Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Ignorance Is Bliss for Protesters

I don't scare easily. Sure, certain things frighten me. Heights. Spiders. Nancy Pelosi. All terrifying to a degree. But rendering actual fear inside of me requires an element of the unknown, an element of the unpredictable, and an element of imminent danger to me and/or my surroundings. Having laid that groundwork for the appropriate context I can now say that a fair number of those folks at the Tea Party protests in Washington, DC on September 12 scared the crap out of me. Holy Bat-S, Robin.

I typically find the Tea Party protests to be amusing and I really like checking out the signs that people have made. While I am all for a peaceful protest against governmental incompetence and screw jobs, I find the idea of taking the time to make a sign that you are then going to lug with you down to some park or plaza or whatever so that you can hold said sign and then march, perhaps chant, and maybe make an appearance on Fox News, to be an activity that I just can't see myself doing. I could possibly see myself showing up at one of these protests, but probably just to take pictures of the signs, not to actually align myself with some of these misguided folks. As I stated earlier, it takes a lot to scare me and the protesters in Washington, DC on the 12th scared me.

The folks over there at provided some extremely amusing video of some 'man on the street' style interviews with people who were protesting. That's where the fear began to seep in for me. Most disconcerting was that whenever people were asked what it was specifically that they were protesting, they all had to pause and think as if that was the LAST thing they expected to be asked and as if they hadn't really considered WHAT the protest was about. If I go to a football game and I've taken the time to know what time the game starts and where it is and then to actually put on pants and get myself to the game on time to watch it, if someone asks me why I'm there, I'm going to be able to say in less than a second without any thought at all, "I'm here to watch the football game." (I'm also likely to add: "You moron. What do you think all of those guys down there on that field wearing pads and helmets and throwing that funny shaped ball are doing?) How do those people need time to think about what they are protesting against? Why don't they know right off the bat? Were they hoping for a Phone a Friend?

Let's take a look at some of the more colorful people and some of their intriguing, often perplexing, statements that they give to the man on the street interviewer.

"I just wanted to see the Capitol building, see the White House. I had no idea all of this was going on here." Um, sir? Excuse me, sir, but I couldn't help but noticing that you're carrying around a rather large wooden cross with you. If you didn't know the protest was going on, what's with the cross?

This chap was able to articulate that he was there to protest against the health care bill because he doesn't really think it's the government's job. I don't know what that means exactly, but it's a pretty good answer. Too bad that was only part one of the question. When posed with, "Can you tell me anything about the health care bill?" You know. The one that he's there protesting against? Yeah, that one. When asked if he could tell the reporter anything about it, Mr. Mohawk just laughed and said, "Not really!" Sure, that seems reasonable.

This guy, when asked what should be done with Medicare, said, "You probably don't want my opinion. Abolish it! Abolish it!" He said it while giggling. I think he just liked saying "abolish".

This sign was inquired about as to whether the Kennedy's would think it was funny. The answer was "Probably not, but hey! They've done some things too, so...." When asked for something specific that the Kennedys "have done", dude shrugs his shoulders and says, "Well, I can't think of anything right off the bat!" You can't?! Why NOT?

I don't know who this guy is that's asking the questions, but I like him. Not much gets past him. He always looks at these folks with an expression that they interpret as his being genuinely interested in what they have to say. Really, he's absolutely perplexed as to how they became this way.

This man wins for the tallest sign of the day. The tallest sign reads "Joe Wilson for President". The man is pretty adamant that HE himself yelled out "You lie!" before Joe Wilson did. (Apparently, he isn't aware that because he was in his living room and the rest of the country was NOT, that it doesn't matter who yelled it first.) When the reporter brings up that Joe Wilson, in the past, had voted for some bills which did extend some benefits in different forms to illegal immigrants. That took about 20 seconds to soak in, but the guy seemed to get it and asked, "Joe Wilson did that?" The reporter nods and then, the guy, still holding his sign says, "I am not supporting Joe Wilson for President." Yes, I think you ARE! Look up! Look up at your tall, tall sign! "Joe Wilson for President"! That's what it says. And you're holding the sign that says it! You ARE supporting Joe Wilson for President. Surprise!

Unfortunately, this woman here must not read this blog. If she did, she would know that President Barry is NOT a Muslim! But she doesn't seem to have that information, as evidenced by her stating, "I'd like to see a Christian in the White House is what I'd like to see." Reporter: "You don't think Obama's a Christian?" Woman who doesn't read this blog: "No! He's a Muslim!" ::: deep breath ::: He's NOT a Muslim. For cryin' out loud.

This kid can't be more than 15 and he already has SO much to UN-learn it's going to take a while. Don't look for him to be a productive member of society until he's at least 32. His assessment of President Barry's impact on the United States during his first 8 months in office? "It hasn't even been a year yet and he's already destroyed like half of the country. I mean, come on. That's crazy." Truer words could not have been spoken, my boy. You're right. That IS crazy. (And ma'am? First of all, your hair is on fire. Second, please stop nodding whenever the boy starts babbling like that. He's going to think you're endorsing that school of thought and that's not going to help anything.)

And now for a theology lesson, brought to you by old, overly tan, large conspicuous silver necklace wearing protester guy. "It mentions his name in the Bible. I think it was under Hebrew. But it stated that, uh, uh, Barack Obama. They took his name and they separated his name and they deciphered it and Barack Obama, in it's content means 'anti-Christ'." Well. That explains that. What it doesn't explain is who the hell this 'Nancy Poloskie' is on your sign there.

"The Nazis have the brown shirts. OK? Obama has proposed, I keep hearing him talk about it, he wants to have a nation of, what is it, two million citizen army! Armed as well as the army?!" The reporter tries to reassure her that it would be a volunteer army and that they wouldn't be armed. She just repeats herself, "Armed as well as the army!" She then looks almost sideways at him, her eyes full of fear, not for her crazy talk, but for his not knowing about this mythical brown shirt-esque army. Ma'am, I'm going to go out on a limb here without any formal knowledge of anything having to do with our armed forces and just say that I believe it is highly unlikely that private citizens are going to be as well armed as the US Army is. Again, I'm going out on a limb, but I see it as very doubtful that the nuclear codes are going to be handed out to this group, so why don't you just calm down a bit, get out of the sun, take that Prozac and head back to bed.

Seriously. I think I'm in love with this reporter. He gives folks a very impromptu, very easy to understand, primer on the "czar" posts. See, people were confused. They couldn't figure out why these "czars", which are from Russia, were here in the US and they didn't know what they were doing, what they were being paid, who they answer to or if they were going to be given land and start making some rules. When he calmly explains to them that they have no executive power, that they are simply an advisory board position and that the first czar was appointed by Ronald Reagan, he is met with confused stares. I can't tell if they're really surprised though, or if they're just being polite and trying not to call him a crackpot. One guy (who looks an awful lot like Gary Sandy from WKRP in Cincinnati') is clearly not buying that line of crap and says, "That I don't know." One of the women mentions that it's the first time she's ever heard of that notion. But then the old guy with the hat, without blinking, flinching or batting an eye says assertively, "And you know this HOW?" WHY weren't they asking questions like that, WHY weren't they being skeptical like that when they first heard their MIS-information?! WHY?!?

Their skepticism continues along the lines of an inquisition with the woman who is as tall as she is wide there, asking indignantly, "We appoint them to start advising anyone? Who? Who are they advising? The President? Our government officials?" But they seem to listen when the reporter explains that there have always been advisers to the President and that this time it seems to be the terminology more than anything else that has people concerned. The one older woman (who is wearing a pair of jeans that I just cannot figure out what is going on with them.

What kills me is that these are folks who claim to be oh-so "concerned" about the direction the country is going in and I have to assume that they vote accordingly. But they still think the country is going in the wrong direction. Yeah, see, it's not so much just people like that who scare me; it's people like that who can vote who scare me. The video of all of the interviews with the geniuses I've quoted above and many others can be seen below or over there at

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