Thoughts on the 9/12 Sacramento Tea Party Rally
As many of you should already know, I make no bones about my status as an equal opportunity incendiary. Act like an idiot in a public forum and I'll call you out on it. Make a boneheaded move in SEC filings and I'm on it. Say dumb shit in a speech and I'll attack like a starving tiger who just caught the scent of meat in the air.
But my offensiveness is not limited to those in the public spotlight of accounting, finance and politics. Sometimes I manage to ruffle feathers (unintentionally, mind you) even in situations where you'd think I'd fit right in. I'm convinced my job here on Earth is to shake the status quo like a crying infant and if someone ends up with a broken neck in the process oh well, just doing my duty to humanity.
Yesterday I drove out to Sacramento to join WC Varones and Temple of Mut's Leslie Eastman at the 9/12 Tea Party because, well, I'm as fed up as anyone else. As previously stated, I don't consider myself a Tea Partier and probably never will even though I do identify with the general premise of the movement. Government is out of control and it's time to take our country back but all along the Tea Partiers have been invaded by frauds and hacks looking to attach to the movement and capitalize on its popularity. Meanwhile the media continues to get the movement's demographic wrong while sketchy politicians are trying to elbow their way in just to get a few more votes. So I understand the movement's skepticism but don't understand the following exchange I had with a volunteer staff member at the event.
Incendiary that I am, I slipped on my "Fuck Math" t-shirt before heading out to the sunny Central Valley yesterday morning thinking the hilarity would not be lost on the crowd. I only own one shirt with an American flag - purchased at a Merle Haggard concert in the city a few years back - but that doesn't make me any less of a patriot. Hell, I have an American flag tattooed on me, that should make me more of a patriot than someone who can play dress up as one. The shirt seemed like a good idea because if the federal government can say "Fuck Math!" so can I, right?
No one seemed offended and if they did they certainly didn't say so. Infamous 10 Commandments Judge Roy Moore, who spoke at the rally, walked past me several times and didn't proceed to attempt to exorcise the demons out of my incendiary ass so I thought it was all good, especially after several grandmas in American flag gear complimented me on it. I felt like the only San Franciscan in the audience of mostly salty Central Valley conservatives and was certainly the only one covered in tattoos and sauntering around in skinny jeans. But that should be irrelevant as how I look is not at all a reflection on how I feel about the situation. I may be in the San Francisco uniform but that doesn't mean I believe what my SF brethren do.
But one volunteer staff member caught me while I was out scoping the crowd and pulled me aside.
"You should take that shirt off."
Thinking a pink leopard bra peeking through a wifebeater would be far more offensive than whatever my shirt said, I balked at the idea. "Why's that?"
"What does that mean? Why are you here?"
"The federal government says 'fuck math' so I do too." I said this with half a grin, which I think angered him too.
Now the irony of getting censored at a rally all about personal freedom is not lost on me. Sure he didn't kick me out but it was then that I realized I really don't belong in this group as I'm not of the same salty belief system that my tattoos warrant a sneer. It's hard being out on the fringes of the conservative movement, believing in things like gay marriage. It's rough when you're the only one in a crowd of thousands with a neck tattoo and a skunk streak, and certainly hard when you're trying to make a point in the form of a tshirt when it is lost in the offensiveness of your statement. Trust me, I should know.
Anyway, the rally was great, attendance was good and all in all I was impressed by the sentiment, even if that one guy did make me feel like I wasn't welcome. Fuck him too.
Pics and a video can be found here. I will not be putting on a disguise should I choose to attend another and I guess everyone will just have to deal with it. That's the great part about our fine country and the exact reason why many of us are fighting so hard to keep it that way.