A Day At Discovery Green With The Tea Partiers
|Photo by Marc Brubaker|
The event started at 4 p.m., and by the time Hair Balls was on the ground about an hour later, the lawn was already packed and the makeshift market a few yards away, with booths signing up partygoers for various action committees and selling literature and apparel, was alive with activity.
It was a sea of red, white and blue on the Green. Signs with varying slogans blanketed the crowd. Some signs ranged from your standard lines about overspending and "Obamacare" to ones that cast the Obama as a dictator or the Cowardly Lion from Wizard Of Oz. One T-shirt even depicted the President as a fetus inside an acorn, a reference to embattled grassroots organization ACORN.
Of course, he was also drawn as a strange alien baby with ginormous ears. Speaking of that, the depictions of Obama generally run from the hilarious (Heath Ledger's Joker, the aforementioned lion), to the utterly racist. But it's hard to argue any of those points considering that Dubya was marketed as Hitler, a chimp, and the Scarecrow from Oz. Is it a generational thing that has brought back the Baum characters?
Like Glenn Beck, we're just asking questions, gang.
Hair Balls isn't gonna front, talking babies are kinda cool. We spoke with Malone on the side of the stage about his move to KSEV and he was very upbeat about it and the Tea Party crowd in front of him. He began showing his conservative side in 2005 with his show on KPRC 950 AM, to some people's astonishment, and it has now earned him a spot in KSEV's right-wing talk line-up that also includes State Senator Dan Patrick, who also owns the station.
One speaker threw out the line that "We didn't land on Barack Obama; Barack Obama landed on us" echoing the Malcolm X line that many wouldn't know had they not watched his Denzel Washington-starring biopic one night on basic cable during a baseball rain delay. Its lines like this that don't broaden the Tea Party base, but very much push away prospective followers, if not befuddle.
Bad things were happening back then too, just as they are now. Foisting and longing for the ideals of a now 30-year-old administration on our world now seems, you know, counterproductive.
Hair Balls assumed he would have been escorted out himself, considering our tattooed appearance, somewhere along the way, so we brought a sign from a Federal Reserve protest we found during a trip to Dallas in November to help blend in. We were actually treated great by organizers and partygoers alike for the two hours we roamed the grounds of the Green. You would think the Black Flag tattoo would have been a red flag, as it were.
Other folks weren't so lucky though. In fact if you voiced any sort of counter-opinion, you were summarily led out of the party. During the early part of the day, a bearded Zach Galifinakis look-alike in a red shirt with "SOCIALIST" emblazoned the front was hustled out by security, Houston Police officers, and partygoers heckling him. The guy -- Zachary Prazak of Montrose -- sat on the side on a fence fielding yells and arguments with those who wanted to counter his shirt and accompanying political beliefs.
Our own photographer Marc Brubaker was kicked out of the grounds at one point after a partygoer claimed that he was "cursing and yelling" at people in the crowd. A Discovery Green security was informed and then HPD took him out of the throng. A meeting with a Tea Party organizer created more confusion than clarity. We asked HPD brass on the scene to produce the guard who initially received the complaint, but we were told he was somewhere in the crowd. The soft-spoken Brubaker denied emphatically that he made any remarks to anyone on the grounds.
As we were leaving, the party's house band launched into a version of Neil Young's "Rockin' In The Free World," a song which was originally written in opposition of Bush Sr.'s foreign policy, mentions leaving babies near trashcans in order to score dope, and ignoring societal problems at large in a sarcastic tone. Keep in mind Neil Young is a fervently liberal-leaning, Canadian-born ex-heroin addict who has written numerous anti-war protest songs and...nevermind.