An Right-Wing Extremist Under Every Bed? 1

The $PLC and other professional hate-watchers think so. Jesse Walker fills us in.

We also know, for example, that Loughner was deeply interested in lucid dreaming, in reality-bending movies such as Waking Life and Donnie Darko, and in the science-fiction novels of Philip K. Dick, a writer whose paranoid plots often hinged on the idea that reality itself is a fraud. Another friend of Loughner’s, Bryce Tierney, told Mother Jones that the shooter was “fascinated” with the idea that “the world is really nothing—illusion.”

Interviewed by Keith Olbermann on the day of the murders, Potok gamely tried to link lucid dreaming to the radical right, noting that the conspiracy theorist David Icke is interested in the subject. Well, that’s Potok’s schtick; if Loughner had turned out to be a soccer fan, Potok may well have mentioned that Icke used to play for Coventry. My own guess is that Loughner’s interest in alternate realities was at the core of his worldview, and that he was attracted to those elements of fringe politics that seemed to reinforce his suspicion that the waking world is a lie. But I’ll refrain from declaring it “pretty clear” that my guess is a fact. That’s the sort of thing that might make you look like a fool.

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