Two years after Jan. 6, “This Place Rules” sheds light on the division of America during late 2020

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People storm the Capitol building during the Jan. 6 insurrection in 2021.

Natalie Becker, Opinion editor

“On Jan. 6, we all saw what our nation would look like if the forces who seek to dismantle our democracy are successful,” Vice President Kamala Harris said in a speech one year after the Capitol insurrection.

QAnon, one of the groups involved in Jan. 6, does not think they’re successful. That is what Andrew Callaghan, the creator of “This Place Rules,” discovered in his documentary.

“This Place Rules” dives into the events leading up to the insurrection across the East Coast. Callaghan travels in his RV from as far as Georgia, all the way to New York. 

Callaghan is known for his gonzo journalism and his web series, “Channel 5,” where he interviews people on the street to fill in parts of a story. Most of the film was told from this perspective.

Callaghan begins the documentary by showcasing two conservative content creators boxing over a girl and Internet fame. One of the creators compared the match to how the opposing sides felt in the 2020 elections.

When watching this scene, I was thrown off. I was not expecting to start with a boxing match. But when watching the whole film, it’s the perfect opener to a narrative. 

Callaghan visited many rallies across the U.S., including one in Georgia where a child was preaching QAnon rhetoric. The child called the pope a “reptile” and President Joe Biden a “child molester.”

The child could not have been more than 10 years old and he was ready to become the next rally leader. He knows all about conservative and QAnon conspiracies through his father, a QAnon follower. 

When Callaghan talked to the child and his siblings about COVID and them having no school, the children were all blinded by their parents’ teachings that they can only think about themselves in the grand scheme of things, and not about others’ safety. The kids didn’t believe COVID existed.

I didn’t feel appalled to hear a child spew rhetoric that I’m strongly against, I felt sad that this child was exposed to hateful speech at such a young age by his family. He hasn’t learned to think for himself yet. I want there to be a comeuppance for him, where he learns the error of his ways and changes his perspectives on issues.

After Jan. 6, this family felt betrayed by QAnon, with the father saying there was no real gain from the insurrection. 

That’s not the case for famous conservative commentator, Alex Jones. Jones is most known for spreading conspiracies over the Sandy Hook school shooting and making supplements for water filtration. Yes, he was the guy who said, “they put chemicals in the water that turn the freaking frogs gay.”

My favorite part of this whole documentary is when Callaghan interviewed Jones. There was a whole montage dedicated to the two weightlifting and drinking. I got to hand it to Callaghan: he knows how to make serious topics hilarious. 

After the “weightlifting” with Jones, Callaghan goes on to talk about Jones’s presence at the MAGA Million Marches. Jones was able to give speeches to conservatives about how globalists are destroying America. I asked myself, “what is a globalist?”

According to Dictionary.com, globalism is “the attitude or policy of placing the interests of the entire world above those of individual nations.” 

And according to the American Jewish Committee, it has recently been described as antisemitic due to it promoting the conspiracy that Jewish people “do not have allegiances to their countries of origin.” The AJC also said that the term “globalist” was a part of the core ideology of Nazism.

 

Callaghan doesn’t point out the antisemitism rooted in the term, but the documentary harks on how Alex Jones markets off of fighting against globalists.

In fact, that’s what the whole theme of “This Place Rules.” 

“We were pitted against each other for profit by organizations and individuals who do not care about us and are enriched from our division,” Callaghan said. 

With these big corporations profiting off of our opposition, it puts into perspective why protests happen. The companies pit people against a common enemy and multiply it by 1000. That is what Jones has done for most of his career.

Overall, I thought it was a great documentary. It really highlights the fact that people like to profit off of our stupidity. That’s what these conservatives were doing. Why do you think Jones was selling supplements to protect people from globalists? 

Jan. 6 and the events prior were a pile-on of everyone’s anger plus buying stuff to protect them from Antifa, Black Lives Matter or any other protest group, plus the misinformation from conservative media. And the fact that avid QAnon believers felt manipulated after Jan. 6 shows that the leaders on QAnon only profited off of them for attention and for money.

Callaghan perfectly documented the confusion and chaos of America in the span of three months. He was right: “This place rules.”