Tragically, we are facing possible rapid growth in our unhoused and mentally ill populations — and, experts say, growing numbers of attacks on them. The family plans to scatter them at Sequoia National Park, after an Episcopal service. Healing may take longer. On a Facebook remembrance group, one man mentions the irony that Ovid, a former teen addiction counselor, was killed by teens battling addiction. What do a crew of talented musicians do when forced to serve at the pleasure of a notoriously cruel dictator?
They play like their lives depend on it. He began to pray. He did not have the keys, he told them. Is it really you? Suddenly, he was warmly patting the older man on the back. Its international claim to fame is the dire poverty of its citizens and its terrifying, bloody, seemingly never-ending wars. Hundreds of thousands of citizens ran from their homes. Those who did not manage to escape were slaughtered, their bodies thrown in the river or stuffed down water wells. Aid workers watched helplessly as armed thugs took over the towns and villages, stringing human intestines across the roads as barriers — a gruesome warning to others to proceed no further.
His fame probably saved his life. The prospect was exciting — but also terrifying. The anecdotes from his time abound with absurdities, stretching from the beginning to the end of his reign. But it was a long time before he heard from the great leader again. That means that you are a nationalist at heart.
As a teenager, Bokassa was educated in missionary schools and had initially planned to study for the priesthood, before joining the French Army when World War II erupted. Though Bokassa saw music as a diplomatic tool, he also loved it with an all-consuming passion that was obvious to all. Upon landing, some of the musicians were so shaken by the experience that they ran away and hid, refusing to perform that night. I will sing with you. But it was far from all fun and games.
We turned around and there were armed security guards standing behind us, gun barrels pointing. It was very difficult. Though the pope, along with a multitude of other state leaders, declined the invitation, preparations for the coronation progressed full steam. It was decorated with pearls, diamonds and rubies. I turned it over and over in my head. And afterward, it simply came to me, just like that. The dignitaries thought only of hiding themselves in their Mercedeses.
Several years later, in , Bokassa returned to the Central African Republic, hoping to be forgiven and welcomed back. The displaced have since been forced to leave the airport and return to rebuild their destroyed homes.
Life expectancy is just 52 years — the shortest anywhere on the planet, according to the World Bank. In recent years, Russian soldiers and mercenaries have descended on the former royal palace, setting up training camps for soldiers inside the grounds, according to a CNN report.
And Tropical Fiesta is playing once again. One night, I went to a show. The venue was in a garden next to a ditch, off the main road in Bangui. Lit up sparsely by a few functioning street lamps, it was guarded by a half-broken gate.
A balafon player began striking a few notes. Clutching large bottles of beer, the older men looked up at the stage with a faraway gleam in their eyes. The women, wearing figure-hugging dresses made out of colorful cloth, shook their hips languidly. Before long it became a party — families, friends sitting around plastic tables, chatting and waving away mosquitoes, while others invited friends and lovers to dance.
Zokoko, who now heads Tropical Fiesta, was there, getting ready to sing, surrounded by friends and fans. The violence in and around Bangui had died down, and the usual rhythm of life had slowly begun to resume. Yet the songs played on, people sang along, their eyes half-closed, smiling as if trying to spirit themselves back to a different era, before the country was riven by war and armed gangs. Alongside the music, a certain nostalgia for the era of Bokassa had emerged. In his time, we were the best in Central Africa, now we are the worst.
Those rulers who came after brought a lot more suffering since. Sometimes those requests are impossible to turn down. We are not politicians, we are musicians, but we want to give this ambi e nce of social cohesion, so that it comes back to us. God knows, the solidarity between us will return. In , as part of a general amnesty, he was set free, having served just six years in prison.
He found Bokassa both paternal and petrifying. T he Deke Duncan show on Radio 77 had it all — the latest hits, bouncy jingles, and a DJ who was born to be on the airwaves. In a new podcast episode from Snap Judgement and Narratively, Duncan, now 75, reveals how he made up the news, the weather, and even the commercials — and kept Radio 77 alive for over forty years. C heck out an original Radio 77 show, recorded in He was joined by friends Richard St.
His friends moved on, and his wife left him. The only constant in his life was his make-believe radio show, where he could slip on his headphones and enjoy his imaginary world.
Somehow, he kept the station running, on and off, for forty years. Our story starts around the 3-minutesecond mark of this episode. After my parents got divorced, Dad began a slow slide into isolation. Eventually he found consolation in the darkest corners of the web. Can I help him get back out? Photos of my brother, sister and I when we were younger are there too, along with drawings we made in kindergarten.
Beneath this green plastic being, mechanic tools litter the ledge. Dust covers everything: nuts, bolts, wrenches, ratchets, sockets and the pickle jar. As the years have gone by, its green color has blended into the water, giving the alien a murky appearance. The alien is isolated from the rest of the world by thin glass.
Viewers can peer in and see its suffering. Someone could easily untighten the lid, pour out the water, and the alien would finally be free, but no one ever has. Much like the alien trapped in the pickle jar, my dad has become trapped, not behind glass, but in his own mind. My dad is a conspiracy theorist. Among other things, he firmly believes that aliens exist and that the government is keeping that fact from the public.
This interest has grown to consume his thoughts, and his idea of reality has become distorted. Isolation, a lack of close friends and family, the internet, and poor influences have caused him to doubt the reality of the world. This network is destroying his life and relationships with those around him. It is known as QAnon. QAnon is a far-right conspiracy theorist group with enough influence and reach that the FBI has called it a domestic terrorism threat.
Its members were the driving force behind Pizzagate, the conspiracy theory that posited that Bill and Hillary Clinton were running a child sex-trafficking ring in the basement of a pizza parlor in Washington, D.
Since then, the child sex-trafficking ring conspiracy has grown to become an all-encompassing theory of global power, supposedly involving the Obamas, the Bushes, the Vatican, Disney, Hollywood, the CIA and many others — including the FBI , following the release of their document identifying QAnon as a terrorism threat. There have been other instances of QAnon members making headlines for acting on their beliefs. In Staten Island, a man killed a high-profile mob member because he believed he was a member of the deep state.
In Sedona, Arizona, a man vandalized a Catholic church because of his belief that the Vatican is tied to the deep state. And in Tucson, a man interfered with water tanks left out for migrants by a humanitarian group because he believed the water was left out for members of the deep state. She was detained for making death threats and found to have more than a dozen illegal knives. The storm had begun.
During a Trump rally in Tampa, Florida, which was broadcast on all of the major news networks, QAnon followers stood behind Trump holding up a giant letter Q and signs in the shape of a Q imprinted with the American flag.
What is that? Eventually, he no longer saw Q posts on 4chan and wondered what happened to them. After doing some investigating, he found Q on the imageboard 8chan, an even more unruly version of 4chan where anti-Semites, homophobes, white supremacists and other hostile groups thrived.
But then 8chan disappeared from the web altogether. The real reason 8chan was removed from the web , in August , was because its network provider, Cloudflare, cut service after a mass shooter in El Paso, Texas, posted a racist manifesto on the site days before his deadly rampage — not the first mass shooting connected to 8chan. The bread crumbs usually feature abbreviations and acronyms, which make them difficult for followers to decipher, while some information, Q followers say, is intentionally false.
Now, the thinking goes, major news networks were being manipulated to cover up the fact that Hillary Clinton was in detainment. Nemos relates the Q posts to a game. Because the posts are cryptic, and deliberately contain false information, Nemos believes QAnon is able to avoid government officials going after them. The channel was a success, gaining 50, subscribers, but by February of it had been banned from YouTube.
The primary belief of QAnon followers is that the deep state is working against President Trump. Nemos reestablished his presence on YouTube in March of and has since amassed nearly , subscribers. In , Westall learned that a group of Anons were planning on publishing a book of their findings. She offered her interview with Rothstein, and it was accepted.
QAnon: An Invitation to the Great Awakening was released on February 26, , and went on to become among the top 15 books sold on Amazon. Nemos, who also contributed to the book, was not surprised by its success. M y dad has always had an interest in aliens — a fascination with their possible existence. I remember watching science fiction movies with him late at night when I was very young, which often gave me nightmares.
When I was about 8, we watched one that involved a young man in the military being abducted by aliens. During one, a group of gray aliens stood at a control deck, taking notes, while the man was chained naked and a drill closed in on his urethra. He let out a chilling cry. My dad watched our old box TV with intrigue as the cheap sci-fi flick played. My heart raced, and I covered my eyes. At this point though, it was a casual interest for him.
He kept the same box TV, phone and poor internet service for years. He developed paranoia about social media and the possibilities of tracking. He gradually isolated himself from the outside world. Research suggests that conspiracy theorists tend to be isolated from their peers and turn to conspiratorial beliefs for a sense of community.
This feeling of belonging, the psychological trait of wanting to be a part of something larger than the individual, is believed to be due to a lack of self-certainty. This research rings true when it comes to my dad.
After 10 years of not living with my dad, my sister and I moved back into his house in My older brother had already moved out on his own. After we moved back in, he decided to purchase a new TV. Shortly afterward, the internet, which at the time was so slow it hardly existed, was upgraded to high speed. The fast internet and new features of the upgraded TV made the outside world much more available to him. The ability to search through endless amounts of information has not opened his eyes to different possibilities.
It has closed them. T ravis View, a conspiracy theory researcher and co-host of the podcast QAnon Anonymous , tells me that he became concerned about the conspiracy group after Charlie Kirk, founder and president of the conservative nonprofit Turning Point USA, retweeted a Twitter post from QAnon on July 7, The tweet falsely claimed that the Department of Justice had released a chart showing that the number of human-trafficking arrests under Trump had been far greater than under Obama.
Kirk deleted the retweet the next day, after receiving criticism from other prominent Twitter users like David Frum of The Atlantic. They believe that members of the Cabal record each other raping or eating children and use it as potential blackmail against each other. QAnon members tend to see every major event through this same lens. Everything leads back to the Cabal. Many who follow Q attach their own conspiratorial ideas to the theory, which has led to some divisions in the ranks.
The most notable division is about whether John F. Kennedy Jr. Furthermore, they believe JFK Jr. While visiting a Trump hotel, he spotted Vincent Fuska and sized him up. Yet the JFK Jr. Now you can make a tweet that JFK Jr. While I was taking an astronomy course at my local community college, we learned about the moon. In I moved out to attend the University of California, Irvine. Each visit though, he seems to be falling deeper into the conspiratorial abyss.
He proceeded to show me pictures of a military base that has supposedly been established on the moon. The pictures were grainy, and to my eyes they were clearly of rock formations that merely looked like buildings, but he genuinely believed them to be proof.
He had stopped watching major news networks entirely and was now consumed by information about numerous intersecting conspiracies. He began talking about the Vatican, top government officials being involved in a pedophile ring, the significance of JFK Jr. My sister continued living with him after I went away to school.
None of you want to know the truth about how the world works! Then my older brother came to visit our dad, along with his wife and two daughters, one of whom was born late last year. It was shortly after the news had broken that Jeffrey Epstein had committed suicide.
Frustrated, my brother told him to stop. Which he did. Then he asked if he could show them something. He played a YouTube video that showed images of violence and destruction, along with an ominous message: The government is trying to kill everybody. At the time, my sister was planning a trip to Spain to hike the Camino de Santiago, a mile trek through the northern part of the country. While I was visiting, she finally built up the gumption to tell him, a week before she was supposed to leave.
He was taken aback and seemed in disbelief. Your life is stuck? He hounded her, trying to look her in the face, as she stared at the cement floor, tears falling. He stuck out his index finger, while clutching the others, and pointed it directly at his temple. My sister went to her room, crying, and I stayed with my dad in the garage. He was audibly annoyed, but still expressed worry about his daughter.
After some time, he pulled out his laptop and showed me another conspiracy theory. This made me consider that, perhaps, conspiracy theories were a way for him to escape his surrounding world, allowing him to avoid the reality of his life. My dad had had a lonely childhood. His own father had left the family when my dad was young, and his mother was emotionally detached. He was a skilled mechanic even when he was still in high school. This shop owner, an older man with red hair and a Scottish drawl my dad still likes to poke fun at, became a source of guidance for him.
He gave my dad the opportunity to practice his future profession, and also offered musings on life and provided alcohol. I imagine my dad standing in the garage of the auto shop, sipping a beer, with this Scottish man standing before him. Drills blare and hydraulic jacks move cars up and down. I imagine my dad in that pivotal moment. The blue pill will keep him ignorant, returning him to the world as he has always known it, while the red pill will strip away the facade and awaken him to the shocking truth about reality.
The parallel of political party colors is obvious as well, as followers of Q tend to be Republican. One prisoner decides that he wants to see the outside, breaks free, and goes on an intellectual journey to understand the true meaning of the world. He eventually returns to urge the other prisoners to leave, but they dismiss him and threaten to kill him if he tries to set them free.
The allegory is essentially about humans being willfully blind, for fear of learning the true nature of the world. In 21 st -century America, the shadows on the cave wall are mass media networks, which the general public, who are the prisoners, are forced to watch because of the Cabal.
The Anons view themselves as those who have escaped the cave. The modern world has become insular, and people are able to dictate what information they feed themselves. Anons choose Q. I try to imagine: What would it be like to believe in this alternative narrative?
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Report abuse Translate review to English. Translate review to English. There's a problem loading this menu right now. Learn more about Amazon Prime. Get free delivery with Amazon Prime. Back to top. The show's goal is to find the next member of his first label - AOMG.
Read more. November 21, You can find both versions now on streaming sites. He's now the youngest artist with the label. His growing rise to fame includes competing on season 8 of Show Me The Money. September 05, Shotta Spence, the year-old up and coming rapper from New Jersey, shared part of his mother's journey from Vietnam, on Instagram, on Monday, September 4, as he wished her a Happy Birthday, and thanked her for supporting him as an artist.
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