This piece is by guest writer Johnny Black.
Ladies, Gentlemen, and all those in between or outside,
I would like to introduce myself as your local propagandist: Johnny Black. I’m merely another faceless entity in the fight against corprotacratic economic models. I thought that some one out there might find what our GLBT Superhero, LOL-WUTTER, Elle, was up to! So, with out further ado! A quick run-down of the first of our adventures in Capital-Land!
It was all just supposed to be a day like any other…
Driving around on stolen gasoline is no way to spend your first date. But, then again she didn’t know that, so what was the harm. On our way back from having secured some tasty vittles for our lunch we noticed a protest on the corner of College and Mulberry.
Not that this is an odd occurrence, it is Fort Collins; no, the oddness of the situation was seeing all these blue-collar, hard-working, wage slaves spending their time waving signs around when Thor knows that in this economy no one can afford to do that. So, as a man who has served in the United States Armed Forces, worked as a general laborer for my local labor union, and done his fair share of dirt to provide for my family, I tip my hat to them. Nothing wrong with wanting to increase your size of the pie and being Libertarians; they believe this should be done by shrinking the state as opposed to raising taxes on all.
Can’t really argue with that, eh Kids? And that’s where this whole thing got started. We don’t have a counter argument because this isn’t the debate we are trying to have. Their protest is a blind attempt to acquire and secure more liberties for themselves and us. But, their inability to see themselves contributing as oppressors does not change the fact that they operate as a functioning tool of patriarchal society.
“What are they protesting?” our green eyed firebrand asked.
With a quick perusal of their signs, I replied, “they are fucking tea-baggers.”
I sighed. A quick break down on libertarian economics, the Ron Paul movement, and the Tea Bag protests ensued. Pro-states rights anti-federalists who see the governments hand in the market as being responsible for our current economic woes. I always imagine them as strict constitutionalist conservatives with out the fundamentalist nut jobs.
“Lets crash it!” she exclaimed. Arming our selves with a sign that read “LOL WUT” and a camera to forever immortalize our first date we returned to help create open conversation and express an alternative viewpoint!
It worked: the crowd stirred and churned attempting to wrap their minds around what it could possibly mean. Tea baggers each took turns reading into the sign, inferring it expressed their worst fears embedded by years of conservative talking points and fear mongering.
Hence the LOL WUT message. The issues in the United States cannot be solved through free trade and laissez-faire capitalism. The issues that are oppressing the lives and families of these protesters are because of capitalism. The principles of that economic ideology, while looking good on paper, do not translate into reality.
Greed, having been celebrated for so long, has created a culture that is toxic at best. The protesters know this. As a branch of conservatives they are most likely unhappy with the world their children are growing up in. Why shouldn’t they be, eh Kids? Violence, vices, and mindless entertainment surround them and hope to instill in them the values that the United States has come to embrace.
It’s unfortunate that through my conversations with the protesters they seemed to believe I was political boogey-man. Despite my attempts to show that I work for the people and against the bourgeois corporate slave masters that are cracking the whip over all of our heads the idea never seemed to sink in. The average protester was far too blinded by the bipartisanship that is United States politics and culture. I oppose capitalism, they thought, so naturally I must be a socialist.
I was unable to break through this oh-so-common binary, the dualist thinking of the American status quo. Unable to bring a revolutionary thought into the light through the smoke screen of Libertarian ideology. I couldn’t stress enough that the protesters and the crashers are fighting the same fight. We are all in the same struggle. Their fight for what they believe to be the iconic America draws a lot of parallels with our own utopian dreams. In their world the laborer owns his labor, just like ours. The people are not controlled through a talking head of morality, just as in ours. It just didn’t seem to correlate for the Tea Baggers that we were not opposed to their protest as much as we thought their energy was only misdirected.
Playing cameraman to Elle and lacking a sign of my own I couldn’t attention whore my way into a confrontational situation that I could turn into some social critique. Elle was very popular on the other hand, with old women trying to block her sign. Once again, reinforcing the stereotype in my mind that these North Americans are kneejerk reactionaries that fear what they don’t understand.
The situation started to get a little tense. Elle had the intestinal fortitude to stick it out though and soon she had our side of the street pretty stirred up. Through her brazen act of brandishing a sign that no doubt seemed nonsensical to the crowd around us, she had created a situation where they could experience the nonsensical nature of their protest. She quickly disseminated her radical feminist ideology and her blog web address to further help the protesters to open their eyes to a world they unknowingly ignore and unwittingly support. Once it was understood that were not diametrically opposing them some protesters had come to the conclusion that we were actually supporters. At one point we were fashioned as Anarcho-Capitalists!
Eventually the protest was coming to a conclusion. Only a few stragglers were left and even they were packing up and making their way back home, no doubt feeling empowered and satisfied at having voiced their dissent. The only people sticking around were the die-hards bombarding us with questions.
“What does this have to do with GLBT issues?” a confused protester asked.
Elle had given her web address out and he was surfing it from a sidekick. At that point our cover was blown! We were no longer your friendly neighborhood anarcho-capitalists. Unbeknownst to him, we were something much more subversive. We crashed their tea party because despite their spirit they are just misinformed by years of media lies, Christian indoctrination, and corrupt governing bodies. Despite their best efforts the ruling class that decides our fate doesn’t give a god damn what we have to say. That simple internet meme slapped on a piece of poster board wasn’t intended to mock the Tea Baggers. It was intended to illustrate that all these people standing around waving sings, blowing horns, and shouting from the sidewalks; all that noise just boils down to “LOL WUT” at the end of the day.
All in all I will never know if I actually made an impact, if Elle’s sign helped create some social discourse that later turned into an honest debate, or if they all just went home thinking they had performed their civic duty and were now off the hook.
In an attempt to rattle the cages of some hard working people, join in an atmosphere of free expression, and attempt to illustrate the point that their attempts are in vain. The only conclusion truly drawn from this entire experience is that while irony is fucking hilarious to some, it doesn’t make a very good vehicle for political debate as what was initially thought