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06/25/2020 06:13:26 •••

Collative Paranoia

Ager's videos and essays often bring attention to interesting details in films and are sometimes fascinating thought experiments. It's unfortunate that his work often has a very arrogant, sometimes even paranoid tone. He denies being a conspiracist, yet his work often holds the opinion that disbelievers "ought to wake up". He literally rallies people to let "his message" be spread. And his essays are usually brimful with paranoid theories against political correctness, the European Union, artificial intelligence,... It can never be "just" a theory. It's always presented as a "truth" that is being suppressed by the mainstream. While I disagree with his politics I don't mind him making videos about it, as long as he makes clear he is voicing his own opinion. It's when he tries to shoehorn his viewpoints into his regular film analysis that I start to object. For instance, Ager is/was a member of the UKIP, a party opposing Britain's membership in the European Union. He keeps hammering his distrust for the E.U. into several of his videos and essays with paranoid and often unfunded assumptions about their "secret agenda", while advocating protection of the British "identity". He even made a video about A Clockwork Orange being a warning against Fascism in the European Union. First of all, yes, Kubrick had a huge distrust of institutions, as his work often shows. But that doesn't automatically mean that his fears were correct, nor that he was hinting at one specific institution. Since he seldom gave interviews and died in 1999 we're never going to know what he meant with some scenes in his films. You could very well wonder if "Clockwork" isn't an allegory about the British government? After all: the story takes place in England. For Ager to blatantly misuse Kubrick's prestige - a man no longer able to defend himself - only to justify and promote his own hidden agenda is very low. It's basically slander.

And that's the achilles heel of his entire work. Ager clearly fancies himself an all-knowing oracle who dug up the truth that others didn't (wish to) see. Still, throwing a bunch of stuff together that supports your preconceived viewpoint doesn't automatically "prove" anything. He seems to be aware of this, but only when confronted with other people's analysis he just so happens to disagree with. For all his crusades against media censorship it's also sad that he clearly can't take criticism himself or people debunking some of his claims . While he tells others they have the freedom to "disbelieve him" it's always done in this condescending, mean spirited tone. Ager has even blocked out critical comments or made waspish videos against them. ("Let's Overanalyze "Alien", f.i.) Ager also claims he often plays "mind games" with his audience by taking up viewpoints he doesn't necessarily agree with personally. A cheap way to avoid ever being exposed as a fraud.

06/24/2020 00:00:00

You\'ve never actually watched a video of his have you?

06/25/2020 00:00:00

I watched the two Ludovico videos about A Clockwork Orange just now, to see what the fuss is about.

His approach appears to be inductive reasoning: he formulates a complex idea based on scant information, and then looks for any clues or symbols that will confirm it, even to the point of overlooking obvious contradictions. In A Clockwork Orange, he believes Alex fakes his mental conditioning out of self-interest, but hardly acknowledges Alex's earnest suicide attempt later as a result of his mental conditioning. He says `I've not forgotten about it` and then never touches on it again.

And yes, it is a massive over-reach on the part of Ager to claim Kubrick was making a tacit reference to `EU Fascism` via Beethoven's Ninth. Especially as the EU only adopted the tune a year after A Clockwork Orange was released, and the UK didn't even join it until a couple of years after the movie.


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