Well folks, it looks like we have another performance artist to add to the list of politically driven theater. Coming off the heels of Trumps satirical political run for office, is a satirical stand-off in the far corners of Oregon staring Ammon Bundy and his small band of brothers in arms.
In case you missed this piece of theater, Ammon Bundy, son of the infamous Rancher Clivin Bundy, led a small armed group to Eastern Oregon in order to take over a small federal wild life sanctuary in protest of the reincarceration of two Oregon Ranchers who were convicted of arson.
The Saturday before the pair of Oregon ranchers were to begin their second prison sentence (the original sentence being declared too short) a group of local protesters gathered in Burns Oregon (yes the two convicted arsonists lived in Burns Oregon; insert joke here). As the protesters grew in numbers a few men, led by Bundy decided to take some real action. Bundy’s performance started with a rally “Those who want to go take hard stand, get in your trucks and follow me!
From the original 100 or so protesters, only 11 followed Bundy to the Malheur Wildlife sanctuary; a small federal reserve that houses mostly birds. The building the group took over is nothing more than a gift shop that closes in the winter due to the snow and lack of wildlife (birds being smarter than Bundy flee the area during the winter months).
On Sunday the satirical standoff really took off. Much like Trump’s bombastic rhetoric, thick with outlandish and comical ideas, the group responded to reporters with these gems:
“This refuge here is rightfully owned by the people and we intend to use it. We will be here as a unified body of people that understand the principles of the Constitution( or at least until the toilet paper runs out and the group realizes no one is coming to clean the port potties).”
“We know based on history that the federal government will try to take control, and they will try to bring force upon these people,” They will literally kill these people that are here, in order to make their message.” Yet Bundy admitted to a reporter that the group has not heard from the authorities since taking over the site. If no one responds to a standoff is it still a standoff or clandestine camping trip? It’s been four days and still no sign of the feds.
In a home video, Bundy explains how God told him to go to Oregon and take a stand for the people. One would think God has bigger things on his mind, than to defend a Oregon building, but maybe not. Personally, I think God is trolling Bundy.
On first glance it would appear the standoff is not going well. The feds aren’t biting and the group’s plea for more armed men are being ignored. But the show must go on, so the group has taken to Facebook, with a SOS: Send us food, socks, snacks, energy drinks, anything! No word if the culinary Calvary is on its way.
As far as standoffs go, this is a dud. No feds, no food, no supplies. For a group who has vowed to “remain on the land for years!”, they are not well prepared to do so. One has to wonder, if God truly told Bundy to go to Oregon, why he didn’t also give him a list of supplies to take? Is God in on the act?
This is why it has to be satire. The comical approach this group has taken can only be seen as performance art. There is little point to their take-over, as the ranchers to whom they have pledged to defend have stated that Bundy and his group do not speak for us. The townspeople have asked them to leave, and the winter weather will delay if not outright stop any food delivery. If this were a live theater production, it would have folded after one night.
Even the media is staying away from what I term this as Amateur Night at the Alamo. Fox News isn’t even buying this act! Megan Kelly asked Bundy:
“You know the argument on the other side,” she said. “These ranchers — who you support but are not directly involved [with] — had their day in court. They were found guilty, and it went all the way up to the US Supreme Court, which denied their appeal. Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to work in our country when it comes to the rule of law?”
Though Bundy says he’s a Constitutionalist, he refuses to accept the Supreme Court’s decision. He can’t because of he did, this would be a major plot hole in his narrative. With little support, Bundy has no choice but to double down on his claims of “people’s rights”.
It remains to be seen just how long Bundy and his small band can hold off the invisible feds, but one thing is clear, American satire is on the rise. What’s next? A group of highly paid yet dysfunctional do–nothing but whine men taking over a federal building in D.C.? Oh, wait.. we have that piece of satirical theater; it’s called Congress.
The Raw Story
3 thoughts on “Amateur Night at the Alamo; a Satirical Standoff”
That siege mentality — a real or imagined encirclement of pioneers and frontiersmen — is such an idée fixe in the American male psyche that it isn’t going away soon, if ever. It comes I should think from that Nonconformist ‘Mayflower’ meme — if it isn’t the British then it’s the Feds, or the Reds, or the Muslims. However would they cope if there was no external enemy to jeopardise their prejudices?
Anyway, let’s hope this farce fizzles away before it turns really ugly.
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“We’ve come to confront the mighty Fed
We’ve told everyone we’ll fight or be dead
But somehow we forgot to bring the bread
It’s so tough to be a hero!
“The Constitution is on our side
It’s every provision we will abide
Except when it proves a thorn in our side
It’s so tough to be a hero!”
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Thank you for the song Brian. Every good piece of theater needs a theme song, and this is perfect!
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