I told a friend at the anti-war march yesterday that we'd surely soon be seeing a Malkin post featuring pictures of the marchers as Dirty Hippies who are Not Polite and Quite the Spectacle, and sure enough, our bestest pal from the Right Blogosphere does not disappoint:
We’re just beginning to wade through our photos and video, but the difference could not be starker between the Eagles and the ANSWER mob. Here’s a quick compare-and-contrast between us and them....
Uh-huh. I was especially taken with the shot below, republished by Malkin, snapped by this fine fellow, who is horrified that this woman has on a T-shirt that says "fuck":
"Redhunter" says: "Just the sort of girl you want to bring home to mom." I think he's attempting humor of the variety that wasn't funny in 1957. Still, I'm guessing that this "girl," who looks to my perhaps untutored eye like a gorgeous woman with a functioning brain, probably doesn't give a rat's ass about impressing some wingnut blogger's mother. Just a feeling I'm getting.
Nevertheless. The Malkinite insistence upon how Good turns upon not cursing and Bad is all about the Islamofascism and the fuck-saying is given especial piquancy by my own recollection of the day's events. Which were... astonishing. Get a load of this.
Molly & I drove down with the kids: the 7-Year-Old was going to stay with a friend because he didn't want to miss his soccer game, but those arrangements fell through at the last minute, so he tagged along. And so we had him and the 3-Year-Old and the 1.5-Year-Old. Oy. But it's all family anyway; like, the 7-Year-Old knew NTodd would be there, & so he knew he would have someone to torment the whole afternoon, and was content.
But there was a bit of a glitch. We were meeting a bunch of Atriots from all over, and it was tricky to get everyone together and so forth. What happened was that because of where everyone's various journeys ended up, we decided to meet at the Archives... which was, amusingly enough, ha ha, where these people (see map) were meeting. Hooray!
Hijinks need not have ensued, and to be honest, it didn't really occur to me that they would. There were bunches of Gathering of Eagle people about (it took me a bit, not being a DC person, but then I put the map & 2 together and sussed it all out, having looked up the route etc. online earlier), but it was well before the actual march would get going, and, besides, who cares? We were there for a protest, not a fight. This is not an especially difficult concept for the adult mind to grasp, you'd think -- sort of like the distinction between life online and life in, um, life.
As we were waiting for our bunch to get there, I decided to amble. I had the 1.5-Year-Old in a backpack. If I stopped moving, the kid would squirm, and being fiendishly gifted in the infant arts, could conceivably wriggle out of the straps and thereby achieve his most devout toddler wish, that of killing himself in a comical fashion. Motion calmed him...
... And so I ambled. I had the camera around my neck, and while I was moving I thought I'd take some pictures.
Call it kismet, call it fate, but that's how I saw this guy -- the Guy with a Flag Sticking Out of His Ass.
I mean, it's not like the flag is sticking out of his chute, precisely, but it is firmly planted where the plumber flashes, you know? The dude has a flag in his pants! Between the cheeks! That's just goddamn amazing. So I took his picture. And my advice to you is, do the same. If you have a camera and you see a guy with Old Glory sticking out of Old Glory, preserve the moment. History demands no less.
When I got back to the others, I saw that the group we'd agreed to meet had shown. NTodd was there, and the 7-Year-Old was tormenting him, and so I said, "Hello NTodd, you bastard," and then to be polite, and to draw his attention to the colorful local scenery, I said, "Hey, you know there's a guy over there with a flag sticking out of his ass? He's got a flag sticking out of his ass! Really!" And NTodd said, to his great credit, "out his ass?"
And here's where it gets interesting. Apparently, some Gathered of Eagle person had been soaring about our perimeter, much like our national bird enjoys circling Alaskan fishing villages in the hopes of swooping in to slurp up salmon entrails. This gentleman chose this moment to accost us -- and by "us," I mean me and my infant son on my back.
Here is a photo of the self-styled Eagle in question. Note his bravery, in that he is willing to appear in public wearing a baseball cap with an index card of some sort dangling down his neck, a fashion statement ordinarily claimed exclusively by Saskatchewan-based meth addicts.
Now, let us pause a moment to recall that Ms. Malkin believes that her side has an enormous advantage because they don't say "fuck" on their clothes.
Got that? Good.
The guy pictured above introduced himself to me, and my infant son, by yelling, not 12 inches from my face, "Fuck you! Why do you want America to lose, you fuck! You don't have any fucking flags! How come you don't have any fucking flags, you fuck?"
In all seriousness, the guy was completely aggressive and looking for a fight. He got in my face and threw fucks around like grenades. When he could see perfectly well that I had an infant on my back. A fact I pointed out to him. To which he replied, "fuck you, I have the right to say whatever I want." As indeed he does. In America, you have the right to burn the American flag, and you have the right to scream the f-word aggressively at a father carrying a baby. Good for you.
I was not alarmed, really, or frightened, or even offended by the cursing. I was mostly amazed. I curse. I curse a lot. I don't deny it. I indeed revel in it. I think anger is an inevitable and indeed appropriate reaction to certain political circumstances, and thus angry language is sometimes ineviable and appropriate.
But it never, ever, would have occurred to me that someone would take it into their head to scream "Fuck" aggressively at someone holding an infant. I mean, I'm not an innocent, and so on... but, wow. This person was lost to all restraint. I told the guy that I would not discuss anything with him, that I was leaving, that there was a child present -- and I walked off. He followed.
NTodd at that point engaged the fellow, in part because NTodd just likes yelling, but also in part just to run interference (NTodd does have occasional good social instincts which appear at random intervals, much like sunspots).
Note that the 7-Year-Old is dragging Ntodd off, which cracks me up. Don't talk to the boring man! Buy me a root beer!
That was all a messed-up scene. That guy in the cap was, to put it mildly, enraged and, well, crazed. I do not care what the provocation is, and in his case there was nothing personal, only political, when you start screaming "fuck" and flexing for a fight in front of a child, you are a nutjob, nothing else, pure and simple.
If I wanted to get up on a plinth, I'd note that "redhunter" says he went with a flag on a 10-foot-pole into the heart of the protest, the 'die in" (we missed it and went back to the hotel, as the kids were beat, and the others wanted to visit the Wall) -- and that he was not accosted in any way by "the other side." Well, I was cursed out by "the other side," while I was carrying a 1 year old child, and hours before the actual march.
But I don't think this proves anything, and competitions over whose "side" is more civil and polite are inane. A lot of people on "my side" at the march were inane: no, silly person with a bullhorn, communist revolution is not the only solution. But what I will say is that if the worst of our "side" is indeed stuck in the past (Ramsey Clark does not need to be invited to speak anymore, thanks much, bleah), just speaking of Saturday, numerically, that part of the left that is antiquated is roughly equivalent to everyone on the Right that showed up as a counter-protester. So 1,000 nuts on the left, 1,000 kooks on the right, 49,000 people then marching saying "stop this war because it's dumb and murderous and pointless."
The ones stuck in the 60s are the wingnuts. Look at Malkin's pictures. Or look at this picture I took:
That's a Protest Warrior/Eagle Flapping person. I was interested mostly in the legend under the Confederate flag patch on his vest, though it didn't come out so well in the final photos. Anyway, it says "Hey Asshole -- Burn THIS Flag!"
Ponder that one for a while, grasshopper. If you dare.
It's pretty much just Wingnut Zen. It's Reaction distilled into purest moonshine. And even past that, just like this guy, an overwhelming proportion of these anti-protester dudes are dressing themselves in the shit Gregg Allman gave to the Goodwill in 1974. And everyone else over there was a College Republican (no snark embellishment necessary).
I think there is a great deal of popular discontent in the nation right now, and rightly so. This is a misbegotten, deeply disliked war, and it cannot, apparently, be handled as the people wish by our nation's institutions, which we are supposed to believe are those of a democracy.
What I mean is, I believe we're close to a genuine crisis, where all the nation has left is a toxic cocktail of cynicism, paranoia, resentment, and apathy. And patriotism is reduced to a cartoon, where we all just stick flags down our pants and curse out imaginary hippies.
Fortunately, there was one person speaking into a mike who made sense. Here's the 1.5-Year-Old, charming some good fun folks with a PA:
You tell 'em, kid.