There are many, many things I love about being American. I can have a baby out of wedlock without fear of being publicly shamed or assaulted. I can vote, swear, and work like a man.I can eat McDonald’s with the patriotic knowledge that that yummy goodness was founded right here in the U. S. of A.. And, of course, I can witness absolutely hilarious protests on any corner in nearly any town. It seems our super nation has ditched the time-tested and predictable method of protesting against a corrupt system, power,policy or general injustice, opting instead to just show up with signs and get their feisty on(worry about the cause later, yo).
I attended college in Memphis. A frequent party-goer around campus, I got to know a young hippie-esque guy with pretty intense political views. One night at a fairly classy kegger, he disclosed that he would be attending a protest the following weekend. Someone in the group asked him what, exactly, would he be protesting against. In retrospect the hippie’s confusion at the question might have had a little to do with our several rounds of tequila shot checkers, but it left me with a very insightful summary of him that went a little like this: Idiot. You support and oppose everything.
Shortly after returning to Nashville, the paradox that is Modern American Protest showed its face again. At a fairly classy dollar store, I was waiting in line to pay behind a two older women. They were wearing matching shirts and buying stacks of neon poster board. The curious checkout girl asked the women if they were teachers (purchasing so many project supplies as it were). One lady explained that they were planning to protest the protestors outside a downtown government building. The other, perhaps more brilliant one simply smiled and said ” Sugar, we’re just hollerin’.”
Precisely. Ladies, let’s not call this an act of political activism if we all know this “protest” is code for heated-cocktail- party- with -heavy- signage.
To be more specific, this is a CRAZY party, and the whole national population is invited. You don’t necessarily have to have a reason, just a sign (can even be misspelled) and a voice (or at least a horn/noise making device). You can yell your support of something, your opposition to something, or really just yell. Here are a few ideas for your next protest shindig (NOTE: These are real, sadly.)
1. Pick a logo from a cereal box, store, or other popular brand and assault that logo’s personal character; the more outrageously offended you are the better. Mermaid in the center of the Starbucks cup seem a little too close to nude for your taste? Slutbucks. Yes, that’s right. And I didn’t even come up with it. You don’t like chicken nuggets? By god, make your little voice heard.
2.Speak for God, because it’s not like He invented death and divine punishment or anything. It is becoming more and more American to speak on His behalf. Although religion-fueled protests tend to have the wildest (and therefore most entertaining to watch) crowds, I haven’t quite figured out why, according to these protestors) God HATES US ALLLLL (even bacon?)
If crusading on behalf of Christ is your cup of tea, you could join forces with this purebred, American bag of hate: Westboro Bapstist. Because I am too curious for my own good, I just had to dig a little deeper and research this group. Thousands of “protests” under their belts, these backwoods, primitive folks have successfully won in the field of hating:
Gay People (also anyone who doesn’t also openly hate gay people)
Jewish People (also anyone who has ever had a Jewish friend)
Catholic People (also anyone who has ever touched a rosary)
Barack Obama (also any other leader that denounces their hateful antics)
Islam, Hindu, and any other religion that doesn’t sound like Po Dunk Baptist
Military People (also anyone who doesn’t want soldiers to die)
Lady Gaga (also anyone who likes to dance to techno pop in pleather outfits)
Swedish People (also anyone who looks or breathes like a Swede)
Life & Everything Outside Their Creepy Creep Church
Joy (this is just a guess, but I think it’s almost definitely true)
WOWZERS! It’s a wonder they even have time left in the day to pray or beat their kids! But hey, this is America, where even the dumb can speak freely! We can protest the protestors or just simply holler! It’s all so free and democratic!
3.Pick a word, make a poster, and get to marchin’. This is my personal favorite as you can get pretty creative, contribute absolutely nothing controversial or useful to the “social conversation”, and burn calories pacing across your town’s selected protest site.
Like failing high school students “protesting” that they failed school and weren’t allowed to walk in a graduation ceremony( for kids who didn’t fail and ummm, graduated), a dad and daughters “protesting” how many confusing synonyms the English language has for any given word, or hot chicks mad that men like blondes, there is no shortage of things to denounce, celebrate, or simply yell about in our great nation.
I personally have gotten all worked up just writing about it. After Baby’s nap, I’m rounding up the troops. Protest at my cul-de-sac, ya’ll. I made a sign that says YUM BACON! (because it is delicious and I’m a little hungry right now). Baby’s sign is a little more angry (as he is teething and generally peeved at life): HELL NO WE WON’T GO…TO BED BEFORE 8!. Perhaps the most serious topic protested outside my mailbox today will come from my dog, Scout: FENCES INTERRUPT MY FREEDOM!
God Bless America!
What would you like to protest today?