19 June 2008

The Decline of the American Protest

This is a picture of the legendary Dr. King leading an effective protest in Washington in the early 60s. A clear, compassionate, and simple message against the unjustifiable institution of segregation and disenfranchisement. He urged non-violence, equality, and was dressed in a respectable manner for the occasion, which conveyed the seriousness with which he took the cause. A class act all the way. History books should attach a footnote to his name as the last rational protester, because it pretty much goes downhill from here. Protesting in contemporary America has become a hodge-podge mix of people that thought 9/11 was an inside job, belief that a convicted cop-killer should become a free man, and even the occasional character who thinks he should be the emperor of the millennium.

While these street people and their foolish causes have provided a tremendous source for humor in the blogosphere on such sites as Zombietime and My Own Side, the ramifications of Americans acting like buffoons in such a public fashion are catastrophic. To the right are Code Pink protesters speaking out against torture (courtesy of Dirty Harry's Place)...I think. The irony of their "indecent" message is apparent as I watch my heterosexuality being thrown up in a pool of vomit. While their misguided and confusing message may reach the unfortunate soul who happens to be driving by the streets of Berkeley at the time, it only serves as a constant reminder of how idiotic and childish we act as human beings.

Some may be upset that this critique of culture is strictly limited to denizens of the Bay area, who can certainly be an eccentric bunch, but behold the Westboro Baptist Church. They are from the great expansive heartland of our fair nation and they hate fags, dead soldiers, dead fag soldiers, and also the Pope. Assuming their signs are gospel, God hates all these people too. I'm not a religious man, but I imagine that an omnipotent entity wouldn't need his subjects milling around with multi-colored signs to espouse hate-ridden views while snarling up traffic. There is nowhere in our nation that is spared from this offensive display of misconstrued, irrational ideas coupled with jingoistic songs about this person or that corporation having to "go". The really "good" protests will get celebrity-backing from some has-been who hasn't put out a decent movie since the Carter administration, but their ideas for change remain as far-fetched and unrealistic as the homeless gentleman who once accused me of being a dragon. Gateway Pundit has the story on the Denver police ordering more guns for the trouble ahead with the DNC protests scheduled for August. While first amendment rights are essential in any free society, violence must be squashed by proper law and order.