15 April 2009

Images from the Albany TEA Party

As I write, thirteen video posts from the Albany TEA Party at the Corning Preserve are available on YouTube. Some are just picked up from local news, but this one is raw footage.

You may think you saw someone familiar in fleeting moments, but that gentleman in the star-spangled suit is an impostor. I work for a living.

This next bit opens with an explanation of the serpentine symbolism of the "Don't Tread On Me" flag, which was prominent at TEA parties across the country.

I suppose this knucklehead imagines himself an equivalent of the Founding Fathers for his promised defiance of authority. He also seems a little short on ambition if the most he can imagine marching on Washington are 100,000 people. I'd think the "Million Man March" would be a benchmark that any activist would want to match. But perhaps a million sounds too much like a mob for this person.

In this clip, another speaker invokes John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, and while those men would have found much to despise in today's government, I think excessive spending would be but one of many outrages they'd perceive. This fellow also expresses the ruling fallacy of the occasion: that the people who actually govern are somehow not "the people." If they aren't, where they come from, and how did they convince us to vote for them?

At least it looks like the speakers maintained a fairly narrow focus on spending and budget issues. But this speaker drags the Federal Reserve into it. On the other hand, he has a healthy distrust of corporations and the Bipolarchy. Then he ruins it for me by coming out against universal health care and public education and "so-called human-caused global warming."

People like this seem honest in their fears about corporate power, but they don't trust the state power that exists in part to check it. Some of them probably think that corporate power is somehow a by-product of state power, so that if they had their way and the state were minimized, corporations would not run riot over the country. Good luck with that. He continues an increasingly reactionary diatribe with the usual paeans to "personal responsibility," i.e. every man for himself as the highest virtue, and a misplaced invocation of the Deity as the author of human rights. As I said, the occasion may not have been partisan, but it was ideological.

Here's one more clip. The soundtrack should give you an idea of the content. The song is followed by diatribes against the Federal Reserve and government in general.

Would any of these people admit to being anarchists? Well, anarchists are those who say "government is the problem," so perhaps the TEA partiers should investigate anarchism further. After all, libertarianism is going nowhere, and anarchism might attract more young people.

In all seriousness, though, I honor the form if not the content of the occasion. It could be a feeble first step toward the awakening of real "people power" in this country, though the purpose of such power is still open to debate.

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