Washblog

Clash with young fascist at Folklife Festival!


If only the world could be like Folklife Festival! A celebration of human diversity and the joy of creative expression. Animal-friendly and child-friendly. Fascinating marketplace for artisans and sustainable small businesses. Welcoming to all; voluntarily supported; free to those whose pockets are empty.

One encounter disturbed me. I hate to write about it, but just get it off my chest...
Continued below, with pictures:


Above,  dancer friends of mine who perform at this event, a troupe called Raqs Serpentine.

A boy and his boa (or python?)

Multi-tasking musician.

Folk art from Zimbabwe, a story wall hanging.

The Kosher Red Hots, a klezmer band.

Evangelizing fundamentalists were at Folklife every day, or whatever you call these types who parade though the crowded walkways with large signs warning folks to accept Jesus Christ into their hearts or Burn In Hell. But that isn't what bothered me. Free speech...

Several young people gleefully dogged the Fundies, carrying quickly scrawled signs made of corregated cardboard. This one reads: "PROPAGANDA" . Note that "rebellious wives & kids" are on the list of sinners bound for Hell.

Above, a mohawked girl confronts a fundie.

A friendly young woman offered
"FREE HUGS
Hug a Bisexual"
(I did.)


Another man solemnly carried this sign:
"Dick Cheney fucks prostitutes"

When questioned, he explained that he "doesn't like to use bad language," but wanted to call attention to this.

I remembered hearing of the "D.C. Madam" on the news a month or so ago, a procurer of expensive call girls who declared that she had clients in high places and would name names if prosecuted. Ummmm...juicy stuff, bring it on! Then--nothing. That's the last I heard of it.

According to this man, Cheney was among those on the Madam's client list, so Bush administration officials ordered Disney, who owns ABC, to kill the story. Supposedly this man had inside info and decided to help spread the news himself, since a mainstream news org wouldn't dare touch it.

The man told me to read the details on his blog called "Menti-" something--a name I knew I'd forget--so I scribbled it on a scrap of paper. Naturally, when I looked for the scrap later it was missing. I gave him my Washblog card, so perhaps he's reading to see if I followed through with posting a diary about this encounter.

Several passersby joined the discussion and the topic turned to "Does it matter if IS true?"

One man said: So what?--who cares about Cheney's sex life. I said I'd like it to be exposed for the coverup angle.  A sensational "Sex-Hypocrisy-Illegality" triad could bring Cheney down (like other champions of family values, like Mark Foley and Ted Haggard.)

I said most Americans don't seem too concerned that Bush/Cheney engineer pre-emptive wars, run torture prisons, illegal detentions, domestic spying, media propaganda, etc., but they WOULD pay attention to news of Cheney employing an illegal sex service.

Another man, who looked to be about 22 and towered over me like a giant, scowled: "I'm not saying I like Cheney, I don't, but he  couldn't do any of those things by himself. The President is  just one person." [A slip? I didn't correct him--Cheney IS the defacto president]

I said no, but he is the powerful head of a group of Neocons who do these things.  

The man shrugged, "He's the President, we have to respect that."

I said, "No, we don't, not if he's committing illegal acts."

"Then leave the country," he said, and walked off.

I was at a loss for a suitable rejoinder til he was well out of hearing range.  

Wow. What a good little fascist follower this guy would make. He didn't even defend Cheney because he supports his agenda, it's just that Might Makes Right. He respects the mighty, but doesn't respect the agitating protestors, whistleblowers, and muckrakers.

This attitude must be what red-staters encounter constantly, so I must be pleasantly spoiled, accustomed to living in a blue city. I was angry for hours after this.

A middle-aged man continued the conversation, saying we don't even realize how our rights are being eroded. He illustrated this by saying he'd visited Georgia recently and attended an outdoor festival where everyone was drinking openly. This was startling to him, because in Seattle it is illegal. Do you realize how this affects  so many parts of our everyday life? he asked. Why can't we have a beer right here, right now?

I waited for him to relate that to larger matters of eroded rights, but apparently that was his major reason for disgruntlement, that he can't enjoy a beer in a public, outdoor venue.

That is all. I got the encounter off my chest.

< Help Wanted in the 2nd CD | Cindy Sheehan's Unanswered Question >

Poll

Feedback?
Dina, it's no biggie, relax, have a beer
Remember your high blood pressure, do some meditation.
I would've been outraged!
I have a good smackdown to use for for the next such encounter.

Votes: 14
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This might be a good time to segue into a topic I've been meaning to bring up.

I recently read an entire online book The Authoritarians by Bob Altermeyer. This is the sociologist whose research John Dean used in his 2006 book Conservatives Without Conscience.

I meant to skim, but it was such a fascinating and entertaining read, I finished the whole thing. The book is, says the author:

...an easy-ride journey through some relevant scientific studies I have done on authoritarian personalities--one that will take you a heck of a lot less time than the decades it took me...

It's about what's happened to the American government lately. It's about the disastrous decisions that government has made. It's about the corruption that rotted the Congress. It's about how traditional conservatism has nearly been destroyed by authoritarianism. It's about how the "Religious Right" teamed up with amoral authoritarian leaders to push its un-democratic agenda onto the country....

For example, take the following statement: "Once our government leaders and the authorities condemn the dangerous elements in our society, it will be the duty of every patriotic citizen to help stomp out the rot that is poisoning our country from within." Sounds like something Hitler would say, right? Want to guess how many politicians, how many lawmakers in the United States agreed with it? Want to guess what they had in common?

Or how about a government program that persecutes political parties, or minorities, or journalists the authorities do not like, by putting them in jail, even torturing and killing them. Nobody would approve of that, right? Guess again.

These "strongly authortarian" personalities that Altermeyer identifies have a NEED to follow authority and see nothing wrong with that. They resent and suspect those who don't. I've heard there are Russian old-timers who miss Stalin's "strong leadership". And then too, there are those who need to BE such a leader...
Don't think for a minute this doesn't concern you personally. Let me ask you, as we're passing the time here, how many ordinary people do you think an evil authority would have to order to kill you before he found someone who would, unjustly, out of sheer obedience, just because the authority said to? What sort of person is most likely to follow such an order? What kind of official is most likely to give that order, if it suited his purposes? Look at what experiments tell us, as I did.
The Authoritarians

by dinazina on Fri Jun 01, 2007 at 08:24:19 AM PST

* 1 none 0 *


I have no respect for the man or his actions while in that office.  People don't automatically deserve more respect than the Constitution that they swear to uphold.

by chadlupkes on Fri Jun 01, 2007 at 08:40:38 AM PST

* 2 none 0 *


Someone sent me a link to this today.  Could it be what the guy with the sign is talking about?

Rationale for DC Madam / DC Domina Connection.

by noemie maxwell on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 10:55:04 AM PST

* 5 none 0 *


Oh, this is rich...

According to this ABC News "blotter", US Deputy Secretary of State, Randall L. Tobias, resigned in April after admitting that he was a client of DC escort service "whose owner has been charged by federal prosecutors with running a prostitution operation."

Ok, so Republicans like sexy massages too (that's all he's admitted to). The rich part:

"As a top official overseeing global AIDS funding to other countries, Tobias was responsible for enforcing a U.S. policy, enacted during the Bush administration, that requires recipients to swear they oppose prostitution and sex trafficking." and etc.

This must be the same policy that refuses funding for reproductive medical services to countries that provide family planning counseling ....   I like it that he's co-authored a book on "Leadership" with his son.  

Recently I read this article on touch, neurological development, and sexuality:
Touch and Childhood Development -- and I was thinking about what George Lakoff said at the end of his book, Moral Politics -- that if we want to reform politics, we would do well to pay atttention to how people are treated in early childhood.  Kind and accepting treatment in childhood leads to more tolerant adults -- and more liberal adults, politically.  

I was also thinking about all the research I looked at when I was the librarian for Seattle Midwifery School on the effect of touch and nurturing in early childhood -- and how physically painful and grueling birth often is -- unnecessarily so.  (There's a gentle birth movement in the US).

Anyway, if we want fewer conservatives with mean-spirited public policies that hurt and punish the poor, who obsess on sexual morality while they break their own codes (and if we want fewer fascists) ....  let's find ways to encourage people to have gentle birth, and to kindly touch their babies and children.

by noemie maxwell on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 11:33:55 AM PST

* 6 none 0 *


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