My High School Was Full of Boys Like Alex Jones

On fact, fiction, and the origin stories we claim as our own

Meg Conley
Human Parts
Published in
7 min readMar 19, 2019

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Photo: monkeybusinessimages/Getty Images

CCleaning the kitchen with a baby in the house requires a two-pronged strategy. First, I make a pile of unbreakable objects. It’s an installation of plastic plates, spatulas, and novelty cups that only a one-year-old can truly appreciate. My daughter and I have a deal. She’ll keep from climbing into the dishwasher as long as I let her take the installation apart and throw it, piece by piece, across the room. The plates and cups bounce harmlessly across the floor and she laughs.

Second, I turn on This American Life. Housework feels less like drudgery when I’ve got Ira Glass leading me through America, one act at a time.

This week’s episode featured a piece on Alex Jones’ origin story by Jon Ronson and Lina Misitzis. If comic books have taught me anything, it’s that all super villains have origin stories. So Alex Jones must have one too. Jones himself has claimed his origin story is dramatic—as a high school student, he uncovered corruption in the police department and was brutally attacked by the police because of it.

The origin story his Texas high school peers recounted to Ronson is slightly more pedestrian: Jones was a malevolent bully who eventually got a taste of what he’d been dishing…

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Meg Conley
Human Parts

✒️Women’s work, economic justice and the home. Work in Slate, GEN, Medium + my newsletter, homeculture. Subscribe at megconley.com