While some of us went a little nuts during the COVID-19 lockdowns, others—including many of our country’s leaders and people in the media—went absolutely batshit crazy, often with disastrous results.
Exactly why that happened is the subject of author Jon Ronson‘s latest season of Things Fell Apart, a podcast that explores the deep origins of today’s culture wars in controversies, panics, and delusions from decades ago.
I talked with Ronson about why he believes the creation of a fake medical condition called “excited delirium” in 1988 ultimately led to the death of George Floyd in 2020, how law enforcement fixations on white supremacy warped the investigation into a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, and how the director of the massively influential Plandemic documentaries was actually rewriting the script of Star Wars.
Ronson is best known as the author of The Men Who Stare at Goats, an account of a U.S. Army unit that tried to perfect paranormal powers like walking through walls, and So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, which helped define cancel culture just as it was becoming widespread via social media.
We also talk about Things Fell Apart, how he survived COVID, and how critical thinking and media literacy are more important than ever in a world in which we can all produce and consume our versions of the truth.
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