A People Disjointed Are Always Disappointed
Okay, thanks, Kerry — that’ll wrap up the checkins from the Calligraphy for Stalinists working group. Good job, everybody, and we’re all really looking forward to the “Merry Christmas from the Gulag” cards this year.
Now, if there’s no other new business…yeah, Carl? Well, that’s really old business, Carl, and I…well, I know, but we do have a procedure to follow here, and…okay. Fine. No, Carl, we still haven’t achieved clarity on a ‘way forward’ for how socialism is specifically going to address your retrocolic hernia. We’ve already addressed that universal health care would generally benefit…what? Carl. We’ve been over this. No, Carl, I…yes, we know, you’ve mentioned many times that you’re tenured. No, I’m positive Trotsky never mentions retrocolic hernias by name. Fine. Yes, we’ll make sure it’s mentioned in the next newsletter.
Good. Thanks. So this time, if there’s no other new business, I want to move on to the reason most of you showed up tonight. Yes, absolutely! Please hold your applause, I know, I’m really excited about it myself. That’s right: tonight we’ll be convening for the first time our official Catchy Protest Chant committee! What’s that, Maria? Oh, yeah. We were going to call it CPC for short, but we got this cease and desist notice from the Caspian Pipeline Consortium. No, I’m not happy about it either, but we have very little left in the legal defense budget after the lawsuit following our decision — which, I reiterate, I voted strongly against — to buy that ad on the outfield wall at Wrigley that said “PEPSI-COLA: THE OFFICIAL CARBONATED BEVERAGE OF BLOOD-SOAKED IMPERIALIST SLAUGHTER”. Yeah. So, I guess we’re just calling it Chant-Com. Take it up with National, Maria, we have bigger fish to fry here tonight. Okay. Yes, moving on. I was going to turn it over to Murray, our flag coordinator and riot marshal, but he’s out in Long Grove giving a talk on why rural free delivery is the first marker on the path to stateless utopianism. Yeah, I know, I wish I could be there too. Anyway, I guess it falls to me to get this thing moving.
As you all know, with you-know-who in the White House, we’re attending more public events than ever before. Protests are up 172%, rallies have spiked an amazing 215%, and -ins of the sit-, die-, and pout- varieties have increased by a stunning 352%. Now, of course, these are good problems to have, and it’s increased our chapter visibility to the point that a lot of the cops are able to address us by our first names before they mace us or beat us. That’s the kind of publicity you just can’t buy, especially from Kander & Mealdorf’s Public Relations for Socialists, no matter what their fancy brochures say. No, Jeanette, I’m not blaming you. I didn’t even say your name. Five thousand dollars is a lot of money for a bunch of pop-up brochures with “hashtag publicize the finance sector” written on them in glitter, that’s all I’m saying.
Anyway, we’ve heard from a lot of you that since we’ve been attending so many of these public protests and marches, we need to start updating our chants with some stuff that’s a little more contemporary and memorable. And I couldn’t agree with you more. As you know, our official handbook of chants is dated 1947, and contains a lot more references to the Portella della Ginestra Massacre and Herbert Brownell Jr. than I personally am comfortable with. Like all of our chapters, we are bound by both the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the Haiphong Sloganeering Treaty of 1979, so we have limits on what we’re able to accomplish, but I want to open this up at least to some ideas from the floor about what we can do to improve matters a bit. Okay, Gene, let’s start with you. Gene?
Yeah, “When X is under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!” That’s an old favorite, but I agree with you, it’s kinda formulaic and…yes, I agree! Very predictable. I mean, once we’ve established that we’re going to stand up and fight back, I think people really have all the information they need and there’s not much further we can go with it. Any suggestions? Yeah, Kenny. “Throw bombs, shoot back.” Okay, it’s punchy, I’ll give you that, but it’s maybe a little aggressive. Merry? “Lie down, get fucked.” Merry, this pessimism of yours. I know, but it’s infectious. People are dropping out of your Protest Poetry classes in droves. I’m just telling it like I see it, Merry. Yes, Gene, back to you. What have you got? “Develop a comprehensive multi-tendency approach to both isolating and identifying the problem and then developing pragmatic solutions at a grass-roots level.” Well, ideologically I think you’re airtight, Gene, but I’m a little concerned about the scansion.
All right, let’s move on. “No hate, no KKK, no fascist U.S.A.!” Really? We don’t like this one? I thought it was one of our stronger chants. Well, what’s the problem with it? Rodolfo? You have trouble spelling the word ‘fascist’. I’m not sure how I see that as a problem, Rodolfo, unless you’re sending a letter. It’s a chant. No, no, I’m not trying to silence you. What have you got as an alternative? “No hate, no KKK, difficult spellings go away”. Okay. I think it needs some work, if I’m honest, Rodolfo. Can we table this one until next week? Great. You give it a think.
All right, Loomis, you had one. We gotta wrap up soon so let’s make this the last one. “No hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here.” What’s wrong with this one, Loomis? Oh, you actually do hate immigrants! I guess that’s fair. I mean, I think you might want to consider withdrawing as chair of the immigrant’s rights committee, but that’s a whole separate thing, we’re just talking about chant revisions today, I suppose we have to hear you out. Do you have any alternatives? “Some hate, some fear, immigrants should not have spears.” Catchy, I’m gonna give you that, Loomis, but I’m worried it lacks universality. Also, I’m getting a text from Berna that she thinks immigrants should have spears if they want them, which seems pretty reasonable to me. Gene, did you have something for this? “No hate, no fear, a reasonable approach to immigration based on realistic resource allocation combined with a robust support for internationalism and a recognition of the arbitrary nature of borders.” Gene, again, I love the way you think, but I have to introduce you to the concept of rhythm. Let’s take ten for pizza.