Something is rotten in the state of North Dakota, the Washington Times reports.
Tension is brewing within the Dakota Access protest as complaints grow about outside activists trashing the camps, mooching donations and treating the anti-pipeline demonstration like a Burning Man-style festival for hippies.
“Need to get something off my chest that I witnessed and found very disturbing in my brief time there that I believe many others have started to speak up about as well. White people colonizing the camps,” Alicia Smith said in a Facebook post.
“They are coming in, taking food, clothing etc and occupying space without any desire to participate in camp maintenance and without respect of tribal protocols,” she wrote. “These people are treating it like it is Burning Man or The Rainbow Gathering and I even witnessed several wandering in and out of camps comparing it to those festivals.”
Much ink has been spilled over the years about the ability of modern neoliberal culture's ability to commercialize and market just about anything, from cigarettes to fag marriage. One thing that has become increasingly stark - particularly as its effectiveness has dramatically diminished in the wake of Trump - is the commercialization of liberal protesting.
In a saner age, the people you see in the image above would gracefully file themselves into the local church on Sunday and listen to the good word of God. Instead, they make pilgrimages to faraway flyover states thousands of miles from home, to a deserted field in the middle of one of the most barren areas of the contiguous United States, all to protest a single pipeline of which there are millions of miles worth in this country already. To us outside observers, this protest seems inane, like most everything else that these people do.
There is reason to this rhyme however, and most of you are already aware of what that reason is: liberalism is a religion and these people are the most devoted followers.
This sort of analysis isn't anything new. What is particularly interesting about the article quoted above is just how blatant white liberals are about how to them the angry song and dance isn't much more than that: song and dance. To them, the Dakota Access Pipeline protest isn't merely a noble cause, but an excuse to relive the experience of protesting. The cause isn't important, nor is the location. What is important is that it serves as a sort of shared experience for those of a like mind, and that experience is protesting. Just as college isn't merely viewed as a place of education but an "experience", so are the tear gas and water cannons in badlands of North Dakota.
These people could have spoken up at the many public hearings held over this pipeline in the last couple of years, but that would be too stodgy. Protests and pepper spray are glamorous. Public hearings are boring and stodgy and the butt of many jokes on Parks and Recreation. It wasn't an image of Bernie Sanders sitting in committee meetings that got plastered all over the internet this year, but an image of him getting arrested.
We've seen reruns of this movie plenty of times this year.
Why did thousands of people take to the streets with nice, color printed signs, all chanting the same easy to remember slogan after Trump got elected? What did they hope to accomplish?
If you asked them, they probably wouldn't be able to give you an actual answer. The truth is, they don't have any real fucking clue what they were going to accomplish and it's obvious they don't care. These protests, just like Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, and every other "cause" these people cravenly hitch themselves to, are an excuse to act self-righteous, hang out with like minded people, and participate in group rituals that are otherwise impossible for them to participate in thanks to their rotten ideology.
Where there is demand, there is someone willing to supply it. When there are hordes of angry college students willing to stand out in the cold and rain to protest for "justice", there is a shady (((character))) behind the scenes willing to finance these protests for their own ends.
Burning Man, Coachella, and the Counterculture Industry
The people who run the White Ocean Camp at Burning Man were very upset earlier this year.
A very unfortunate and saddening event happened last night at White Ocean, something we thought would never be possible in OUR Burning Man utopia.
A band of hooligans raided our camp, stole from us, pulled and sliced all of our electrical lines leaving us with no refrigeration and wasting our food and, glued our trailer doors shut, vandalized most of our camping infrastructure, dumped 200 gallons of potable water flooding our camp.
We immediately contacted authorities.
Sheriffs came to our camp along with rangers to take our report.
This year has been quite the challenge for our camp. We have felt like we've been sabotaged from every angle, but last night's chain of events, while we were all out enjoying our beautiful home, was an absolute and definitive confirmation that some feel we are not deserving of Burning Man. We actually had someone from the organization tell us that in paraphrase "it makes sense that you have been sabotaged as you are a closed camp and not welcoming."
Burning Man used to be an excuse for flamboyant granola munchers to go out into the middle of nowhere and act like idiots for a week. Much like every other aspect of the counterculture experience, it has been hopelessly commericalized. White Ocean Camp is a perfect example of this commercialization - where granola munchers were formerly an oddity thirty years ago, today they run multibillion dollar corporations in Silicon Valley. Thus when these squares want to re-engage in the hippie experience, they couldn't possibly be asked to mingle with the lowly proles at the other tents. They need their luxury facilities and fine dining even when they're in the desert.
Burning man used to be free. Now, it costs $850.
The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California (or Coachella for short) is the same way. Aging women slamming full speed into the wall spend tens of thousands of dollars so they can pretend to look like they're in their twenties while they pretend to listen to music.
Before heading to the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, Calif., this weekend, the 33-year-old divorced mother of two blew $20,000 in preparation. Her clothing alone for the weekend — a “sick” outfit featuring a vintage Guns N’ Roses T-shirt, YSL army jacket, denim cutoffs, corset, thigh-high leather boots — was $8,000. She spent thousands more on Botox, lip injections, boxing classes and a personal trainer who helped her drop 10 pounds in advance of the three-day-long concert in the California desert. In the month leading up to it, she even gave up alcohol and went vegan to get in shape for the debauchery to come.
“[Getting ready for it] doesn’t have to be a full-time job,” she says. “But I’m making it one.”
This same conspicuous consumption happens at other "cutting edge" liberal festivities like SXSW and TED talks.
In a time when our society's most popular comedians spend more time defending the establishment than mocking it, it should come as no surprise that essentially every single "counter"-cultural expression and institution of the left manages has been turned into a commodity. Their desire to constantly recreate the culture and aesthetics of the 1960s hippie movement have led many enterprising people to cash in.
American showman P.T. Barnum allegedly remarked once that "there's a sucker born every minute". Today, those suckers are donating to Jill Stein's recount scam, blowing almost a thousand dollars on tickets to go to the middle of nowhere, and sleeping in yurts in the middle of North Dakota.
In Clown World America, disobedience is the ultimate racket.
Images courtesy of the Atlantic