“I weep for you,” the Walrus said:
“I deeply sympathize.”
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.
“O Oysters,” said the Carpenter,
“You’ve had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?’
But answer came there none–
And this was scarcely odd, because
They’d eaten every one.
Mike Nichols, directing The Odd Couple
(A tip of the hat to Austin American-Statesman’s John Kelso)
Alex Jones fistfight story fact or fiction?
Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013
By John Kelso
If you don’t think the sky will be falling on your head by, say, happy hour, I know what you’ll think when you hear that Charlie Sotelo once punched conspiracy theory radio celebrity Alex Jones right in the kisser.
“Where do I send the Nobel Prize?” Right?
Sotelo says it was a pretty good belt.
“I don’t know if you’ve ever hit a golf ball or a baseball really well, but it was just like that,” he recalled. “It was a perfect punch.”
It was also out of character. “I don’t punch people,” said Sotelo, whose job is traveling around the U.S. and Canada, rounding up comedians for Austin’s South by Southwest Comedy Festival. “I mean, look at me. I’m not a fighter.”
Police records show the incident took place in 1997. But Jones makes it sound as if it never happened. He said that a recounting of it in The Austin Chronicle years ago “should win a Nobel Prize for literature and fiction. It’s literally an inversion of reality, with distortion for an icing.”
“Total fiction, pure bull, absolute, just fraud. The whole thing is just fraud,” Jones added.
Sure, this is ancient history, but it’s worth telling since Jones has become a nationally known the-end-is-near-style bloviator. (His show airs from 4 to 6 p.m. on Sundays on KLBJ-AM/FM.)
Typical of Jones’ approach is a story about the Alamo that appeared last week on his Infowars website. The U.N. will be taking over the place, the story said. The story is based on the U.N. possibly naming the Alamo as a World Heritage Site.
That move, says the Texas General Land Office, will mean little more than putting the Alamo on a list of great places to visit.
So it’s more likely the Alamo will be taken over by Alamo car rental, right? But that’s the nature of Jones’ spooks-under-the-bed schtick, which he does at full throat.
Back to the fight: In the late 1990s, Sotelo and Jones, then young guys starting out, worked at ACTV, Austin’s public access station. Sotelo had a popular show, “The Show With No Name.” And Jones was doing what he does now: a show about how that’s not Santa’s sleigh on your roof, but a black helicopter.
Sotelo says that in those early days Jones’ show was just silly, but that Jones was unaware of it. So Sotelo would have Jones on his show to make fun of him. There was the time Jones got busted at the Department of Motor Vehicles for not letting them take his thumbprint.
“I was like, ‘When they booked you and everything, did they take your fingerprints?’” Sotelo recalled. “And he goes, ‘Yeah, but that’s not the point.’”
Sotelo said that about 15 years back, Jones invited his audience to come down to ACTV’s building in East Austin. One listener who showed up was a regular caller to Jones’ show whom Sotelo labeled “the die die die guy.” When he’d call Jones’ show, he would say, “Die die die.”
Sotelo says the die die die guy brought two other guys with him, one of them “a small but scrappy little guy.”
So Jones and the die die die guy and his two buddies got in a verbal exchange in the ACTV lobby. Sotelo recalls Jones turning apoplectic when the scrappy kid called him “jarhead.”
“His face curls up and he goes, ‘Do you want to step outside?’ “ Sotelo said. Whoops.
“The little scrappy guy with the most deadpan-looking voice, said, ‘Yeah.’ ” Sotelo said.
So Alex Jones and the little scrappy guy ended up in the parking lot, Sotelo said, with Jones telling the scrappy guy he had a right to shoot him. “And the guy just plants his foot and says, ‘Well, then, shoot me.’ Then he throws a roundhouse punch and pops Alex in the side of the face, as hard as any man could hit another.”
Sotelo says Jones was no match for this kid, who kept circling Jones and using his face as a piñata. Seeing that Alex was in deep doo-doo, Sotelo tried to help with advice from the sidelines.
“I’d say, ‘Alex, run away,’ and like in a movie, he looks over at me and he gets popped in the face again.” Meanwhile, Sotelo and others in the parking lot were chuckling at this circus. Jones, of course, didn’t see the humor in this pounding and accused Sotelo of siding with the die die die guy and his pals.
“He says, ‘Why the hell are you on their side?’ and he spit his blood on me,” Sotelo said. “I looked down and there was blood all over my shirt and all over my face. And I’m incensed. … I wanted to punch through his head.”
Sotelo says he held back at first. But he changed his mind when Jones threw a weak punch that grazed his neck.
“I punched him right in the face,” he said.
When the police showed up, Jones was all hopped up and claiming the other guy had started it, Sotelo said.
In a statement Jones gave to Austin police, he says that “Charly” hit him and that he hit him back. Jones’ statement also says there were four or five “counter culture generation x types” who were “taunting me calling me punk and jar head,” and that “the ring leader with the strange eyes had a double edged military type killing knife.”
My favorite line in the statement? One of the taunters had “eyes that look like a goat’s.”
“There’s just something wrong with him,” Sotelo said. “There’s something wrong in that head.”
Maybe it’s from being slugged repeatedly.