Thursday, June 2, 2011

Dancing on Graves

My brother wanted me to discuss a video from the 1980 cartoon Return of the King where some orcs sing "Where there's a whip, there's a way."

Instead, I'd like to metaphorically tie that in with this event that happened in the capital: It's really only 5 minutes long if your attention span is tested.

First of all, America isn't free. America presents itself as "Free" like Burger King presents its menu as "Food". I listened to a radio interview with Jonathan Simon a voting rights activist at the Election Defence Alliance.
Audio of the WSCA interview
Man, the lies that keep people under the boot are crazy. It's hard to know what to do when elections are not only bought and paid for but just to make sure our vote is worthless the candidates actually cheat. So, not only do you vote for people who lie in their campaign, misrepresent, suck more corporate cock than a high class hooker, and are basically thieves, but the fuckers have to rig the electronic ballots too. You can't win!

But, when I see some kids getting arrested at the Jefferson Memorial I have mixed emotions. First of all, it's a defacto demonstration because it doesn't protest anything.* It's antagonistic. They want to test the limits of free speech but they aren't actually sure what crime they are going to commit or what freedoms are being infringed until they do it. So, these aren't exactly modern day Martin Luther King activists sitting down at cafeteria benches to protest segregation. Specific goals are important in activism. This action seems very much like that "boarding" phenomenon where people take pictures of themselves laying flat in strange locations. The challenge is to do it in interesting places. Flash mod dancing is a similar phenomenon because you get to video tape it and post it on youtube and laugh a little. Flash mobs may be early rehearsal for the real revolution so they have some function. But the current challenge is to do it where there is risk involved and someone had the idea to go to the Jefferson Memorial (maybe the Lincoln Monument was closed for renovation?) The cops there are probably legitimately on guard against actual lunatics with bombs (while in a mall or McDonalds there is not the same threat or security) so their patience is about five seconds long...which is five seconds shorter than the average cop. So right there this is a disaster of a plan. If these cops drew their guns and shot five of these kids dead in order to "keep control" half the country would applaud and the other half would think it was a fake staged event or a trailer for a bad Sean Penn movie. A tiny minority would object in blogs that have no audience.

I feel that this is public property but it is also a memorial. Is it appropriate to be used as a prop for your narcissistic youtube video that clearly is empty activism?* No. Go in front of the White House. OR go somewhere a federal park patrolman with a gun is not going to warn you to leave. And, when the cop warns you to leave or face arrest, then don't be surprised if they arrest you. It's defacto activism because they are basically reacting to the warning and not to any political issue.* They couldn't even make a banner that says "Save The Ocean" or "Thomas Jefferson was Gay" to give some legitimate excuse to get arrested. No, their arrests were in defiance against the authority to arrest people. It's so muddled and pointless. A few blocks from there is a homeless camp where the cops don't arrest anyone! Basically, their desire to conquer the challenge to dance at the memorial was usurped by the cops' desire to maintain a controlled atmosphere which an appeals court ruled IS THEIR SWORN DUTY. Is this some kind of infringement of civil liberties? Let's examine that.

Here's an example: I firmly believe a major change has to take place in mankind's relationship with the environment if the Arctic wolves are to be saved. It's probably too late but I'll pretend there's hope. So, my plan is to raise awareness of the plight of the wolf through a trip to the arctic. It's important enough to take up two years of my life and the closest I've gotten is St. Louis. But, if I crossed the border illegally, something that you'll agree would be a totally harmless act when done for my purposes of reaching Ellesmere Island, then I'd be prosecuted as a federal criminal. My argument in court would be simple: "Your honor, there is no time for me to justify my plans to border police. We have to act today to save the wolves and I'm not going to let political fine print keep me from this mission. It's bigger than your laws and bigger than international borders."

Now, you'll agree that the salvation of an entire species of animal and the altering of mankind's relationship with the environment is more important than laws or international borders. (I seriously hope you agree) And you'll agree that by illegally crossing the border the only thing I've done is break a paper and ink law so we aren't talking about a major blow to Canadian Sovereignty. Am I still justified?

No. Maybe ethically I am justified but legally I'm wrong. The court would say no, there is no exemption for you, Mr. Bleacher, regardless of your self described "mission of wolf mercy". After two months in federal prison, you will serve a suspended 5 year sentence and be required to pay $15,000 in court fees, blah blah blah.

But what about the wolf? The wolf will be a footnote to my trial and my whole message will be obliterated by legalese. So, I must cross that border legally. I want Canada to welcome me with open arms even though I think it's insane that my mission is so hindered. And then I will proceed to make my video of the wolves.

So, the video of kids getting arrested actually made me laugh. They wanted to make an entertaining video and that is what they made. I particularly thought it was funny when the cop says, "This is your final warning" three or four times. hahaha. You will get three final warnings. This is your second first warning. Or when a kid says, "You hate freedom don't you?" Yeah, the cops all sit around the Washington Monument plotting the overthrow of America. They are anarchist secret agents! Revolutionary, it is not. The cops trampled on civil rights? No.
what do you think? One lawyer's opinion would be to challenge the definition of "dance" which sounds like my self-defense in the camping ban fiasco in Santa Cruz by challenging the definition of "sleep".**

Maybe I just don't care about people anymore.***

*The issue seemed to be that a recent appeals court decision declared monuments like TJ memorial places of "reflection and contemplation" not dancing or sleeping or fucking or killing. So, there might've been a point to this and I'm sure the appeals court is losing sleep that their decision caused such trauma and deprivation to these kids. Note: When the activity that gets you arrested is totally legal twenty feet away then it might be you that has the problem.

**I was embroiled in a lengthy legal battle to decriminalize poverty, specifically my poverty that led to my living rent free in the state park outside of Santa Cruz. I didn't try to get caught but the fuckers actually hunted me down with dogs deep in the forest one night. Here was a case of a city generating money with cops. But the plan backfired because most of the homeless people cited for illegal camping never paid their ticket and ended up using their bench warrant notice as toilet paper and suddenly an $82 ticket turned into a jail full of homeless people. This is one way California led to 30,000 people overflow in jails (although the private jail owners never blinked as they made money hand over fist thanks to Reagan and Bush Sr.) And it backfired even further because I personally cost that city thousands of dollars in court time and appeals and delays and making a total mockery of the court system always toeing the line of contempt with ragged clothes and a shaggy beard and long philosophical rants and a 40 page essay "IN DEFENSE OF LIBERTY" that I submitted as my affirmation of my movement to dismiss the charges. The city attorney must've laughed his ass off reading that paper but he was required to type out a response which he summed up mostly with the words, "Conspicuously absent from Mr. Bleacher's essay is a clear argument against the law itself."
Anyway, the decriminalization of poverty is a huge issue with real complaints. When poverty leads to actions that are criminal (like sleeping in your car) then you are being victimized because of your bank account. No free country would fine someone with no money because they were sleeping in their car. The funny part is that I was only one of a dozen activists who were protesting the economic hierarchy in Santa Cruz. Our response was to intentionally sleep on the sidewalks or in cardboard boxes outside the city hall to protest the law. If every homeless person who got cited for camping did the same thing as us the whole court system would've collapsed. None of this did any good but it's going to make a unique book. You'll agree it's not as frivolous as dancing at a monument but ethically it's in the same ballpark.

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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.