Walking Tour of San Francisco Protests: Political tourism in the Age of Obama
4. San Francisco Tax Day Tea Party -- 4:00pm, Union Square
And finally: the climactic conclusion of our afternoon tour: The real Tea Party, in Union Square.
On the stage in the background is event organizer Sally Zelikovsky. The Reaganesque speech she gave that day has been transcribed and can be read here, for those who want to understand what the self-described values of the San Francisco Tea Party movement really are.
One of my favorite Tea Party shirts was this one, a riff on the Internet meme "Don't Tase Me, Bro!"
And my other favorite shirt was this deconstruction of the iconic Che image, morphed into Reagan.
A nice summation of the self-sufficiency and individual responsibility advocated by the San Francisco Tea Partiers.
I already partly covered this Tea Party event in my previously linked "Crashing the Crashers: Tea Party Infiltrators Outmaneuvered in S.F." report, with many photos of the would-be infiltrators and the response to their attempts. Thus, the photos included here on this page are simply interesting and amusing images of the Tea Partiers themselves.
I diligently scanned the crowd for "extremist" and "racist" and "violent" messages. Total found: Zero. This sign was about as extreme as they got.
Anti-communism was the underlying message of the rally. And of course, driving this fresh rejection of communism is the unspoken assumption that the current president and his administration are pushing socialist economic policies. Is that an extreme assumption? You decide. I tend to think it's a pretty fair characterization of the direction Obama is headed.
Oh dear! He used the President's middle name! Stop being so extremist!
Yup. That about sums it up.
But wait! Notice how she combined "racist" and "fascist" to create the misspelled combo-word "rascist." This definitely is destined to be highlighted by Tea Party detractors as yet another example of "Teabonics," a catchy name to describe the occasional misspellings on protest signs at Tea Party rallies.
So, naturally, I also spent the day looking for other examples of "Teabonics," to see how common misspellings really are at these events.
After searching for hours, I only discovered two other boo-boos. Here's one. Look! She accidentally left the "u" out of "Requiring!" That means her entire worldview is flawed!
And this guy left the second "n" out of "Government." True he noticed the mistake, and later put the second "n" back in there, to correct the typo, but don't you try to fool us with your proofreading, you ignorant teabagger! You left out a letter! And you will never live it down!
Of course, the truth is that I've seen (and photographed) infinitely more illiterate and misspelled signs at left-wing and anti-war protests over the last eight years. This inconvenient fact is universally ignored by the bozos promoting the "Teabonics" meme.
In fact, long ago I would occasionally highlight just a few of the overwhelming number of misspelled left-wing protest signs, such as this mini-report which I titled "DOWN WITH LITERACY!" But after 2005 it became wearisome and I stopped focusing on them or even pointing them out, mainly because I realized that noting your opponents' misspellings in no way legitimately challenges their political philosophy -- a lesson which the modern-day detractors of the Tea Party have yet to learn.
This being San Francisco, naturally all sorts of eccentrics showed up, as they do at every public event. Tea Partier? Infiltrator? Tourist? Or just part of living in San Francisco? (Adding to the strangeness: He was barefoot.)
Mattel has now released a life-sized Tea Party Ken doll!
Taking the expression "Swirling the drain" literally.
At his inauguration, Obama and his supporters liked to compare him to Lincoln. But this Tea Partier found a nice Lincoln quote which contradicts Obama's economic policy.
As noted in my "Crashing the Crashers" report, several objectivist Ayn Rand fans showed up to proclaim their fondness for capitalism. Has it really come to this, that it's necessary to protest in favor of capitalism, because the whole system seems under assault from our own government? Adam Smith help us!
Couldn't have said it better myself.
I don't know who made the first of these signs, over a year ago, but the "Spread My Work Ethic, Not My Wealth" slogan is now so common that it has practically become the unofficial Tea Party motto.
And so our tour comes to an end. A San Francisco experience you can't find in any other city!
Want to experience America's most unique tour company? Come join the fun! The itinerary* for tomorrow (April 20, 2010) will take us to several events, including:
✦ A Taste of Rope -- Erotic Rope and Wine Sampling: "A unique and intimate erotic adventure. A Taste of Rope invites you and your submissive to join us for an erotic wine tasting featuring some of California's finest Zinfandels and the world's finest ropes. Experience the intricate differences in the ropes bite, toothy or sleek quality, the smell, the taste, its ability to make your submissive squeals or moan in deep pleasure."
✦ Mornings in Jenin: A Palestinian Epic Narration: "Come and listen to the Palestinian narrative...history, identity, friendship, love, terrorism, surrender, courage, and hope. 'Mornings in Jenin' forces us to take a fresh look at one of the defining conflicts of our lifetimes."
✦ The People Speak -- screening of Howard Zinn documentary: "Throughout April 2010, the International Socialist Organization will be holding community screenings of the documentary feature film The People Speak at more than 30 campuses and communities around the country....Narrated by the late, acclaimed historian Howard Zinn, The People Speak brings to life the letters, diaries and speeches of everyday Americans who fought for equality and justice from the bottom up."
✦ Walk Against Rape: "The goal of Walk Against Rape is to empower survivors, their friends, families and supporters, to break that silence by walking together on the streets against rape, and declare that San Francisco will not tolerate sexual violence."
✦ LGBT Economic Empowerment Day: "The theme of this year's event is Discover, Dream and Design."
✦ Art as Propaganda Workshop: Being Artist. Being Aware. Being Arab-American: "Participants are invited to bring digital cameras and will be sent into the streets to photograph a finite number of images, using Hyder's instructions, then return to share their findings."
✦ Yin Energy Festival: "The 'Yin Energy Festival' in recognition of SWAN Day, a new holiday that celebrates women artists worldwide."
* Note: Satire. No actual tours given. The April 20 events listed above are all real, and the April 15 protests all happened exactly as shown, but if you want to go on a San Francisco political tour, you'll have to arrange it yourself!