Connect with us

Uncategorized

Robert Sheehan: Everything thats not the government line gets labelled a conspiracy theory

Published

on

Robert Sheehan: Everything thats not the government line gets labelled a conspiracy theory

[ad_1]

The Independent employs reporters around the world to bring you truly independent journalism. To support us, please consider a contribution.

Nobody has an obligation to do anything in life, declares Robert Sheehan, with the easygoing authority of a mindfulness guru. The Irish actors hair isnt quite as wild as it is in The Umbrella Academys second season in which his character Klaus becomes a shamanic cult leader in 1960s America but he retains the air of a man whos spent time in Goa; who meditates regularly; who has, in some meaningful way, come to terms with himself.

We are talking over Zoom, a few days after Kanye West announced he would be running for president. I had suggested that celebrities have a responsibility to use their platform for political activism. Sheehan disagrees. Just because someone gets famous doesnt oblige them to become a politician, he says. We should never expect that of people. Expecting political activity from someone who aint wired that way is like trying to expect backflips from a f***in Jack Russell. Some Jack Russells can do it! And others cant. And others dont want to.

The 32-year-old counts himself as non-political Ive never been particularly politically wired, which in itself is a bit of a luxury but this is only half-true. Sheehans social media pages provide a rough snapshot of his ideals seen in links to donation pages for Black Lives Matter bail funds and fundraisers for black homeless trans women. Hes also a supporter of the theatre industry, where once he cut his teeth.


It was on TV that Sheehan first gained notoriety, though, as the wisecracking Nathan in Channel 4s antiheroic superhero drama Misfits almost a decade ago. He describes the project as a lovely, gorgeous memory for me but The Umbrella Academy was a whole different ball game. According to Netflixs own stats, the first season of the dark sci-fi drama, about a dysfunctional family of superheroes, was viewed by more than 45 million households. Sheehans performance as Klaus, a pansexual drug addict who can communicate with the dead, was often singled out by critics as one of the shows best.

Sheehan has previously admitted to capitalising on his celebrity, briefly alluding to sexual encounters with female fans. Perhaps there are some parallels, I suggest, between the ego-feeding cult Klaus establishes in The Umbrella Academy and the actors own experience with fame. Its funny you should say that, he replies, because before Umbrella Academy, nah, not so much. Youd show up to a premiere, but all of the screaming and the fan hysteria would be from the spectacle of the parade. But after Umbrella Academy, I did a couple of events in North America one in Montreal and one in Chicago and it was a bit like a cult, at times.

Watch more

He catches himself. Not that it got culty, he adds. It wasnt like people were trying to cast me as some kind of leader. But it got intense, and there were lots of teenage tears. For all its sci-fi artifice, it seems The Umbrella Academy managed to connect with people on a rather profound level. There was a beautiful outpouring of emotion from younger people and younger queer people, Sheehan says, who said that the depiction of Klaus really helped them, helped them come out. People derived great meaning from it, and you cant ask for better than that as an actor.

In Klaus and Misfits Nathan, Sheehan has excelled at imbuing characters ostensibly cast as comic relief with a sincere, guarded pathos. But theres much to be said for the comedy itself for the cheeky, libertine swagger with which he made the roles his own. I ask about a claim on his Wikipedia page: that, while growing up in Portlaoise, Ireland, he spent a year performing stand-up comedy. He laughs. Its a shame to have to burst that bubble. Id love to keep that out there as myth, and legend… some hokum lie about my past. In reality, his brief dabble in the comedy industry amounted to a short time spent as a 17-year-old Shep Gordon-wannabe promoter (I used to be quite enterprising when I was young), which imploded when he ditched his ultimate third gig to star in a short film in Dublin.

He carefully refutes the notion that a queer role, like Klaus, should be reserved for a queer actor: I think youd be denying yourself some interesting perspectives, some interesting performances in the future, if you made that hard and fast rule. Sheehan feeds on different perspectives he inhabited some 20 of them to write a book of character-driven short stories, his recently completed lockdown project. He certainly strikes me as someone eager to see into other peoples heads. He notices the Midsommar poster on the wall behind my head, and asks what clicked about it. Was it the societal distortion? It looked trippy, I shrug.

Robert Sheehan’s Klaus becomes a messianic cult leader in season two of ‘The Umbrella Academy’ (Christos Kalohoridis/Netflix)

Sheehan doesnt profess to share Klauss substance-fuelled lifestyle, but he does indulge an acid-trippers distrust of our prescribed reality. Last year, in an interview with Vice, the actor was quoted as saying that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were part of a cover-up by the American government. He now describes this as a misquote and a bit of an embellishment, but adds: I think everything that is not the line told by the government can get lumped under the banner of conspiracy theory. I dont think thats helpful. Anything that gets labelled with those words gets demeaned. There are conspiracy theories that say that the moon is a man-made construct beaming down mind-control rays on all of us. And then there are conspiracies that other lifeforms in this galaxy, and this universe beyond, exist.

He continues, clearly intrigued by the subject. Aliens, man. Aliens I fairly intuit to be true. I think the conspiracy theory element of aliens has been pushed to the back of the global conversation. It has been hidden in plain sight by diminishing its credibility. I think there are other communities out there that are concerned about the fact that weve matured technologically to the point where we have bombs that can destroy entire planets, but we spiritually havent matured, emotionally, at the same rate. I think technologically, weve surged ahead.

By this point, his inner guru is out in full force. Its amazing how much of a mask the human ego can be. As a species, we were nudged just a little bit in the direction of, Youre alone, theres nothing else in the universe like you dont worry about it. Thats just the ego talking, my dear. Thats just the ego talking.

Bringing the conversation back to our solar system, I ask about John F Kennedy. I don’t wish to spoil The Umbrella Academy‘s second season, but you cant set a TV series in Dallas in 1963 without rubbing up against the Kennedy assassination in some way or another. Does Sheehan subscribe to any of the litany of conspiracy theories surrounding the former Presidents death? Id like to only have an opinion when I feel informed, he responds, circumspectly. Have an opinion when youve done a bit of homework, and it feels right in your heart. Other than that, idly spouting particularly to members of the press I dont think is particularly helpful. You know? Dont grasp at straws. It might not take a guru to know it, but these are wise words indeed.

The Umbrella Academy season two arrives on Netflix on 31 July

[ad_2]

Uncategorized

Sanders and Schumer call on McConnell to hold hearings to fight election conspiracy theories – KTVZ

Published

on

Sanders and Schumer call on McConnell to hold hearings to fight election conspiracy theories - KTVZ

[ad_1]

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York are calling on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to create a new bipartisan committee focused on election integrity and schedule hearings to reassure Americans over a process President Donald Trump has repeatedly sought to undermine.

There is growing anxiety among Democrats, and some Republicans, that Trump will not only continue to sow doubt over the legitimacy of the coming election but throw the subsequent count into chaos by declaring victory before all the votes can be tallied, including the millions that will arrive by mail.

In a letter to McConnell, Sanders and Schumer quote back the Kentucky senator’s own words, in which he attested to the reliability of mail-in voting by citing its successes in Oregon, Washington and Colorado, which have been using the system for years.

Trump has repeatedly questioned the validity of mail-in voting, promoted conspiracy theories questioning election security, called on supporters to act as unsanctioned “poll watchers,” and suggested that the absence of a clear result by the evening of November 3 would in some way cast doubt on the eventual outcome. Key allies in powerful positions, like Attorney General Bill Barr, have followed suit. Barr has persisted in puffing up a debunked claim that ballots received by mail would somehow strip the sender of their privacy — ignoring well-established safeguards.

By escalating the matter now, Sanders and Schumer are responding to growing concern, in partisan and nonpartisan spaces, that Americans are not adequately prepared for the potential of a longer-than-usual wait for results or Trump’s willingness to short-circuit the democratic process if he smells defeat.

“Democrats and Republicans in Congress must come together to ensure that we have a free and fair election where every vote is cast and counted without intimidation,” Sanders told CNN, “where no one has to put his or her health in danger to cast a ballot, and where we have full confidence in the results.”

The proposed hearings would invite a cross-section of election officials from across the country to testify to the security and reliability of mail-in, early- and in-person voting — subjects on which Sanders and Schumer, again, referenced McConnell’s own words.

“Despite the clear security of our vote-by-mail system, some have continued to undermine it with unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud,” they wrote. “As you have correctly said, people ‘can vote early, you can vote on Election Day, or you can drop it in the mail,’ and that voters should ‘not worry about your vote not counting.’”

The minority leader and Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, also want more detailed discussion about the fraught hours, or days, after the polls close and a real-time watch of the election horse race potentially swings from one candidate to another.

“We know a number of states may well be counting ballots for a period of time after Election Day, and that those votes may be determinative in this election,” the senators wrote to McConnell. “To avoid disinformation, conspiracy theories, and suspicion about results, we must understand the likely timeline for this process.”

The letter goes on to reference the recent war games-style preparations conducted by a group called the Transition Integrity Project, a bipartisan gathering of operatives and academics that made headlines when some of the outcomes of their exercises — including “both street-level violence and political impasse” — were reported on in late July.

“A bipartisan group of experts and officials have studied multiple scenarios where the outcome of the election was not immediately known. Some of these scenarios resulted in unrest and even violence,” Sanders and Schumer wrote, suggesting the Senate should elevate similar discussions and familiarize the public with the uncertainties ahead. “We would like to hear from the most knowledgeable people in the country as to how we can do everything possible to make sure that the election and the period afterward is secure and peaceful.”

[ad_2]

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

HHS official sorry for conspiracy theory video

Published

on

HHS official sorry for conspiracy theory video

[ad_1]

HHS supported Caputo, with a statement that called him a critical, integral part of the presidents coronavirus response, leading on public messaging as Americans need public health information to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic.

There was no immediate statement from the White House.

Attempts to reach Caputo were unsuccessful.

On Capitol Hill, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., called on Azar to fire Caputo, accusing the spokesman of trying to interfere with CDC reports to the medical and scientific community, as well as the public at large. And Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called on Azar himself to resign, citing interference with the CDC as one example of what he termed the administration’s failures.

Officials at CDC have privately complained of recent efforts by political appointees at main HHS to try to edit or press for changes in the agency’s weekly MMWR publications, a go-to resource for public health professionals.

MMWR articles are technical, but they reveal telling details. One published earlier this year noted that while Trump’s travel restrictions dramatically reduced travel from China in February, nothing was being done at that time to restrict travel from Italy and Europe, where the coronavirus was spreading widely and rapidly. Analysis of virus samples from hard-hit New York in March suggested it was introduced there from Europe and other parts of the U.S., the CDC article reported.

Caputo is an unswerving Trump loyalist. His recent book, The Ukraine Hoax, claims the presidents phony impeachment was rooted in a vast conspiracy.

[ad_2]

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

unwinona:This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS…

Published

on

unwinona:This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS...

[ad_1]

My RSS Feedunwinona:

This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS and Polio narrative (among others), only we’re seeing it escalated to weeks and months instead of years or decades.

[ad_2]

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2017 Zox News Theme. Theme by MVP Themes, powered by WordPress.