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The American Protest: “Thou Shalt Rage Against Everything”.

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.

McCruelty. But have they tried the delicious McRib?

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?)

Reject Christ, Receive Bad Hair

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.

huffingtonpost.com

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.

Stop judging my hair color & check out my bum!

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?

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49 thoughts on “The American Protest: “Thou Shalt Rage Against Everything”.

  1. I’ve always wanted to protest something…to be a part of something. I think I will stand next to your sign. I’d gladly go to bed before 8 on any given day and don’t too much mind fences…so bacon is the way to go.

  2. Just the mention of Westboro “church” makes my blood boil! I think all these douchebags should protest air, stand in the corner holding their breath, plugging their ears and stamping their feet until they pass out/die. The latter would be preferable!

  3. I see your point – there is a disproportionate amount of psycho nutjobs (such as the anti-abortionists outside my hospital) giving a bad name to protesters who have legitimate concerns (such as those who protest McDonalds)!

  4. I’m racking my brain thinking of ways we can turn this blog post into a nationwide protest. I think it would be best if we all joined forces, made a lot of signs, and stood on our local street corners hollering for the continuation and end of other protests. (Here’s my logic: if we holler for the end of all protests, then we put ourselves out of a job. If we holler for the continuation of all protests, then we don’t look like we’re really taking a stand. We should have a cause that’s complex enough for people to feel compelled to come up to us and ask us questions/antagonize us so we yell louder.)

    At my university (as with all universities, I imagine), come Spring or any nice weather really, we get the religious nutjobs who will stand in the center of campus screaming about how God hates gays, rock music, women who wear pants, and liberal arts education. The students will gather ’round and yell back about how this person is a total wackadoodle. It’s just a good old-fashioned family-fun protest versus protest. Gotta love it in the great U. S. of A.

  5. I wish to protest joy! I disapprove of anyone, anywhere that has joy! This is the message behind all protestors: if I can’t be happy, then no one can! Sheesh…quiet down, give me that torn apart box of Fruit Loops, and be on your merry way.

    1. Haha, that is exactly right. My dad would refer to that as “passing the shitty stick”, and I have found that a LOT of people operate that way. When things are miserable for them, they BETTER be miserable for everybody else!

  6. There was a Simpsons’ episode where they went to DC and all the people in front of the White House were carrying signs that said, “Everything’s Fine” and “No Problems Here”.

  7. I definitely wouldn’t like to protest this post, which is awesome.

    I’d always like to protest the Westboro folks (can’t bring myself to type either “Baptist” or “church” after that, for some odd reason). I’d doubtfully actually do it, because–as you’ve indicated here–protests tend to be much more for show than end result.

    When have you once been swayed by a sign? I can tell you how many times I have: none!

  8. I would like to protest the fact that I can’t think of anything decent to protest against. I’ll walk around with a sign saying, DOWN WITH INDECISION…MAYBE. OR THEN AGAIN, MAYBE NOT…

  9. Really? Swedish people AND Lady GaGa? Anyone who reads my blog knows that I LOVE Alexander Skarsgard and that my daily workout routine ALWAYs includes some GaGa! Westboro Baptists be damned!!

    Cute post!

    1. I’m not going to lie. I think if I were to ever meet Lady Gaga my mind would melt. She speaks a different language and I’m not getting it. BUT the Swedes never hurt anybody!

  10. I once worked with a guy who said that his son wanted to wear a Sponge Bob shirt to church, but he didn’t let him because: “I don’t know what Sponge Bob stands for.”

    My all-time favorite protest: I was driving by the CBS studios in LA years ago when I saw five people holding up signs suggesting that the the network bring back Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.

  11. Please don’t tell me God hates bacon, PLEASE! I think I’m going to protest that.

    The protestors that bother me the most are those who protest at military funerals. It’s a shame. Almost all of these protestors on their quest for their so-called ‘good’ are only hurting other people. Very sad.

    Want to hear a little secret? When I was younger (notice I didn’t say ‘young’, because I still am), I wanted to protest something. I had no clue what, but I thought it would be so fun to make some signs and go march somewhere. I guess I just never found the right cause. Oh, well. Motherhood took the protest right out of me. 😉

    1. I can’t imagine God really hates bacon. I think maybe the population of Southern Pigs are behind that mess! I secretly wanted to holler and march, too! I realized most of the rallies/protests are angry though and that didn’t jive with my plans to skip and carry signs in support of teddy bears and picnics 😦

  12. And I thought I was crazy!

    (On another note, though, I did not get the normal email letting me know you had posted. This concerns me, as few folks are reading and commenting over at my place, and I wonder if something weird is happening with WP in this regard. Will you check to see if I’m still subscribed here?)

    Kathy

  13. Love the “No illegals, no burritos” sign. Mexican food is yummy, and with all the controversy in Arizona, perhaps I should stand up for my beliefs. How about, “I love my chimcangas and tacos; please don’t make them go!” No? Guess I need to work on that…

  14. Best protest I ever did was when I went on strike at home… I didn’t cook / clean or anything for a whole week 🙂

    Now can I join you with the bacon please?

    1. YES! I’m so glad you commented. I’m working on a post kind of along those lines. Basically asking, what happens when mom checks out?
      Also? There’s ALWAYS room in the Bacon Parade… I mean Party… I mean Protest.

  15. Hahahaha! I’m gonna go make a sign right now and hold it up in my kitchen that says: YES, I AM changing my name to something other than MOMMY, and NO you three short people living in my home I will NOT tell you what I am changing it to!

    Hahahaha, this was so good!

    1. I tried to protest my kids snarky attitude the other day. I walked around with a piece of paper that said “NO THANK YOU”. A few hours later he ate my protest sign and made me clean up the diaper-catastrophe to boot 😦

  16. You handled the Westboro Church subject very honestly, yet without rage. Unfortunately I cannot discuss them without slipping into deep anger. But I also live in Kansas, so they are not far enough away for comfort.
    On a lighter note, bacon is one of the only things that doesn’t make my pregnant stomack turn right now. I’ll be joining you–and adding pancakes to my sign, if you don’t mind.

    1. Oh, Kaela. I’ve got a giant bag-o-rage for Westboro. I’m glad I didn’t let it all hang out in this post! They are the rare group of folks that make me believe we should buy islands and ship people to them.
      Best part of being pregnant: eating bacon for two!

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