophobe, Lynn Margolis is a 9/11 troofer, and when I saw Nina Hagen in Hamburg she was all hagged out and spent the show screeching that AZT causes AIDS. *shudder*

    • Kataphractos

      Also note that “X” and its Alex Jones loving sycophant frontwoman are referred to as an “L.A.” band, not as “Best-Selling International Superstars”. There is probably a reason why they never made it big. And I bet that their profits are slipping and are not doing as many shows, since they are all getting older and their partying lifestyle has started catching up to them. Just look at the old grandma pictured in the photo. She is sitting in has-been corner and now wants a taste of that fame once more. Too bad that it isn’t a record label picking up her garbage music for a 5 record contract, but the old bag probably has much lower standards these days.

    • That River Gal

      To be fair, Nina Hagen has always been absolutely batshit crazy. Jesus-is-coming-for-us-in-spaceships-crazy.

      • Mike Lumisch

        That was funny when Parliament did it with the big Mothership on stage – where do the Creatives get these notions?

  • aynwrong

    This distraction only serves to distract from the distraction that is supposed to distract us from the truth behind the distraction. Which we should all be trying to get to by RELENTLESSLY PECKING at it. # BidondiTruther

    NYATANHOO!!!

  • Matthew J

    Punk icon? Really?

    Never heard of her.

    I mean, I know of, and have seen, Joan, Patti, Souxsie, Poly and Ari (tryin’ to keep it female, here), but never heard of this one. Live and learn. Guess I’ll go look her up.

    Or not.

    • Hagbard Celine

      With the list you provided it is a wonder you never heard of her or of the band X.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X_%28American_band%29

      • Matthew J

        Right?

        My curiosity won out and I looked her up — it does seem I would at least know about the band — but I missed them somehow — maybe because I spent those years in New York — or maybe imbibing in all the mind altering substances wiped out some brain cells.

        (Not enough to be a Republican, though.)

  • Aaron Litz

    This is why I prefer Bad Religion.

  • Jeff Cramer

    She was also married at one time to actor Viggo Mortensen, best known for “Lord of The Rings”

  • Caleb Becker

    When are you guys going to just bite the bullet and hire Dan Bidondi for your conspiracy beat?

    • Mike Lumisch

      That would be cool, actually. Where can I send a dogecoin to help out?

  • D_C_Wilson

    Miley Cyrus is a member of the Illuminati? Man, have their standards slipped or what?

    • dbtheonly

      That’s what they’d like you to think.

      Benghazi!

    • Mike Lumisch

      Anyone who denies being an Illuminatus is, a fortiori, an Illuminatus.

      Just don’t get me started on the Rosicrucians – they control the Templars, you know.

  • feloniousgrammar

    What could be more American than mass murder? Mass murders are so typical in this country that most of them don’t make the national news. It’s got to be some hard core racism and/or a delayed reaction to the Bush Administration to make a person wallow in conspiracy theories about every conceivable tragedy. It is true that creative types tend to be more gullible, but thinking a mass murder is a hoax is twisted.

    • dbtheonly

      More twisted is asserting that the hoax was proved because the family didn’t open the casket of their little girl.

      Got that far in the video & felt ill.

      • feloniousgrammar

        I didn’t bother to look. It’s corrosive to consume their ill poisons.

  • Jon Fox
  • That River Gal

    Does everyone remember when Buzz Aldrin punched the Moon Landing Truther? I can’t begin to imagine what the grieving families would like to do to these loons.

    • D_C_Wilson

      Wish we could send Buzz on a “punch the idiot truther” tour. That would be epic.

    • CygnusX1isaHole

      For the sake of those grieving in the Ukraine shouldn’t we also be exposing the conspiracy theory peddled by virtually the entirety of the U.S. corporate media and roundly supported by both political parties regarding the coup which took place there in February?

      Robert Parry at Consortium News writes:

      …the American people have been fed Official Washington’s “group think” of some master conspiracy engineered by Putin that requires your believing that Putin first orchestrated the EU’s reckless association offer to Ukraine last year, then got the International Monetary Fund to insist on draconian austerity measures which Yanukovych rejected, then arranged the angry demonstrations at the Maidan while also secretly training neo-Nazi militias in western Ukraine to provide the muscle to carry out the February putsch – all the while pretending that he was trying to save Yanukovych’s government and appearing to be distracted by the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

      Of course, this grand conspiracy theory never made any sense and also lacked any evidence.

      Unedited:
      http://consortiumnews.com/2014/05/24/the-state-departments-ukraine-fiasco/

      The author Chez says in referring to “truthers” that “it’s not always a good idea to ignore these idiots because they are, in fact, capable of doing real damage.”

      Few people are endangered as a result of a conspiracy theory spouted by a “truther” punk rocker known by a handful compared to a conspiracy theory pushed by the most powerful media entities and government on Earth directed at the president of a country with thousands of nuclear weapons.

      If preventing “real damage” is the driving principle in exposing conspiracy theories isn’t it imperative that we expose the conspiracy theory pushed by the U.S. corporate media and government regarding the events which led to war in Ukraine even if we must denounce our favored political party in the process?

      • JozefAL

        Maybe Mr Parry needs to do a little bit of background research into Mr Putin’s CV.

        He might find something that would lend a shitload of credence to these “conspiracies” revolving around Putin.

        Here’s a little clue for you “ahole”:

        K

        G

        B

        The man “retired” from the KGB as a LIEUTENANT COLONEL. That’s not exactly someone without a strong skill set involving getting things done with people NOT realizing it.

        • feloniousgrammar

          Snowaldens and right wingers adore Putin because he’s an autocratic narcissist. For all the talk about “freedom” and “liberty” we hear from those quarters, they want nothing more than unchecked power and license to hurt and exclude anyone who won’t march to their drumbeat. Narcissists all.

          • Mike Lumisch

            The Greenwald sycophants have been breaking their arms, patting themselves on the back over how Little Eddie outsmarted Putin on the tee vee and tricked him into telling a blatant lie in front of the whole world. What a gang of credulous narcissists. Thank God that no one will ever put one of them in charge of anything important.

        • CygnusX1isaHole

          So you believe the ludicrous and fact-free conspiracy theory that Putin…

          …first orchestrated the EU’s reckless association offer to Ukraine last year, then got the International Monetary Fund to insist on draconian austerity measures which Yanukovych rejected, then arranged the angry demonstrations at the Maidan while also secretly training neo-Nazi militias in western Ukraine to provide the muscle to carry out the February putsch – all the while pretending that he was trying to save Yanukovych’s government and appearing to be distracted by the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

          If you believe such unsubstantiated rubbish you have lost all right to ever criticize any conspiracy theorist ever again.

      • Aaron Litz

        Considering how Putin pulled the exact same thing (send in operatives to stir up political turmoil and build astroturfed pro-Russia movements, then send in troops to “stabilize the region”) just a few years to pull Abkhazia and South Ossetia away from the Georgian Republic, the Ukraine situation isn’t a conspiracy theory, it’s a repeat of an established Putin technique.

        • Lady Willpower

          Making excuses for Putin is just a sly, passive-aggressive way to make apologies for Edward Snowden.

          • feloniousgrammar

            And to hate on President Obama.

          • Mike Lumisch

            Which goes without saying. Clearly, drone murderer Obama is way worser than Bush because he at least stood for something while the lying corporate sellout WON’T EVEN TRY.

          • SickOfConservatives

            Thanks for pretending to care about terrorists killed by drones.

          • CygnusX1isaHole

            Pretending to be opposed to conspiracy theories when in actuality you fully support conspiracy theories that are in accordance with your ideological preferences is pitiable.

            Robert Parry brilliantly lays out the ludicrous fact-free positions one must take to believe the U.S. corporate media and government’s explanation of events which led to war in the Ukraine none of which has anything to do with Edward Snowden.

            Apparently you have much more in common with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones than you’re comfortable admitting.

        • CygnusX1isaHole

          …just a few years ago to pull … South Ossetia away from the Georgian Republic

          ———-

          Your understanding of the events in South Ossetia is badly lacking.

          The official investigative body of the Georgian war, The Council of the European Union, found that Georgia initiated it, not Russia.

          From the BBC
          Georgia ‘started unjustified war’

          The war in Georgia last year was started by a Georgian attack that was not justified by international law, an EU-sponsored report has concluded.

          Unedited:
          http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8281990.stm

      • Dalai_Rasta

        “the EU’s reckless association offer”
        Tell me, is Russia entitled to a veto – by force – of Ukraine’s foreign policy?

        • Dalai_Rasta

          So, no answer?

  • lulucaliente

    These deniers are part of the stress that this national psychosis violence is creating. Human beings can not function in a world where college kids are killed while sitting on their front lawns, or walking into a deli. So to handle the trauma, they retreat to denial. Because if its a hoax, the world is a safer place than try to process the truth.

    • dbtheonly

      Is the world a more violent place than 100 years ago? 1000 years ago?

      I assert that the “information super highway” does not have a truth or accuracy enterance ramp. Anyone, anytime can post anything. And it gains the aura of accuracy.

      • Mike Lumisch

        Karl Rove teaches that Reality is created by the endless repetition of a lie.

        • dbtheonly

          Deep philosophy. What is reality?

          But I contend that reality is not decided by majority vote.

          • Mike Lumisch

            The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack, but a pack makes it easy as fuck to bully wrongthinkers into submission.

  • That River Gal

    Uhg. I hate the world.