Operation Mindfuck: QAnon and the Cult of Donald Trump, by Robert Guffey*****

It was my daughter, a woman in her early twenties, that explained QAnon to me. When she was done, I watched her face for signs that I was being played. Nope. I repeated it back to her, because surely nobody would be dumb enough to believe anything so far-fetched. Instead, she told me that this is it, and that a number of U.S. senators and other highly placed politicos swear it is all true.

My thanks go to the author for the review copy.

If you are still dazed from this business, then Robert Guffey has written a book just for you. In readable yet well researched fashion, he lays it all out: where it began, who, why, how. He can’t make it go away for you—or me, for that matter—but he can make the whole bizarre business a bit less confusing.

As with most nonfiction, this book has its limitations. It won’t persuade anyone that believes in this myth, and Guffey doesn’t try. And he doesn’t have a plan or a recommended way forward out of this morass. But sometimes it helps to pull a thing out of the attic, dust it off and see what it actually is, and he does a fine job of that. The tone is congenial, and at times, darkly funny.

One thing I appreciate is his view on censorship:

These days, the inability to deal with reality as it exists—and not as one wishes it to exist—is the   biggest challenge facing the right and the left. The reaction to QANON, pre-insurrection, is the perfect example of this trend toward puritanical solipsism. The attitude seems to be: If we block out (or “deplatform”) people with whom we disagree, then the Evil Nasty Ones will magically—poof!—disappear simply because we can’t see or hear them anymore. Like tossing a bucket of water on the Wicked Witch of the West or running a lightsaber through some cloaked asshole at the end of a Star Wars film. I hate to break it to you, kids, but that’s not the way the real world works.”

Sometimes it helps to have basic information, and if that’s what you’re looking for, this book is what you need. Get your fire lit, your cup of coffee (or something far stronger,) curl up (in fetal position, if necessary,) and prepare to learn.

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