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These people aren’t going anywhere
The QAnon movement is alive and well in Worcester County
So I’ve tried my hardest to focus my attention on the people who actually wield political power in this city. The decisions made by the Democrats in charge of Worcester City Hall and the state in general have much, much more of an impact on the day-to-day life of your average Worcester person than do the actions of any Republicans in the area. And dunking on those people is, for the most part, too easy. Low-hanging fruit. To focus too hard on them is to give the Democrats with their hands far more firmly on the levers of power a pass. To elevate the issues with the conservatives around here really does nothing but simultaneously lend them a sense of influence they do not in any way hold, and it gives Democrats something to feel good about. See, at least we’re not those guys. It cheapens the discourse and diminishes what we could and should expect from government and this is true across the entire spectrum of political media, from network news to the town crier. It’s almost like it’s by design. Haha just kidding… unless?
But with all that said, what the fuck, man. What the fuck just happened in Auburn.
If you didn’t catch it, there was a rally of sorts on Saturday at the Century Sportsman’s Club in Auburn celebrating the “heroes of Jan. 6” which is of course the day the QAnon movement reached a fever pitch and several hundred fuckin delusional weirdos gave themselves a self-guided tour of the Capitol Building after a half-assed battle with the Capitol Police. To call those people who ~sacked~ the Capitol Building anything but misguided weirdos is frankly insulting but I’ll get into that later.
The event was sponsored by Super Happy Fun America, a local group most notable for putting on the “Straight Pride Parade” in Boston back in 2019. That event was an obvious troll move and it was met by a massive counterprotest. This one on Saturday elicited a well-deserved counterprotest as well, though smaller. The Telegram put it at about 20 people, but noted that their counterprotest received more supportive honks than it did middle fingers or shouts. Because most people in this area are at least sane. The people that gathered inside the Century Sportsman’s Club are completely batshit crazy—deluded into an insane reactionary political ideology by bad-faith actors in the Republican Party and the Internet’s power to not only obfuscate the truth but to bifurcate it and I know those are some pretentious-ass words but what I’m trying to say is we live in a world with multiple realities now. And we have to contend with that.
The people inside the Sportsman’s Club on Saturday exist in a reality foreign to anything a normal person would find sane or even cogent. To them there are “cultural Marxists” around every corner waiting to do gay crimes against the state (sounds tight), and Antifa (pronounced “AnTEEfah”) is a well-trained militia prepping for a violent revolution (it would be cooler if they were, but it’s not even a “they,” it’s an ideology). The group hung a “Stop Liberal Social Communists Trump 2024” banner and threw in a couple depictions of assault rifles for good measure. You want to try to explain to these people how they are in fact liberals in the classical sense and that to be a communist and a liberal at the same time is categorically impossible? I don’t. Not gonna work, buddy.
Even on the level of vocabulary, their ideology is divorced from any sane reality. Marxism is a real political ideology and has real adherents. “Cultural Mmarxism” is a term devoid of any meaning. But these wingnuts hear it and they get all worked up. It’s a shorthand, as far as I can tell, for progressive liberalism and the basic idea that representation and inclusion along race and gender lines will lead to a more just society. However tepid and lacking in a class analysis that idea may be, these people see it as evil. They’ve been deluded. They believe far more insane things. They see the Democratic Party as the evil black heart of American society—true!—but take it to the realm of lunacy. They believe they’re eating babies, for Christ’s sake. Even more insane, they believe the Biden Administration is left wing. Because at the end of the day, the political reality doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter how regressive, horrible and damaging the Biden Administration has been, how much they’ve continued the work of the Trump Administration, that’s the other guy. They have their guy. Their guy is Trump, and anything that’s not Trump is bad. It’s a cult of personality more than it is a cogent political ideology and it doesn’t really matter how insane they all are because they’re all the same sort of insane and they reinforce each other.
That’s how we get to the idea of calling the people who raided the Capitol Building on Jan. 6 “heroes.” They were the adherents to the QAnon movement and Trump’s base more generally that actually did the damn thing. They actually did something.
But let’s take a minute to think about what they actually did. They moved as a mob from a Trump rally to the Capitol Building. They overpowered a poor showing of security from the Capitol Police and they broke into the Capitol Building. But what did they do when they got there? They took selfies. They stole a couple things. They made a couple shitposts on the internet. They walked around for a bit and were subsequently ushered out peacefully. They were participating in an event the way a sane person would go to a music festival. They were there to be there and record themselves being there for the purposes of social media. They had no plans to hold the Capitol Building for any period of time. They had no plans to actually overturn the election. They applied no real hand to any real lever of power in the federal government. It was not, as many in the Liberal media were quick to ascribe, an insurrection. They were not insurrectionists or domestic terrorists. That gives them far too much credit. They were participating in an event. They were there to feel a part of their movement and nothing else.
These are the sort of people that these fucks in Auburn are calling heroes. It’s pathetic in a way that feels uniquely American. We live in such a lonely and atomized society that movements like QAnon can gain traction in the first place, and then the people who subscribe to these movements hold up as heroes are the ones who were just there to… walk around the Capitol Building. A good amount of people probably fall into the Q trap because they’ve been so alienated by a society that mass-produces loneliness that it just feels good to be a part of something. To have something to believe in. To have an us versus them binding agent that makes them feel not so lost or confused. Because the real levers or power, the real us versus them is grim and unattainable. You can’t really see who has the boot on your neck unless you look real hard, and that’s by design. So yeah, fuck it, baby-eating Democrats. Why not? They’re really no closer than any of the rest of us in materially changing our conditions and they’re processing the subconscious reality that you can’t do shit about shit in their own little insane way. It’s profoundly sad, and I’m sure if you have a family member that’s gone down that road you feel it. You can’t change their mind. They need it. They need Q to be true. They need Trump to be the good guy. Otherwise, the picture is so grim it’s impossible to look at it directly.
There was a woman at the event Saturday that was actually at the Jan. 6 ~insurrection~. She’s even charged with some crimes. She has some small semblance of political power in Natick—a Town Meeting member, meaning she’s involved enough to get a couple signatures—and this is what she had to say, as noted by the Telegram.
Several of the attendees interviewed also argued that the election was fraudulent and railed against “cancel culture,” Antifa and the “liberal media” that is biased against repeating their messages.
“That’s the new fascism, and it’s on their side, not ours, it’s on the left,” Sue Ianni, a Natick Town Meeting member charged with federal misdemeanors in the Capitol attack on Jan. 6, said of the media. “All we want is liberty, we are freedom-loving.”
The new fascism as described here is an idea worth exploring. Sue Ianni sees people and brands getting “cancelled” for racist, sexist or otherwise untoward behavior, and she sees Brown Shirts in the street, coming for anything that doesn’t conform. She sees the mostly well-meaning attempts at rectifying the past mistakes and injustices of history as a new totalitarian force, ripping away from her everything that America stands for. People on the Democrat side of the coin, more generously I think, saw fascism when Trump did the Muslim ban or winked at the Proud Boys or put the kids in cages. The kids were in cages before Trump and they still are. If Trump was really bringing fascism to the United States, his skids were well greased. But still, it felt good. It felt good to call the other guy a fascist.
Lest we forget this iconically insane video.
We saw in Trump an attempt at a cretinous authoritarian regime carried out by an administration too dumb to ever realize it. What he left, however, is a playbook for how to galvanize these lost and lonely people like the ones we saw in Auburn on Saturday. Everyone at that rally was two things: they were deeply confused, and they were deeply in love with Donald Trump. Whatever he said, whatever idea he proposed, was all gravy to them.
These people also represent a growing majority of the Republican Party base. They just want to feel a part of something, and they want to win, and they don’t care how crazy it is or what has to happen to make sure their side wins. It isn’t fascist but the groundwork is certainly there. These are people who would happily cheer a Derek Chauvin-type incident if they saw other people around them doing it. Some of them, surely, already have. They are devoid of any real political beliefs except for the idea that their guy should be in charge, and if he isn’t, it’s all bad. I keep coming back to this, but it’s a worship of authority for authority’s sake, and it’s got its religious signifiers. The Thin Blue Line and the Punisher logo and the tactical aesthetic of places like Black Rifle Coffee. It’s mostly a lifestyle brand at the end of the day, and that’s all that matters to them. They feel like they’re a part of something and it feels sorta good that that thing they’re a part of is bad. They’re the rebels. They love it when people hate them. Means it’s working. Leaders of both parties continue to enact policies that materially make their lives worse and worse every day, but they’re on the side that’s cool to them, and that’s all that matters. It’s America versus the cultural Marxists seeking to overthrow it.
So what are you supposed to do? You have a political base that is more or less a cult and they’re alive and well in this area. The Trump worship and the Q stuff is very prevalent in and around Worcester County. You can’t just be like “You’re actually wrong and also insane” and that’s gonna work. No, they’re going to double down. But you can show them how small they are and how little they matter. You can show them that they’re at once awful people and also pathetic. That’s why I salute all the local organizers that came out and protested these jabronies and made sure they got people on their side. Make them feel unwelcome, but don’t make them feel important. Make the venue feel uncomfortable for hosting them. That was the idea behind the protest campaign, spearheaded by Showing Up For Racial Justice Worcester. I caught up with Lydia Proulx, a member of SURJ, and this is what they had to say about the whole ordeal.
Basically, we're of the mind that if you don't kick out ppl who openly showcase Nazi tattoos and white supremacist flags and logos then you're hosting an event for Nazis and white supremacists; One bad apple spoils the bunch etc etc.
The small gathering that got together in opposition knows that this kind of hate can't go unopposed or it spreads until it gets a foothold. It's important that groups like SHFA know they are opposed and unwelcome. And it would have been nice if the gun club hadn't prioritized money over, like, not hosting Nazis but u know can't win em all I guess?
This is some of the Nazi stuff they were talking about as well as some dunking on the Telegram as a treat.
Racism and white supremacy are steady backdrops for the insane ideology Super Happy Fun America promotes and anyone calling SHFA a white supremacist organization is well within their rights to do so. When you hear someone talk about “Judeo-Christian values” your white supremacy ticker should be going BING BING BING. There is no place for gay or trans people in their ideal America, and let’s be clear here, their ideal America is a white man’s America. On Saturday, they trotted out some BIPOC people involved in their organization to speak to the press about how they’re not racist because see, look at me, I’m black! It’s heavy to read.
At the event, several of those interviewed took umbrage to the characterization of the group as white supremacists, with many pointing out that members of the crowd included Asians, Blacks and Latinos.
“Honestly, it’s not a white supremacist group at all,” said a Black man who identified himself only as Jordan. “I understand the group has that reputation, but in my first interaction with them, I was pleasantly surprised to find out it wasn’t that sort of that group at all.”
Diana Lu said she came to the event because she felt comfortable there and wanted “to support conservative values.”
“To me conservative values are American values, and it brings all races, all ethnic background people, all beliefs, all religion together,” said Lu, who said she was originally from China. “It is not about your color or your race (that) determines who you support, it is the values that you hold determining who you support.”
That being said, the crowd was mostly white.
I see your obvious tokenization and raise you the first line of the group’s mission statement, which is definitely not the language of white supremacists in any way shape or form!
Our great republic is threatened by far-left fanatics of the Democrat party and their violent, militant Antifa / BLM street thugs.
“BLM street thugs,” says the totally-not-racist organization.
Worcester, and especially the towns around it, have a strong conservative presence, and most of them are not hugely politically engaged, nor do they really care to be. Super Happy Fun America is sort of the logical extent of that, the furthest reaches of a kind of conservatism around here that’s mostly just a lifestyle brand—guns and liberal tears and shirts that say tough guy stuff. What a group like Super Happy Fun America could do is recruit and galvanize these sorts of people into increasingly off-the-wall, cultish beliefs and obviously that’s not good. But Super Happy Fun America is also a very small organization, comporised of lonely and confused people, and for the most part it seems like they just get off on making people mad. On their website, they sell a “straight pride flag.” The tagline reads “Drive the left crazy! Buy your Straight Pride flags here.”
It’s really not about anything more than that. A social club for conservative trolls. Ain’t that America.
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My feed’s been blowing up today with this investigative story out of Chicago that details how police request that ShotSpotter employees manually override the technology to digitally plant gun shots as evidence. That’s pretty messed up! New twist on an old classic!
But hey they would never do that in Worcester, right? Here in Worcester we’re different. Kate Toomey said so. Good thing we’re greatly expanding the ShotSpotter program and lauding it constantly.
Paired with this story like a fine wine is a story out of a small Wisconsin town. A young Black man recorded a cop callously and carelessly attempting to plant drugs in his car.
But hey they would never do that in Worcester, right?
Speaking of wine, I watched the new Nick Cage movie Pig last night. Solid 8/10. Really good and super not what I was expecting. They pull a switcheroo on ya that’s for sure. Nic Cage’s performance is stunning. I love that man.
Ok that’s all for now! Ciao!