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29 October 2008 @ 06:34 pm
Fear and Loathing in Harrisonburg, VA  
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of standing in line with approximately 10,000 other nitwits in an attempt to see Barack Obama speak at James Madison University, despite the bitter cold, my view of the horrendously ugly CISAT building for the first several hours, (which, as the line inched on, was soon replaced with the even more hideous Interstate 81) and my complete and total lack of enthusiasm for Obama or any other politician. Usually this is the sort of event I enjoy making mischief at, but this time I opted to be a passive participant in the gruesome spectacle. (Although I did indulge in yelling an excessively inflammatory political slogan at a CNN cameraman as his camera was rolling and pointing in my direction) The ground was littered with plastic cups, Coca-Cola bottles, pizza boxes, playing cards, and filth-riddled sleeping bags everywhere, obviously abandoned by those who had spent the freezing cold night in order to see The Great Orator. Before taking my place at the back of the obscenely long line, (The line stretched for about a mile and it was only one of three lines) I spotted my friend Ray, the portly, semi-homeless Schizophrenic, who, amidst his stuttering, informed me that there were "few people" he'd "stand in the cold for hours to see", but that Barack Obama was "one of them". (For some reason, this reminded me of a tasteless remark made by the young John Lennon - "Wherever we went there's always a few seats laid aside for cripples and people in wheelchairs... they're pushing them at you like you're Christ or something.") As I took my place in line, rumors were spreading throughout the crowd that Bill O'Reilly was in town, although I was unable to substantiate this.

The crowd mostly consisted of college students, but there were some working-class blacks there as well. Industrious scalpers walked up and down the line, selling home-made Barack Obama memorabilia. (The most exceptionally tasteless being a lapel pin with a picture of Obama next to Dr. King, reading "A LEGACY OF HOPE") One young black man with a beard paced past us three or three times, with white T-shirts with the standard face-of-Big-Brother "CHANGE" layout printed on the front, and every time he would advertise his shirts by accurately predicting that "this is the closest you'll get to Barack Obama". Every time he said this, an older black woman behind me would say "I dawn' think so!" Another, significantly less endearing scalper, a pasty, balding, flabby, pale middle-aged man, handed out hand-towels with Barack Obama's face on them, (I guess in case the event was relocated to the middle of a swimming pool, or perhaps in case someone felt the urge to jack off in line and needed a come-rag) while attempting to stir the crowd with an incredibly uninspiring jingle along the lines of "don't dilly-dally now, get your Obama rally towel". (An associate who arrived at a later time informs me that he also used "Don't disappoint your momma, buy a towel of Obama") The man who probably made the most bank was a clever motherfucker who had the word "OBAMA" printed on warm winter hats.

While the scalpers were merely admirable, without a doubt the single greatest irritation aside from the cold was the Obama Youth, a.k.a. the Obama campaign volunteers, whose job it was to force every person in line to give up their personal information so they could be contacted in order to volunteer to help Obama get elected. They even went as far as to lie to us, telling us we couldn't get in otherwise. I attempted to fill out the form, (using my standard fake email address, varg03@gmail.com) but I mostly just produced illegible scribbles, as the chill rendered my hand about as useful for manipulating a ball-point-pen as rubber chicken grafted to a human wrist.

The real lulz didn't start until the McCainite protesters got on the scene. From what I observed, the entire anti-Obama protest presence consisted of nothing more than a late thirty-something WASP couple with a puppy on a leash, (I made a comment as they were approaching that a puppy on a leash may not be the wisest of things to bring with you to a political demonstration, and those around me agreed) holding up make-shift signs with such inspiring slogans as "WE ARE ALL JOE THE PLUMBER", "NO SOCIALISM, NOBAMA", and "AMERICA DESERVES SARAH PALIN". (The latter of which I can definitely agree with) As they approached, the husband made a joke about how his dog "is a Democrat" because he "has him on a leash", (I immediately interpreted his comment as betraying the man's sub-conscious sexual desires) while the wife remained sheepishly quiet, her polite facade clearly about to give way under the pressure of unenthusiasm and frustration at being dragged to this event by her husband. Dying with anticipation at the prospect of having a political conversation with someone other than a generic Obamanoid, I attempted to heckle him, shouting "Isn't John McCain also a socialist?" (deciding it was wisest to try to communicate with him in his own language) Rather than giving a thoughtful reply, he simply looked me in the eye, said "no", and walked on. I then shouted something at him about how John McCain isn't going to reinstate the gold standard, but there was no response.

Around this time, the campus Leftists, who are slightly more disciplined than myself, began handing out their political propaganda, which was significantly more intelligent than the McCainites'. Also around this time, a CNN employee scanned the line, asking for "independent voters". I volunteered myself, and she asked why, and I said that "as a Mennonite, voting is against my religion". Bored by my response, she politely withdrew from the conversation to look for someone else to interview. (In retrospect, I should have offered a much more inflammatory response)

It didn't take long for chaos to ensue, as the thousands of faithful pilgrims began to realize that their hours of waiting to get into the building would probably be in vain. Dozens of people began forcefully pushing to the front of the line. Aghast, a middle-class liberal hausfrau shouted "THIS ISN'T THE OBAMA WAY!" Another woman used the five-year-old girl she was maliciously dragging along by the hand through the cold (to see a politician the child presumably couldn't have cared less about) as a fulcrum to guilt the line-cutters, whining that "MY DAUGHTER HAS BEEN WAITING IN THE COLD FOR FOUR HOURS TO SEE OBAMA". (The black woman behind me was more dignified, proclaiming that "y'all folks [the butters] gotta go back ta' tha' back. My feet hurt like hayell") As those in the front of the line began to head back en masse, everyone realized that the convocation center was already packed to it's fullest capacity. The disappointment was almost immediately replaced with frenzied excitement, as members of the crowd began shouting "IT'S HIM!" and "HE'S OVER THERE!" With animalistic fury, the mob of brainwashed Obama fans pushed and shoved their way recklessly towards the soccer field next to the convocation center, abandoning their possessions and bordering on trampling one another, as the Obama campaign volunteers tried impotently to direct the belligerent frenzy. The old black woman and I meandered in the direction of the stampede at a more patient pace, until we found ourselves surrounded by a crowd of people, children on the backs of adults, every other person holding up a recording-device of some sort. That's when I realized I was about 20 feet away from the most famous human being in the world, Barack Hussein Obama, who gave us all a lame lecture about how we need to "get out the vote" and then wrapped it up with a ham-hearted "go get 'em, Duke Dogs!" and then informed us he was off to "shake some hands". He mysteriously disappeared, and everyone clamored to the convocation center, pressing up against the windows and shouting "LET US IN, LET US IN, LET US IN!" while others (including myself) stole abandoned food and water.

As I walked home, I drank from a gallon-bottle of distilled water I found on the ground, and, a good-ol'-boy member of the Harrisonburg Police Department, recognizing me as a fellow redneck and mistaking my water for a jug of moonshine, said "whatever you got in there, I want some". The first time I've agreed wholeheartedly with a cop in a while...

(Anonymous) on October 30th, 2008 01:26 am (UTC)
my one barack obama story
In spring I was drinking in a shitty hipster bar in a gentrifying neighborhood, and a fat middle-aged white woman who was there for Trivia Night proclaimed, "BARACK OBAMA IS THE ONLY POLITICIAN IN AMERICAN HISTORY WHO HAS NEVER TOLD A LIE!!1!!!" She had obviously never heard of George Washington.
bloochik on October 31st, 2008 01:54 am (UTC)
haha this whole ordeal sounds horrifying