He was a flat earther, but people couldn't quite figure out if he was serious. I don't remember any real red flags other than that.
He both was and was not serious, imo.
I recently did a sorta deep dive on his comments in light of more recent stuff, which is kinda difficult as there’s so much stuff on the flat earth and not his subsequent explanation. It suggested to me that as much as anything, it was about him being a dickhead. Like, he said he really loved conspiracy theories, but ultimately it was about proving to other people that they hadn’t really thought about what they thought they knew whereas he dug deeper to understand how superficial our knowledge was. Like, how do you know the Earth is round? And did you know that there’s never been a picture taken of the whole moon??
What really came across is that it was about proving to other people that he was a free and sophisticated thinker unlike the rest of us sheep, and him wanting to make a point about it.
But it seems he got high on his own supply. Like, I don’t think the antisemitism aspect is the focus for him—which doesn’t excuse him, it just clarifies what an asshole he is as he is too self-involved to understand how important and harmful it is. It appears to me that he’s on a specific “spiritual awakening” trip which is not an uncommon convergence point of a lot of these conspiracy theories. Specifically, one strain of the convergence is about how there is a true nature to human spiritual awakening—spiritual enlightenment, even—that the powers that be intentionally deny us in order to control us. You can find any number of TV shows, movies, etc. about precisely this. If you know a bit about the subject and look at his statements and Twitter etc. it appears he’s on the spiritual awakening trip where he believes he’s figured out that the true lesson of all religions etc. is this availability of spiritual enlightenment and he “gets it” unlike the rest of us unwashed benighted masses. And you can see how this knowledge if his flatters his own ego.
In this sense, I think the antisemitism is kinda ancillary to his thinking. However, to deny it would be to deny the truth of the stories he needs to believe that he’s a fucking bodhisattva or some shit, which he seems to have wrapped his bullshit identity up in. So, hey, if he has to ignore the radical harm and suffering that these ideas have wrought on a class of people to maintain his sense of self as the awesomest enlightened person to ever “get it,” then so be it.
It’s not an incredibly uncommon “system”’of thought, although I think it is more common among people in their late teens and early 20s… but we have a lot of reason to believe that he’s very immature—and, if course, he is unaware of that, which is part and parcel of the thing. But whether or not he “believes” in the conspiracy theories is, I think, a bit of a red herring: He’s said that he’s fascinated ny them, and the key is that they are many threads that, if investigated, lead to this theory of spiritual enlightenment (and how could it be wrong if so many theories converge there!) that he pretty clearly, to my reading, believes that he has discovered and, by discovery, attained.
So to deny the truth of the movie would be to deny that he’s reached the mountain top.
So it’s not about whether he believes that bullshit or not, because what it’s all really about and him talking about such things is that he’s a raging self-involved asshole.
Thank you for coming to my TED talk:
He Is: Understanding Just How Much of a Raging Self-Involved Asshole Is Kyrie Irving.