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Editorial

Basslines and Protest Signs Part 69: Who is Q?

Protesters gathering outside the Capitol on January 6, 2021 (photo: Tyler Merbler via Wikipedia)

Over the past few months, as shit really went down, you’ll have heard about the QAnon conspiracy. While old school republicans such as Mitt Romney and Mitch McConnell have desperately tried to distance the party from the utter lunacy of Q, younger right wing “stars” such as the insufferable Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Lauren Boebert have embraced the Q madness in varying degrees.

It’s particularly relevant this week because, according to Q, Donald Trump is set to retake power on Thursday. Yep, inspired by a military coup in Myanmar, far-righters believe that the US military will arrest President Biden and his cabinet on March 4 and Trump will be reinstated as the 19th president of the United States.

Why the 19th? Fasten your seatbelts because this shit is bonkers. QAnon followers are convinced that the United States secretly became a corporation in 1876 (spoiler alert: It didn’t), and that every president since then has been illegitimate. They think that Trump has figured this all out and he’s working with the military to unseat the current administration on Thursday, after which an election they deem legitimate will take place and Trump will take power. Think about that for a minute, they’re prepared to declare the last 150 years of US history null and void, just to get Trump back in the White House rather than, I dunno, campaign for him to run again in 2024 like normal people.

Of course, it’s all nonsense. Trump has brainwashed his followers to such a degree that they now feel something has to happen. There’s literally no way he could have lost power in the last presidential election and, if he’s not in the White House now, there must be a route for his return in the coming days. 

Ted Cruz speaking at CPAC 2021 (screenshot via The Independent on YouTube)

On one level, their fantasy world is hilarious. On another, though, and particularly following the events of January 6, it’s terrifying. There’s literally nothing these fucking crackpots (reductive, I know, but fair too) won’t do for their dear leader. They’ve fully bought into The Big Lie, that the election was stolen from them despite all of the evidence to the contrary. And given the word, they’ll do anything for him.

Look at those who turned up in Florida for the conservative propaganda extravaganza CPAC this past weekend. Fuckwits from Ted Cruz to Jim Jordan to Josh Hawley and everyone in-between stood up, despite living through a violent insurrection, and heiled Trump in turn. Cruz, the slimiest bastard to have emerged from the last few years, offered the most awkward moments of Klanapalooza when he joked about his recent vacation to Cancun during a deadly energy crisis in his state of Texas, then quoted Braveheart and yelled “FREEDOM.” Cringe.

Trump of course headlined Qchella and during the main event listed republicans that stood against him (Mitt Romney, Liz Cheney etc.), to a chorus of boos. He has them eating their own! The republican party is no longer a legitimate political party — it belongs to Donald Trump and should any republican politicians dare to defy that and do what they think is right, he will hammer them down (or try to).

Nightmares On Wax (photo: Martin Terber)

Conspiracy theories have always existed in this country, of course, but this is the first time they have threatened to envelop one of the main political parties. QAnon and the republican party are increasingly becoming one and the same; at some stage that must become difficult to reconcile for everyday right-of-center republican voters. Even if they believe that there were shenanigans during the last election, even if they hate Biden — are the majority of republican voters in, say, Ohio, really going to go all-in on the “satanic pedophile cannibalism ring” shit that the party is surrounded by? 

Disappointingly, there are musicians that have fallen for this crap and not all are shitty musicians. William Goldsmith, former drummer for the Foo Fighters and Sunny Day Real Estate, generally keeps his social media posts private but he signs off with the Q-friendly phrase “WWG1WGA” (“where we go one, we go all”). He’s disappeared down the worst rabbit hole.

English DJ Nightmares on Wax referred to the pandemic as a “plandemic,” in response to a tweet from Ice T about racism.

“Everyone is getting played. It’s a info war. MSM is having a field day and trying hijack everyone’s energy,” he said.

L: M.I.A. (photo: LeftHandGang5) // R: Robbie Williams (photo: Maria Andronic)

Brit pop star Robbie Williams said he believes there are satanic elements engaging in child abuse in Hollywood. But he’s far from the only one who has embraced Q philosophies, if they haven’t fully signed on to the movement as a whole. X’s Exene Cervenka once claimed that the school shooting at Sandy Hook was a hoax. The Stone Roses’ Ian Brown and rapper M.I.A. are fully anti-vax, and the Velvet Underground’s Moe Tucker has attended Tea Party events.

Perhaps more surprisingly, Q followers have taken on Brit goth band The Sisters of Mercy’s song “Adrenochrome” as an anthem. The song, written in 1992, has typically dark lyrics but there’s no evidence that frontman Andrew Eldritch is Q.

“We had the power, We had the space, We had a sense of time and place, We knew the words, We knew the score, We knew what we were fighting for, For the freedom, The time to choose, But time to think, Is time to lose, The signals clash, And disappear, The shade too loud, And the sound unclear.”

I mean, sure, it’s bombastic. A call to arms. But Eldritch has always been ambiguous. It could be “about” anything. 

The biggest question right now is: On March 5 when Joe Biden is still president, what will Q and the followers say is the next move? What excuse will Q use for the military coup not taking place? They’re full of shit — they’ll keep the lies running. Hopefully we won’t have to see another violent insurrection before authorities start making arrests.