The odd joke about reptilians aside, you don’t hear much about Icke in the mainstream press. But the tabloid press seem to have remembered that he exists this week. It may have something to do with the announcement of his presentation at Wembley Arena next October 27th.
First up: Wacky conspiracy theorist David Icke cashes in from world tour and booming book business, in the Daily Mail, 25/11/2011. (Full article here)
The Sun quickly followed suit with the fundamentally identical Get on yer bike, David Icke: Sun sees British oddball make mint on sell-out U.S. tour.
“If value for money was measured in words to the Pound then Icke’s stage show would be a bargain. For £45, fans are subjected to an incredible eight hours of his conspiracy theories and views of the world. The fact it is all senseless ramblings seems to matter not to his followers.” (Full article here)
Both these pieces have the standard elements: the queen is a reptilian, the disasterous 1991 Wogan interview, the observation that his fans “seem normal”. The authors seem most incensed, however, by the fact that Icke may be making money from his shows and books, and hints he may be “having the last laugh”, implying that he’s a huckster. On Alex Jones’ infowars.com, Paul Joseph Watson noted that the writer was paid for the article, and the paper also expected customers to pay to read it.
Both of these are primarily concerned with ridiculing him, but today’s Telegraph article, David Icke – would you believe it? is more interesting. The standard elements are there, but overall the tone is quizzical rather than mocking. There are some intriguing biographical details, as well as a refutation of the previous articles’ assertion that Icke is “in it for the money”. It refuses to accept that his fans are mad, and attempts to explain why sane people might be drawn to his apparently outlandish theories. Included is a quote from psychologist Dr Karen Douglas, who says:
“It’s dealing with their own lack of control over information, and empowering people to feel like they have the actual answer. In the age of the internet, this all becomes easier to tap into… You can’t make the blanket assumption that they are all fruitcakes. Most people are just looking for some kind of an explanation as to how they fit into the world.”
This is something of a simplification, which I am sure Dr Douglas is perfectly aware of; nevertheless, it’s a more nuanced and objective attempt than I have read in a mainstream newspaper before. The appearance of these articles, and the latter in particular, demonstrate that conspiracist discourse is of great relevance to understanding how culture is developing. They also suggest that my PhD is timely. I’ll be there at Wembley, and I suspect it may become quite the media event.