'Bout time someone said it...
I've mentioned Raskolnikov's work over at Dust my Broom before, but in covering the cranking up of the leftist protest machine in the wake of the latest Mohawk prostests, he really outdoes himself. True, it's an easy target, but this is pure poetry:
The answers to Mohawk problems will not emerge magically from the ether as a result of scattered sign-waving across Canada, nor will they crawl, whole and ready-to-serve, from the gestures of nostalgic academics and Green Party rejects displaying solidarity during the afternoon rush by handing out leaflets from the median. (or, for that matter, blocking traffic on one of the busiest bridges in Canada over in BC)Apologies for the long quote, but this is good stuff and I didn't want to interrupt the flow. But there's more, please read the whole thing.
These are vacant gestures, protest for the sake of protest, that baffling fetish of the rad left that I still cannot understand and still seems to carry an irresistable allure despite the overwhelming evidence of its failure and its overt descent into meaningless pantomime, as empty and banal as an exhausted Catholic still drudging to the altar every Sunday to perform spiritual calasthenics he no longer cares enough to ponder if he still believes in.
You can almost watch the ritual unfold: Inspiration hits; The obligatory IndyMedia klaxon wail goes up; the Xeroxed posters of Jim Prentice eating Mohawk toddlers, Bush bathing in Arab blood, or Cheney giving the Hitler salute while behind him Photoshopped Iranian seniors raise their hands to block out a mushroom cloud, hit the lightposts across town; the fidgity anticipation of a midday campus protest or Legislative rally climaxes and somewhere in Osborne Village a Peace Studies major leaves his body and the wandering ghost of Bakunin finds an ephemeral home, just long enough to put the Rage Against the Machine CD on repeat anyway; the protest organizer sips lemon tea and studies Girabaldi for inspiration as he mentally imagines preaching to a choir so slavishly devoted to his words all they can do is nod their heads in brainless agreement, a crowd of spineless sunflowers moving towards a central heat as if guided by wire……like a caveman who paints a victorious chase on the cave wall in anticipation of the hunt, he understands the metaphysics underlying our most base requirements; and at the site itself, one can sup the multifacted broth of outraged special interests on display, innocent of any incongruity — feminists at a rally for farmer’s rights, anarchists demanding more government funding for schools, Marxists at an Aboriginal Self-Government protest handing out Mao t-shirts and photocopied Chomsky articles between prayers and sweetgrass ceremonies.
Like good postmodernists, linear thought or logical relevancy is cast aside; protest qua protest supercedes any specifics or categories. It’s a free-for-all, or rather a free-to-gall, open to anyone with surplus outrage, excess cardboard and a box of magic markers. In Progville, everything is interpenetrating anyway: feminists can wax farm, Marxists share the drum, and anarchists can join our mini-government committee. "We are all relations" as an Aboriginal aphorism has never seen a better manifestation.
And sadly, Indians either agree with it, or ignore it. Like the Womyn Centre and Mohawk Gepettos pushing Doreen Silversmith out to sea on her ice floe, these anarchists and sundry protestors are simply exploiting Indians as a means to protest. They could care less what the topic at hand is, as long as they can gather and wave signs, fight over who gets to use the awesome bullhorn, and use animal-like threat gestures to scare the brainwashed masses into thinking they’re going to start hurling molotovs into Starbucks at any minute.
It’s classic Greek theatre, catharsis via mass gathering, choreographed tragedy, and, to add a modern touch, the slick paroxysms of a Doc Marten-shaman.