Thursday, September 07, 2017

#SaveTheArctic /Highway 101

"Reflect on an Arctic that doesn't reflect."
- Freewayblogger
Signs placed alongside Hwy 101 in  Los Angeles, Ventura, San Luis Obispo, San Francisco and Marin counties.

Signs Posted - 7,294
Arrests - 0

Friday, September 01, 2017

Some Friendly Advice for Nazis and Klansmen From a Hippie Liberal Activist Jew

Hello Members of Unite-the-Right!

Greetings Fellow Free Speech Activists! 

Goodness Gracious… look at all of you! Come in! Come in! There’s plenty of room for all of us here in the big tent of the First Amendment!  Look at all of these fresh young faces!  (And I’ve been assured that some of you are very fine people…) You know, I’ve been calling myself a free speech activist for years, just for sticking signs up on freeways … I guess you’re calling yourselves free speech activists because saying you’re having a rally for free speech sounds a lot better than saying you’re having a rally for Nazis or the Klan.  It’s a bit more difficult to be a Nazi out here in public than it was back on the internet, but thank goodness for Free Speech eh?
Now, I’m not going to lie here, it’s a little weird sharing the title with y’all… what with me being just a little ol’ San Francisco hippie, and you all being Nazis and Klansman and all… but hey, everyone’s saying the only way we’re gonna heal this country is by reaching out to the other side… We all gotta learn how to work together, and frankly I can’t think of a more perfect opportunity then the one we’ve got right here! Now, I’ve been at this almost as long as I can remember, so I hope you don’t mind a bit of advice from an old hippie. Of course I saw the Unite-the-Right kickoff event in Charlottesville and all that nasty business that followed and I think we can all agree it was a bit of a bumpy start… But with everyone on TV denouncing you and wanting to impeach the President just for supporting you… well I’m sure that must’ve seemed just a little unfair. ‘Course accidentally destroying a Presidency you’re trying to support is one of those things that can really damage a group’s reputation, especially when you’re just starting out. But I gotta be straight with you here: it’s because you’re Nazis.
See, normally having the President refer to your organization as “having some fine people” is a good thing. It doesn’t require much more response than a “Thank You” and an immediate fundraising mailer. Since you all are Nazis though, the appropriate response is just a little more complicated, but still, it should’ve been obvious even to newbies like you. I’m gonna be brutally honest here - when Trump said y’all had some fine people in your group he was pitching you one of the easiest softballs in political history, and not only did you miss it, y’all didn’t even swing. Now normally I probably wouldn’t be helping you, but this is one of those things like seeing a child playing on a freeway - you just gotta do something about it. Before we go any further though, we should probably straighten a few things out.
First off, since you guys are Nazis I should probably mention that I’m a Jew. Although traditionally this has been a less-than-ideal working relationship, I’m willing to look past it if you are. I’m also very much a liberal and what y’all call a  “do-gooder” or “Social Justice Warrior.”  I know you folks sneer at it, but I just like helping people - it’s just the way I am. I’m also considered to be a bit of a hippie. I know how for conservatives that’s just a generic insult - another way to call liberals assholes - And you all being so young you might not know this, but the term “hippie” originally referred to the lifestyle and aesthetic of 1960’s counter-culture, characterized primarily by long hair, colorful clothing, a pacifist political outlook and casual attitude towards sexuality and drug use. Now even though that does rather fit me to a T, I don’t really consider myself a hippie at all… I’m just a regular guy who gets mistaken for one a lot. For example right now I’m wearing tie-dye and reek of patchouli, but I’m only wearing tie-dye because it’s loose fitting clothing and I just finished yoga. And the patchouli’s just to cover the smell from spilling my bong when I tripped over my copy of the 1974 Whole Earth Almanac. 
Of course, being racists and Nazis you guys are probably tough-guy authoritarian types, and I’m sure that’s because you’re just naturally hard-core and has nothing to do with absent, abusive or emotionally distant fathers. Anyway, you’re probably not going to listen to some hippie liberal so how about you just think of me as a Jew?  Not a normal Jew of course, but one of those Superjews you guys are always talking about: the ones that control the media and the government and the banks. Just pretend I’m one of those Jews, except even more powerful… I control everyone from the President all the way down to your mailman: I’m the one who decides if you get a home loan or a credit card, what you pay at the gas pump and whether you live or die. Since you’re all anti-semitic authoritarians that should establish some respect.
Now, just so I don’t accidentally offend anyone, do you consider yourselves actual Nazis or do you prefer to go by Neo-Nazis? Or is there some philosophical nuance between the two I should know about? Are the rest of you regular Ku Klux Klan members, or is there some sort of Junior Klan or Neo-Klan now? And are you all White Supremacists, or are some of you just White Nationalists, and is it going to hurt anyone’s feelings if I happen to mix the two up? Okay, I know you call yourselves “Unite-the-Right,” but it’s really just a race thing, isn’t it? Or are some of you not actually racist but just really hard-core, violent, tattooed fiscal conservatives?  I don’t know how you feel about it, but just having one or two non-racists would really help in terms of messaging, fundraising and the like so, do get back to me on it. 
Okay, about the race thing… I get the basic message: being white is super special… master race and all that…  And the plan is that some day you’re gonna all take over and then… help me out here… you’re gonna kill everyone who isn’t white? Or just send em back to where they came from?  I don’t want to sound judgmental, but the point of this is… what exactly? Just so you can all live together with a bunch of other white people? Because if that’s the case, wouldn’t it be a whole lot easier just to move to Idaho? Again, I don’t want to sound critical, these are just the kind of questions you’ve got to be prepared for when dealing with the press.
I know you’re all tough guys, but you’re still pretty young, and most all of your political experience has been on the internet. Here’s the thing: it’s easy to be a Nazi online, and later on when you’re having your revolution and killing everyone and all that, you can be as much of a Nazi as you want too. But now, during this transition period, while you can still be a Nazi, you just have to be a little bit less of a Nazi, you know? You’ve got to be more subtle about it.  I’m sure you all had your fun waving flags and carrying torches in Charlottesville. But listen to me here - you fucked up badly. This is the real world, and what happens here can have real consequences. It’s not just all fun and games and pixels like on the internet. People got hurt and killed, and maybe you don’t think you were directly responsible, you’re certainly getting tarred with the brush. And acting and dressing like y’all were the wehrmacht storming the Sudetenland didn’t help either. Not to mention your total lack of follow-through afterwards damn near cost the President his job. 
Here’s the deal: Last Tuesday the President had a press conference where he said he was sure that y’all were fine people. That means on Wednesday when I turned on my TV I should’ve seen nothing but footage of Unite-the-Right guys feeding the homeless and putting on puppet shows for cancer kids. Or at least by Thursday,.. Okay now it’s Friday and instead of seeing you guys painting schools and having interviews wistfully talking about the preciousness of children’s dreams and how great it used to smell back in Grandma’s kitchen, I’ve had three goddam days of people calling the President a racist asshole because he stood up for you and you left him hanging there with his dick in the wind. So, first thing: You write an announcement and send it out ASAP for the press conference you’re having in 24 hours, 36 tops. That’s how much time you’ll have to put together at least 7 minutes of video and two 30-second spots. And it’s not gonna be whatever low-rent Reifenstahl Triumph-of-the-Hillbillies video you’re probably thinking of right now.  It’s gonna be a nice warm fuzzy montage of you all reading to children, working in soup kitchens, pulling kittens out of trees and pushing old people around on wheelchairs. I don’t know which one of you PR geniuses thought bringing the Nazi flags to the rally was a good idea, but they’re staying in mommy’s basement for now. I know you’re Nazis and you love that crap because it’s made you feel all edgy and dangerous probably since you were six. But you’re grown-ups now and it’s time to put on your Big Boy lederhosen and understand that out here in the real world that whole swastika thing is political suicide. Now if you absolutely have to have that Nazi crap in the video, at least try to make it useful or find a way to frame it in a positive way. Maybe you can put the flag around some homeless woman or, I don’t know… serve soup out of a helmet or something.
Also, along with the volunteer footage, we need some one or two minute interviews - some up close and personal sort of humanizing crap. Talk about fishing with grandpa or some shit from your childhood, how you always wanted to be a fireman or something like that. I don’t want to be rude, but you all don’t come across exactly as poster boys for supremacy, white or any other kind. Maybe I’m wrong and you’re all actually artists and scholars, or at least have some knowledge or insight into your cultural heritage. It’d just be good to know that your dedication to whiteness is based on something more substantial than it’s the color of your skin. 
And since you’re all so fascinated with Germany, it wouldn’t hurt to show it’s for something besides all the people they killed during World War Two.  Maybe one of you skinheads is an expert on Schiller, or can sing the lead in Parsifal, or play the entire Appassionata without missing a note. If that’s true, then for Christ’s sakes let’s get it on video! That kind of shit’s golden, and we’ll need it on tape.
Of course ideally what I’d like to see from you guys is just something that gives me a reason to stop hating you, but I’m afraid that so long as you’re Nazis that’s just gonna be too much to ask. Short of that, just learning something about you that actually surprises me would be nice... just to discover one aspect of your character that’s even the least bit unexpected at this point would really a breath of fresh air. It’s bad enough that we’re turning into a nation of enemies, now it feels like we’re turning into a nation of cartoons. You’re just angry cartoon Nazis and I’m just a condescending cartoon hippie writing a cartoon response to what’s actually a serious issue. Ours is a deeply fractured nation, and we’ve been divided by the ugly cartoon of a President we got by electing an ugly cartoon of a man.
Like everyone says, the only way we’re going to fix this is to find a way to work with each other and somehow reach out to the other side. The President’s sin after Charlottesville was asking Americans to consider those Nazi bastards with torches as somehow acceptable now. It didn’t go over very well and frankly I’m glad that it didn’t. To be honest I resent having to share the title of “Free Speech Activist” with those clowns just as I resent the thought of having to take them seriously in any way, but having had my fun at their expense, for the good of the country I forced myself to make a serious effort to find some kind of common ground. Not just the things we share with each other because we share them with everyone else, but something that we share with each other almost exclusively. Something that might give me a sense of actual brotherhood with those racist Nazi assholes. And I found it.  
Even though everything else about us is almost entirely opposite, we call ourselves free speech “activists” because we’re testing the limits of the First Amendment. They’re testing the limits of what you can say and I’m testing the limits of how you can say it, but both of us, in our different ways, are pushing the envelope. As outliers, simply claiming First Amendment protection technically makes us its protectors. And so, having taken our baby steps out to different parts of the frontier, we set up our camps and wave our flags in the hope that others will eventually join us. That, and to whatever extent we think it somehow makes us patriots, is the brotherhood I share with my fellow Free Speech Activists.
The crucial difference is that I’m fighting to get the rest of you to use your free speech - they’re just using it for protection until the day comes when they can take it away.