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Friday, August 31, 2007

Open Letter to the People with the Megaphone and Orange Bandanas and the “Stop the War Now, Impeach Bush for War Crimes” Poster Out on Broadway Right Now

posted by on August 31 at 19:39 PM

All I wanted was to come home from work and take off my shoes and relax for a second. It’s stopped raining. It’s kinda nice out. It’s a busy corner, yeah, but the noises are kind of nice once you get used to them, all squeaks and hisses. But here you are again, you goddamn people.

There will be no relaxing this evening because you have decided that the people on Broadway are, I dunno, Bush supporters or something. All those Bush supporters skulking around Broadway on a Friday night after work. You two holding up that handpainted sign? With that explosion (or is that a clump of French fries?) there in the middle? Good work guys. And you with the megaphone? Who just said, “The world awaits, the future beckons, wear orange, drive out the Bush regime!”

Come again? Orange? Wow. Orange. That’s your solution. We should all wear orange. Good thinking! Because everyone looks good in orange? Or because that will somehow help with impeachment proceedings? Because, I dunno, peaches are orange? You other three without a sign or a megaphone to hold, with orange bandanas across your foreheads? Oooh, don’t impeach me! And you fourth and last guy wearing your bandana around your neck? Rebel!

I tried to think of the most relaxing music I could think of, and naturally Belle & Sebastian came to me, and in these circumstances one would have to start with “Get Me Away from Here I’m Dying,” which I currently have on full blast, and I’m sitting two feet from the speakers, because—well, let’s see, if I turn off the music for a second—

If only 2% of people who wanted him impeached would wear orange, that would literally represent millions and millions of people!

Did you really just say that? Uh, that wouldn’t literally represent millions of people, it would literally be millions of people, given the U.S. population. But anyway I still don’t understand how orange is going to—

Wear orange today if you think that torture is wrong. If you think it’s wrong to have simulated drownings and to hook up batteries to genitals. If you think it’s wrong to be killing civilians in Iraq you should stand up and wear orange with us.

Why do we have to stand up? Can’t we just take a nap? As for this orange obsession, don’t get me wrong, I love orange juice. I love oranges. I love the color orange. It was my class color in high school. We used to invade assemblies with orange traffic cones, orange basketballs, orange-painted hair. I mean, I didn’t, the cool kids did, I had no friends, if I’d worn orange I would have been kicked to death. But I wanted to be friends with the people wearing orange. I like orange a lot. I love pumpkins—

I’m wearing orange today because I don’t want this future! I want a different future! Not the one that Bush is putting into place today! I’m wearing orange today because…

Is this actually happening? Is she—it’s a girl now on the megaphone—is she actually giving a speech the rhetorical structure of which is the refrain “I’m wearing orange today because…”? She is. She fucking is. “I’m wearing orange today because… I’m wearing orange today because…” Incredible. Do tell us, why are you wearing orange today?

Futher inspection of the sign—music’s back on—leads me to this realization: it is not an explosion or a bag of French fries depicted there in the center, it is the earth with a giant happy burst of orange coming off the side. Sort of like the biggest pot of gold ever. It is radiating from the earth. It must be all those people wearing orange you’re talking about! Like all six of you! Banded together there! In the half dark! With the loudest, most unpeaceful amplification instrument you could find! Really rattling the rest of us out of our deep complacency, our adiding love for Bush, really turning minds upside down out here in this well-known Republican enclave, the corner of Broadway and John. You were here last Friday too. Are you and your orange flyers going to be here every Friday for the rest of time?

Let’s turn off the music just once more and see—

C’mon, get some orange, donate money…

Oh my fucking god I hate you people. You’re never going to shut up, are you? Can any friends of mine who have BB guns come over right now? Or maybe really loud speakers that we could hook up to my laptop? Or fireworks and some kind of aiming device?

We’re not going to take this and we’re going to stop it right now!


RSS icon Comments


Calm down, sweetie. This too shall pass. You know there are advantages to living on the Hill (don't have to drive home from the bars being the most obvious). This is one of the disadvantages.

Posted by Will in 98103 | August 31, 2007 8:45 PM

Do not fear, team June Bee is hear!
We are headed to Broadway this instant and will report back 0200 hrs. Our team enjoys debating and we love all colors (with a slight disagreement on taupe, given my prom date's choice of dress, along with her choice to bring her chubby dateless friend along - ok time had by all). Engage!

Posted by June Bee | August 31, 2007 8:53 PM
Posted by Joshua H | August 31, 2007 8:55 PM

as i passed on the bus, equally not wanting to hear this shit after i get off a long week of work:


i actually turned republican right then.

Posted by lar | August 31, 2007 9:01 PM

They should go to Bellevue and try their shit...

Posted by ben | August 31, 2007 9:06 PM

I am laughing, though I bailed out after about 3 paragraphs. Orange? I think not.

Posted by Sean | August 31, 2007 9:15 PM

Reading this was a useless waste of part of an already low-value Friday night.

Posted by cascader | August 31, 2007 9:19 PM

Navel-gazing with new relevance.

Posted by Ronald | August 31, 2007 9:32 PM

Dutch power!

Posted by aerosol | August 31, 2007 9:42 PM

Gee, on my side of the Hill, the Anti-Bush protesters only come out on Friday mornings - I've never seen them wear orange and they don't use bullhorns either.

Aside from that, and the semi-regular weapons discharges, things are pretty quiet over here...

Posted by COMTE | August 31, 2007 10:26 PM

Orange?!? You've got to be kidding! Something must be done.

Next Friday I'm showing up in blue. The proper impeachment color and show those guys how to make some noise.

Posted by Queeg | August 31, 2007 10:28 PM

Covert marketing for ING? I had the sudden urge to get a high yeild savings account...

Posted by jkjk | August 31, 2007 10:29 PM

Yes, to paraphrase the old anti-nuke poster--one pointless, trillion-dollar war CAN ruin you're whooooooole day.

Posted by Andy Niable | August 31, 2007 10:38 PM


seriously though, I cant stand those fucks that preach to the choir on bush.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | August 31, 2007 10:39 PM

I must live by the right end of Broadway, 'cuz I missed them. Phew. Seriously, don't they understand they have even less impact on public opinion than the Christian douchebag who periodically shows up with a "REPENT" sign on Broadway?

Posted by tsm | August 31, 2007 10:44 PM

I feel like i am becoming more conservative because of the inane ineffective liberal bullshit that goes on here all the time!

Posted by Bellevue Ave | August 31, 2007 10:46 PM

It's just the Capitol Hill bubble, @16. Spend a little time out in Lewis County and you'll remember why you're not a Republican again.

Posted by tsm | August 31, 2007 10:49 PM

@16... i totally agree. after seeing yet another sign for "end the war. stop hunger. drive out the bush regime! come to our neighborhood picnic" poster, i just gave up on being a straight-ticket democrat.

Posted by brappy | August 31, 2007 11:00 PM

Fuck. I was wearing orange tonight -- kinda red-orange -- but it was a coincidence, Chris, I swear. I was also under your window an hour ago. But I wasn't chanting, I swear.

Posted by Dan Savage | August 31, 2007 11:07 PM

I'd be joining in the head scratching if we actually had an active anti war movement or a Democratic Party that wasn't still giving president Cheney every thing he asks for for his war and a Democratic Party that wasn't still compromising on torture and the right to know the charges and see a judge when you are put in jail.

Since this is the state of affairs, your superior airs sound kind of pathetic. Are you doing something more effective with all your might? Or do you even care? This is such a typical Stranger aesthetic.

Posted by mirror | August 31, 2007 11:10 PM

@17 and @18:Y ou are sounding like just the kind of image-over-substance voters that got Bush/Cheney the last few votes they needed to push themselves over the top.

do you have any values or principles of your own or do you play everything like an issue of what's an acceptable hairstyle?

Posted by mirror | August 31, 2007 11:18 PM

Um Chris? You just sort of announced your address out there.

Posted by kayle | August 31, 2007 11:55 PM

Uh, not that I think it's the greatest way to make a point, so don't shoot the messenger, but I think Orange was chosen because it is the color prisoners wear at Guantanamo Bay. I think the idea is to show solidarity with the "illegal combatants". Wearing Orange signifies that we too are prisoners of this Administration.

Or something like that.

Posted by Mahtli69 | August 31, 2007 11:57 PM

You know, @20 is the worst comment because it's the most truthful here, and god that's sad.

Posted by Juris | September 1, 2007 12:07 AM

I agree with 20. What you have to remember is that protests like this are, in fact, not aimed at Bush supporters but at people who would say they are against Bush and his policies but rarely if ever speak up or stand up against them (and voting Democratic doesn't count). Silence might as well be consent.

Encouraging people to wear a certain color on a certain day is a small way to show to demonstrate the numbers of people who feel a certain way about a subject, something even those who insist on going about their lives as if nothing were wrong can do.

Posted by EKSwitaj | September 1, 2007 12:26 AM

still though, encouraging people who already DIDNT vote for bush, already dont like bush, and already will be voting democratic party to drive bush out, is stupid.

you need to convince the people who support the fucker to stop. preaching to the choir, especially on capitol hill is a waste of time and effort. unless you're suggesting that we who oppose bush start getting violent, etc.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | September 1, 2007 12:44 AM

and thats the problem. what does speaking out actually mean? especially if they arent afraid of being deposed? come off it. the only way to actually influence politicians is to threaten their re-election and/or their jobs. and you do that by encouraging people to not vote for them, which is what we are already doing.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | September 1, 2007 12:50 AM

You can call it, Dispatches From The Style Zone. Yes, there's an unjustified war on and we're the aggressors, but it's far important to criticize the color choices of anti-war protesters and their ungainly solgans. You can do a lot for these people, Christopher. With your casually lovely attire and just by being your fine self, you can bring the troops home without lifting a pinkie. Protesters can then retire to work on their posture and diction. With the money they save on no more orange suits, they can afford good haircuts and maybe even a gym. Regina

Posted by regina hackett | September 1, 2007 2:04 AM

zzz gibberish

smoke better dope

Posted by lloyd | September 1, 2007 5:23 AM

drivel, christopher
get a better bag next time

Posted by kelper | September 1, 2007 5:30 AM

As a non-USian, it has surprised me reading Slog lately how much internet space is taken up (columns and comments) with critisicing the way protesters are protesting the war. It reminds me of the criticism of the Women's Lib movement in the '70s; 'advice' to angry women that they'd lure more flies with honey than vinegar, that being more docile and lady-like would make them better role models, that all the anger and vitriol was turning off the very people who could help them, etc.


Posted by D | September 1, 2007 7:16 AM

Protests worked in the civil rights era because they showed Americans that lots of people supported civil rights and that those that did were just like them. The image of people getting attacked by dogs because they wanted to eat at a lunch counter or go to the good school is quite powerful.

Today we have prolific opinion polls so showing politicians the level of support through protest is like doing a scientific study by anecdote. The protesters are also failing to make the anti-war movement look mainstream with their annoying obsession with puppets, dumb costumes, and weird desire to cover their face with a bandanna as if they are some kind of pretend revolutionary.

Instead of showing the Country that "normal" people are tired of this war too and I don't know actually trying to educate, they show them that its the same hippies, communists, and pseudo-revolutionaries we've all come to love. That coupled with fucking up traffic and keeping them from their families likely moves them more toward the pro-war column.

Posted by Giffy | September 1, 2007 7:49 AM

What, are they Basque?

Posted by kitty | September 1, 2007 8:44 AM

D @ 31, I don't see the parallel you're trying to draw. Is CF trying to get them to tone down their protests, be more compliant, or something like that?

EKSwitaj @ 25, voting Democratic DID count in 2004 and 2006. You might be able to make the claim that it doesn't in 2008 but everyone who voted that way in 04 and 06 had every reasonable expectation that the Dems would have done something effective about the war. As they say, hindsight is 20/20. And you don't have a crystal ball - something might happen next session, not that I'm holding my breath.

Posted by Matt from Denver | September 1, 2007 9:16 AM

You're the idiot who chose to live at a busy intersection. Stop complaining dumbass.

Posted by RS | September 1, 2007 9:18 AM

I'm wearing orange today ... because that's the color of the t-shirts they make the kids wear at the day-camp I work for.

So all the whiny 6-yos are really ineffectual subversive Bush protesters?

Posted by SeattleExile | September 1, 2007 9:37 AM

It's very simple, Christopher. Next time someone's chanting about wearing orange, you just invite a bunch of Northern Irish Catholics over, and pretty soon the protestors will be bloody in the streets.

Posted by Gitai | September 1, 2007 10:23 AM

Orange seems like a popular color this year. Doesn't anyone else remember how people were supposed to wear orange that one Friday after the Cho guy shot up his fellow students at that university? Yah, at least they are doing something. They caused all of us to react in some way. I think stirring the mud is good most of the time. People who don't like noise should live far out in the country with no neighbors. Maybe you would have liked them more if they were wearing suits instead of orange. No idea.

Posted by Kristin Bell | September 1, 2007 10:36 AM

It's better to protest in front of media centers - TV, print.

Posted by Will in Seattle | September 1, 2007 12:58 PM

Like everybody else in the world I don't like W either, but the louder people are about it, the more they don't have their own lives under control. I know one guy who bitches about Bush, Cheney, and those other assholes incessantly. He doesn't even shower and he drinks way too much. He also refers to The Beatles and Zeppelin as "contemporary music." (No shit.) He's not the only one, as I'm sure these orange-loving jerks were fine specimens of humanity.

Posted by Jason Josephes | September 1, 2007 2:26 PM

its not even their own lives under control. it'd be like the people of watts california protesting racial discrimination in watts california. of course black people dont like racial discrimination! go tell it to whitey damnit!

Posted by Bellevue Ave | September 1, 2007 3:12 PM

I have four possible answers to D @ 31:

1.Has the country you lived in ever had a "Vietnam war" that allowed its citizens to make the word "hippie" taboo and synonymous with "protester"? If not, good for you. Seriously. That's one thing about the U.S. that makes me sad. Hippies can be parodies, but so much so many other types of political persuasions, but Americans made a sport of demaning "the hippie", even people who are basically hippies but just aren't as extroverted as the stereotype suggests make fun of hippies. I'm wondering if that accent never existed if protests in the U.S. in general would be taken more seriously, and thus would have serious suggestions to "dress nicely" at protests. (WTF??)

2.Has your country ever had a GWB to rule over you for 8 years that made you feel such despair about politics in your country that you just can't stand ANY form of political voice anymore?

3.So, really, no one in your country complains about protests methods at all? Granted, I'm not representing every country here, but from Canada to New Zealand to Australia to France, I've heard friends there make a sport about talking about how lame protests and strikes are there.

4.Sad that Women's Lib, following the honey-not-vinegar advice or not, hasn't come as far as it should. It seems "women" rank alongside "hippie" as far as being taken seriously, which is the saddest thing about the U.S. out of everything.

Posted by matthew fisher wilder | September 1, 2007 4:40 PM

Part of me wants to slap you for complaining. You chose to live over a busy intersection in the densest neighborhood in Seattle. Deal with it. Or move to Port Townsend.

Part of me agrees with you completely. I drove by these douchebags around 7:00 last night. And I thought to myself: what? Is Capitol Hill a secret enclave of Bush supporters, and I've been completely unaware of it? Thank god these morons are here, changing the minds of all the Bush supporters on Capitol Hill with their effective protest. *rolls eyes* It wasn't even preaching to the choir. More like an embarrassment to the choir.

Posted by SDA in SEA | September 1, 2007 4:48 PM

@3 It's nice that they're invoking the Orange Revolution, but what they're asking people to do is pretty much the opposite of a revolution. They're not asking people to take up arms, make connections within a sympathetic military, cultivate the opposition party and prepare them to take over after the government falls, and then bringing about a popular uprising.

They're asking people to wear orange. Pathetic.

Posted by Gitai | September 1, 2007 5:28 PM

Beware of enterprises requiring your wardrobe color to be unrhymable.

Posted by KWELL DOMMAGE | September 1, 2007 8:00 PM

wear burberry to stop global warming!

Posted by skye | September 1, 2007 10:12 PM

The same constitution that protects your writing and paper (and thus allowing my 14yo daughter to pick it up and read about the glorification of pot smoking and the word "fuck" 75 times) protects those “orange wearing” protestors.

Protesters on the street, no matter how crazy are the true "Sounds of Freedom" in this country. They want to bitch about wearing orange? Whatever. They have a right to fashion disasters if they want. Accept that.

My uncle who is a card carrying member of the John Birch Society thinks gays and lesbians should be rounded up and sent to jail for sodomy because their very existence in the U.S. is “invasive” and their mere existence "offends and saddens him in his own home." So be glad that the sounds you hear outside your windows for a couple of hours are protestors and not police rounding up “undesirables” and shipping them off to a ghetto every day.

So Chris, why don’t you shut the fuck up, quit your whining and enjoy the sounds of freedom no matter how immature the message.

Also, when the constitution falls I’ll be the first one lining Belle and Sebastian up against the wall and putting a couple of rounds in them because that shit isn’t even music and nobody should have to endure it.

Posted by AudioGeek | September 2, 2007 1:26 PM

I lived in the fourth floor corner of that building in the 1980's. My rent was $275. And it was clots of Christians down on the street then that would drive me nuts with their bullhorns.

Posted by It's Mark Mitchell | September 2, 2007 2:48 PM

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