A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
It seems things here in the apocalypse can always get weirder. Thus, a month and a half after his landslide, clearcut, historic election loss and a day after Georgia handed him what we believe is his 59th defeat in court, our Whiny-Snowflake-In-Chief is still babbling, as Aaron Rupar notes “without a shred of irony,” about the country “having an illegitimate president.” Backing him in this dogged lunacy is Fox News, who despite representing all those “fuck your feelings” MAGA die-hards is still holding pity parties for him: “I just feel for POTUS. I see the pain & frustration. You do everything you’re supposed to do. You run the country well. You campaign your heart out….(then) you’re robbed.” Belligerently joining in the denial this weekend were maskless Proud Boys, neo-Nazis and other garden variety thugs, who roamed the streets of the capitol threatening people, railing against the Supreme Court, cheering for pardoned felon Michael Flynn and dangerous asshat Alex Jones, and eventually stabbing at least four people because they evidently got tired of “standing by” and didn’t have much else going for them. Most spectacularly, in one final, flamboyant act of cognitive dissonance, some Proud Boys wore garish, yellow-and-black kilts, a grievous act of cultural appropriation that, said one Scotsman, “makes my eyes bleed” – and that was before they lifted them to show their anti-antifa butts. Ouch.
Even before that stunt, many were dazed and confused by the spectacle of he-man, pear-shaped goons wearing what many argued were not kilts but skirts, as in, “Why are the Proud Boys cross-dressing?” Was this the new Klan look, or a please-don’t-tread-on-me variation, or a nod to Celtic masculinity but what’s with the pockets and body armor? A tenuous consensus: “It’s ugly, but it’s a kilt.” Many Scots, already incensed by Trump’s environmental crimes in the sketchy name of golf, chimed in. They cited history, from ancient – “They think they’re Braveheart. They’re more like Cowardfarts” – to modern – “Scottish soldiers fought the Nazis and were proudly antifa” – to now: “These are neo-Fascists wearing frocks.” There were sartorial laments – “They’ve ruined Khakis, Hawaiian shirts, Fred Perrys – what’s next?” – and riffs on individual clan tartans that kilts historically represent. “I don’t recognize that clan tartan,” said one. “But I do recognize a cult.” The final, splendid twist in their Nazi knickers: Verillas, who made the kilts, are proudly “LGBTQIA+ owned, operated, designed and lived” and carry a large Pride line including bi, trans and lesbian pride patterns along with traditional clan tartans. “Disgusted to see members of ‘Proud Boys’ a fascist terrorist org wearing our products,” wrote the owner. “We’re against everything they stand for” – adding, as a fun fact, “They said they were a band, and pleaded for a group discount.” After visiting the site – and admiring both the kilts and hot models – many vowed to shop there. And in one last “wonderfically karmic” move, the owner, who saw “$750 of our gear” in the pictures, sent $1000 to the NAACP “to redirect hate to love.”
Klan marches in the 1920s, showing little has changed
Auditioning for the Strypers?
First published in Common Dreams.