Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Nazis invade Madison! (and I wish I was joking)

I don't get it. Of all places, why the fuck are the Nazis coming to Madison? I suppose it's because it's the nation's capital and it might be a grand middle finger to Madison's supposed hippie liberalism.

It's tempting to join the counterprotest (if I didn't already have plans that take me out of the city)and shout that the Nazis are nothing more than a bunch of narrow-minded, negative fools who can't even draw a swastika right. It's also tempting to ignore them so their message falls on deaf ears.

But what I'm REALLY tempted to do is something like Springtime for Hitler. Something so over the top and absurdist that it takes their entire argument (which must be appealing during this time of uncertainty) and makes it a big joke.

It'd be like Henry Rollins' rant about having black and Jewish gay men joining a KKK rally in really avant-garde KKK uniforms, making out and proclaiming that they're in the KKK. Except with Nazi uniforms. I'd love to see some gay black, Jewish, Asian and Hispanic men (sorry, has to be gay men to really piss them off) take the Nazi uniform and make it really bright and garish and make out during the rally.

It'd be hot! And it'd be fun and absurdist and wonderful. It'd take the fear and anger out of the Nazis' message and replace it with something funny. Why do you think Hitler hated the Dadaists so much? They took the Nazis' message of fear and oppression and made it absurdist and silly (which it is), and as a result, the power the Nazis had was diminished.

"Mock the devil and he will flee from thee," Bono once said. "Fear of the devil leads to devil worship." I think the man was onto something.

Damn. Now I wish I had more time to organize something like that. That would've been fun to see.


divine m said...

Hooray for Bono wisdom! I just want you to know that I'm planning to drop by his house in the South of France. I'll say hello for you if he's home.

Wasn't it fun when he used to dress up as Mephisto?

The best thing to do with stupid, ignorant fucks is ignore them and tell everyone else to ignore them. In my city, we organize alternate rallies on the days bitches come to town, so they end up all alone with no one coming to their party. Boo.

deke said...

Madison Understands Free Speech

I really laughed hard. It was a satisfying and heartfelt laugh. Next to me was a father from Madison who brought his two young children to witness the event and see democracy in action. There was a lot for them to see and hear and I am glad to say that the real winner was free speech.

God started the rain just a few minutes after the neo-Nazis started to speak on the steps of the Wisconsin State Capital Saturday afternoon. The prefect choreographer from above made the point for all who live in Madison and share the values of diversity and inclusion. The message for the Nazis was twofold and straightforward. We respect your right to speak but find your speech to be harmful and absurd. About three minutes of a cold rain can really take the bite off a hate filled speech.

Saturday mornings in downtown Madison are the place to meet and mingle as thousands converge for coffee drinking and pastry eating while purchasing fruits and vegetables (and famous preserves) from the Farmers Market. It has been a part of my spring and summers for nearly 20 years. Today however the market had to shut down two hours early so the streets could be cleared, the barricades erected, and the police could put on their riot year.

One quarter of the State Capital was barricaded off with high wire fence near to where the Nazis would speak while the sidewalk area was cordoned off with double row snow fence and traffic barriers as seen on the roads during constriction season. The hours of work that went into preparing for the safety of the speakers was amazing to witness.

While the press and many others all this week told the public to ignore the Nazis and give them no attention, several thousands of protesters of all ages found the need to stand up to them and state their objections directly. (Your blogger was there to report the events for this post.)

At 2:00 P.M. with well over 50 riot gear clad officers on the lawn of the Capital, some on horses with the animal’s eyes protected against any eventuality, the Nazis took the top steps of the Capital. Just a few feet from the window where I had my office in the past they marched and saluted as if they were actually in front of an adoring crowd. While they used slogans about bringing the troops home from Iraq they talked disparagingly about immigrants, Jews, and a whole list of people they deem inferior. For drama and flair they walked on an Israeli flag. (To be honest, Nazis have very little stage presence.)

While the city and state paid for the protection that the Nazis required, the fact that their rants and hallucinations were able to be made shows the underlying strength we have as a city and a nation. While many protestors (I estimate a thousand or more) united in loud boos and other vocal retorts no one can say the Nazis did not have an opportunity to speak and have their message heard. Likewise the citizens who felt the need to stand up to the small-minded idiots giving the Hitler salutes also were able to openly vent and yell.

For the two small children if was a real taste of the inner turmoil that still grips our nation about free speech. Both those children were able to see firsthand how the vilest of speech needs protection (in this case literally) so that all speech can be free and uncensored.

The public square today was for more than selling fruits and vegetables at the Farmers Market. Today democracy was center stage and Madison and the Constitution were the winners. I think that father was a winner too as he took his time to bring his kids to see free speech and democracy at work.

Anonymous said...

Should have joined us in the pink bunny suits. The Nazis had no idea what to do with that. Neither did the police. It was fun. And boozy.