Okay, so, apologies to H.G. Wells. Food of the Gods was one of his novels, you see. But “Clods,” as in lumps, globs, dullards, twits, and idiots is a bit more fitting for this particular tale. That’s because it involves Alex Jones, the belligerent boss of Infowars.
And to explain why I’m writing any of this, you have to also understand that I’m pretty ignorant when it comes to the Web-based economy. How you make money from the Internet has always been a serious mystery to me. Which, I guess, is why I’m not a millionaire today. But that’s another story.
Anyway, I’d known of Alex Jones, and I’d known he was guilty of some pretty dreadful transgressions against common decency, not to mention the human race as a whole. He his peddled his conspiracy theories for ages now…Obama was Kenyan, the Sandy Hook murders were a hoax, so much else…and in the process has done much harm to the world. Consider, if nothing else, the pain he’s caused the parents of those dead children of Sandy Hook, both by his broadcast remarks, and by “Stochastic Terrorism,” that is, by indirectly encouraging the more unbalanced among his followers to torment the living and the dead.
But, here’s where I missed the real story. I’d always assumed (silly of me) that he made his money from his webpage, his radio programs, and his Youtube page. I assumed that he sold advertising on them.
Then, however, I found out the truth. It’s not his ads that pay his bills. It’s …snake oil and patent medicines.
Or, more precisely, he sells a highly profitable line of dietary supplements. Get on his website, or watch his videos, and you’ll see ad after ad for his line of vitamins, minerals, herbal extracts, “lung cleansers,” sleep enhancers, colon health boosters, and God alone knows what else.
Particularly prominent on his site are male potency enhancers. You can get, for instance, the “True Alpha Male Pack” with a bottle of “Super Male Vitality” drops and “Alpha Power,” pills. The tag line is “Man up and get yours today …” Which rather makes one wonder a bit about his audience. What exactly are they worrying about, when they talk about prying their guns out of their cold dead hands?
How much money does Jones make peddling this stuff? No one is quite sure. But, the betting is that the number is breathtakingly big. The online magazine Slate did some back of the envelope calculations and came up with a potential number of $25 million a year.
That’s a year. Not ten years. Not twenty. A year.
But that profit gets a bit more understandable when you realize that some of his products are rather dramatically priced. For instance, that previously referenced Super Male Vitality formula? Which comes in a tiny bottle with an eyedropper? Regularly priced at $69.95. Though, as of press time, they were running a sale at a mere $34.95.
So, in other words, Alex Jones is making upwards to $25,000,000 a year selling…nothing. He is making a fortune selling stuff that’s almost totally useless, and which you could get for much cheaper elsewhere.
Dudes and Dudettes…whoa.
We’re in the wrong business, you know? All us liberal types over here trying to be so terribly moral. We could be making tons o’money if we just gave up that ethics thing.
So, here’s my suggestion. We form a company, LR Net Vita-ality Booster LLC, whose stock holders will be entirely the readers, staff, and contributors of this magazine. And we will sell…
Sterile water, sugar pills, and empty gelatin capsules.
And we’ll market ‘em under the catchy title “Placebo Plus.”
For small additional fees we will also offer “Prescription Strength Placebo Plus,” and ‘New And Improved Placebo Plus.”
And we will advertise exclusively on Right Wing Web Sites visited frequently by people who are stupid enough to believe in Lizard Aliens and Pizzagate.
Or, to put it another way, who are dumber than a box of bricks.