Thursday, December 15, 2005

Close Brush With Activism

Like most other people I am sure, I am moved by the disasters and injustices that occur around the globe and also like most other people, I am pretty complacent about doing anything about them. My viewpoint is that I spent six years of my life volunteering to help better the lives of others, yet no one ever took me up on my offers. In 1989, while in the military, I volunteered to participate in the invasion of Panama to rid Central America of one of the most deviant drug dealing dictators the region had ever seen. Of course I also planned to do some surfing, some serious drinking and get my advances rejected by the senoritas while I was there, but I was willing to dodge a few bullets before hitting the beach. Regardless, the Navy wouldn’t let me go. In 1991, I volunteered to participate in the first Gulf War to rid Kuwait of Saddam Hussein’s occupying army despite the fact that there was not a drop of Jim Beam to be found anywhere within a thousand miles of the Persian Gulf. I hoped that the lusty, lascivious liberation lovin’ I’d be able to get in on after we sent the Babylonian brigands back to Baghdad would make up for that. I never found out though because despite my multiple requests for transfer, I sat out the war in southern California and the only desert action I saw was with one of the waitresses of the enlisted man’s club on the back 40 of the Miramar Air Station.
In 1992, Hurricane Iniki slammed Hawaii while I was there and once again, I volunteered to help with the relief effort for the island of Kauai. To be fair, I was secretly praying that they would not take me up on it since I was far too hung over from the hurricane party I participated in on the island of Oahu during the actual storm to have really been of much use to anyone. I would have volunteered for our efforts in Somalia as well if I had watched the news a little more. I was partying A LOT at that time and didn’t even know there was a war going on over there let alone that the US was fighting in it.

I was discharged in 1994. There was a war raging in the Balkans and I had every intention of going over there to either be a Red Cross volunteer or enlist in one of Croatian militias to do my part to stop the Serbs from committing the atrocities they were becoming famous for (Though the Bosnians seemed to be bearing the brunt of the abuse, I knew that they were Muslims and that they probably would not have the amount of slivovitz that I would require to reach the level of intoxication needed to work up the courage to step into combat). I even enlisted Sacto Ritch in this effort though he thought we were just going for a motorcycle ride across Europe. I’m sure he had no idea we would have ended up as mercenaries in a genocidal Balkan conflict had we not drank away our airfare. By 1995, I was done with trying to ease the suffering on the planet. In hindsight, I also found that I was too busy adding to it.

Until now. I had an epiphany, a divine vision in which the Great Buddha (who bears an uncanny resemblance to John Madden by the way – they must at least share nutritionists if not DNA) himself swooped down into my dreams and charged me with an immortal mission, a crusade if you will. It was a call to activism, a call to take to the streets, a call to throw off the shackles of complacency and demand action. I was given a cause. I was told to do my part to overthrow the tyranny of ineptitude, personified by Matt Millen, that has reduced the Detroit Lions to the travesty that they are today. I was going to join the Angry Fan March that was being organized by WDFN sports radio.

It is a worthy cause and, unlike such weighty issues as crime, homelessness and poverty, actually had a chance at succeeding. The march was planned for this Sunday, December 18th, the last Lions home game for the season. It was to begin at the unveiling of an anti-Millen billboard and conclude once the Lions’ general manager was offered to the crowd, naked and trembling, as a blood sacrifice to the Gods of victory. As with any endeavor worth undertaking, I decided to research it first before I launched myself face-first into the fray. During the course of my research, I found the following guidelines for the demonstration:

WDFN wants to remind our listeners that the Angry Fan March is a peaceful demonstration. If you're wondering what to put on a sign, what to wear, or how to behave, follow these guidelines:

OK, certain shortcomings in the wiring of my psyche would normally prevent me from the ability to do anything peaceful within a large crowd of people, but I guess I am mature enough now to broaden my horizons and give this a chance. After all, I was on a mission from God.

Remember that Detroit will be the focus of the national media. Don't do anything to make the city or Lions fans look bad. Make Lions fans proud! Show your frustration but keep it respectful.

Normally the words, “focus of the national media” would register in my mind as “opportunity to induce a major wardrobe malfunction and get caught on camera in the midst of a spontaneous act of random nudity – and possibly expand dating opportunities or scare children”, but this is winter time and a severe case of cold-induced penile retraction could prove fairly embarrassing. I guess I could go along with this one.

Walk on the sidewalks, not in the street, and follow the group.

At this point, I was beginning to wonder if this thing had been organized by frustrated elementary school crossing guard or some maniac meter maid who left the police force because they wouldn’t let her onto the Vice Squad.

Do not block business entrances or block traffic.

Keep the March moving as much as possible but obey traffic signals and police direction.

These seemed to lend credence to my meter maid theory.

Be courteous to those around you.

Apparently, the organizers of this event did not consider the possibility that, at some point in the march, we could find ourselves surrounded by total assholes.

NO OBSCENTIES PLEASE!!! Be creative with your chants and have fun. KEEP IT CLEAN!

Fuck that.

No alcohol is permitted during the March.

At this point I was hit with the realization that this event reeked of Anti-Americanism, Communism, subversion and possibly organized by the same group of malicious malcontents that brought us Prohibition and the Taliban. I decided right then and there that I would take on this task my OWN way, namely by voluminous swearing in the privacy of my home while killing a case Labatt’s and mooning the television at regular intervals.


Anonymous Fade_to_Blah said...

Ohhhh man this is going to be great. This is most definitely going to get out of hand

3:25 PM  
Blogger JEP said...

Out of hand? In Detroit? Surely you jest.

10:28 PM  
Anonymous Fade_to_Blah said...

I like that they are worried about making the city look bad to the rest of the nation. I think the nations perception of Detriot couldnt get any lower

9:19 AM  
Blogger JEP said...

You would think that but never underestimate a Detroiter's ability to shock the rest of the nation. We take a kind of perverse pride in it.

11:42 AM  
Blogger Sacto Ritch said...

So you thought we were going to be mercs huh? I had kinda planned on the same sort of mayhem except in France. We could've taken over the country in no time! Hell, look what happens when you burn a few cars every night for a week or two.
You know our kids will eventually be grown and we will once again be able to abuse our livers in foreign lands. I say we go get them Euros! They'll never see it coming. A couple of drunk middle aged, overweight, undersexed guys with thinning hair and a lot of experience with high powered weaponry. Come on! maybe we'll get together a posse of JEP Report readers and go on a European vacation. We'll stay out all night doing as much damage as we possibly can before the French police catch us! (It was hard to write that with a straight face. French police! please)
Well you think about it. It's 9:00. It's past my bedtime. I'm sleepy. Goodnight all.


12:31 AM  

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