Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Commies Are Invading Downtown Houston!!!

I'm leaving work Friday afternoon, and I'm kinda bummed out. It was a slow day, and normally I can crank out a good blog post in between the infrequent phone calls and emails that need immediate attention. All I managed, though, was a mediocre missive about music. I got a few larger items in the pipeline, but nothing that can get posted without some polishing that I'm just not up to doing at 4 pm on a Friday.

So, I'm walking out to catch my bus out to the Park & Ride, wondering what I'm gonna manage to post about over the weekend. After all, Xmas shopping, oil changes & car washes and washing clothes are not exactly the items that produce memorable posts.

Call it serendipity, karma, or pure chance, but sometimes tasty topics just drop out of the sky when you both need them most and least expect it. Or, in this case, they come walking down Walker Avenue. I glance up to see a couple passing out flyers at the bus stop at Walker & Louisiana. He's a black man, about 40ish, heavyset & wearing a black leather jacket & pants. She's older, mid 40's, wearing vaguely hippie-ish garb covered with one of those puffy down ski jackets and a knitted cap that makes her head look like a green pine cone. Both are handing out large flyers to anyone who will take them. I cross the street, and the man hands me an 8.5 x 14 sheet of paper that's just crammed with print. Here's the title:


Below that, I reproduce verbatim:


Not an auspicious beginning. I glance at the subheads scattered throughout the page. "Staring at Christian Fascism", "A Time For Resistance", "A Revolutionary Society". Oh, man, this is getting better! Or worse, depending on your perspective.
Next to me, a well-dressed banker type crumples his copy up in a wad and throws it in the trash can, bringing a whine of protest from the man handing them out. "Hey, man! You could just have handed it back to me!" The banker-type ignores him, and turns away.

By now, I've scanned through the screed, looking for the group who's printed this. I suppose my intense perusal of the paper caught the attention of the woman, because she sidled over towards me. I finally find what I'm looking for, down at the bottom of the back page. Oh Mah Ghod... These people are still around? It's the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. A guffaw comes out of me spontaneously. I glance up at her, and she's got a quizzical look on her face. Perhaps she's hoping my brief exposure to her Ultimate Truth has seared me to my soul, and I'm laughing at my years of folly at pursuing the Failed KKKapitalist Dream.

Heh. Not even close. I haven't had an opportunity for an in-person Fisking in a long time, and with the crowd at the bus stop I've even got a live audience. This poor lamb has no idea what she's about to get hit with. Years and years of accumulated high school debate and college student government oratory skills get unlocked and loaded into the launching racks. Phasers are set on 'Squish'!

"So," I ask, "You of course realize that Communism has been a miserable failure everywhere it's been tried, don't you?" Before she can respond, I stat ticking them off. "USSR, split up, gone capitalist. Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Hungary, all threw off their Russian chains. China, embracing capitalism, same for Vietnam. Sure, there's Cuba and North Korea, but they're only that way as long as the HMFIC is alive. Why should it work here?"

I'll give her this, she was game for the fight. "Because it HAS to work," she replied. "Our current system isn't working!"

"Really?" I said, waving at all the tall skyscrapers surrounding us, each one a monument to capitalism. "Oh, yeah, it sure looks like it's not working out. Guess we ought to just scrap it all, right?" I hear a chuckle behind me from another commuter. Ha! First blood to El Capitan!

"But... the poor and disenfranchised have no..." she attempted.

"C'mon lady!" I said. "our 'poor' are the wealthiest in the world. Where else in the world can they get a system that provides education for their kids, food on their table, and health care free of charge? It's capitalism that makes that surplus possible!"

"It's still an unequal system," she countered. "We need to empower the workers to make their own decisions and control their futures!"

Oh, man, her rose-colored glasses are thick enough to work on that Cyclops guy from the X-Men movies. "Lady, the reason most people are 'workers' is that they are unwilling or not bright enough to improve their lot in life. If you're still working at a minimum wage job after you're a teenager, odds are you made some really bad decisions in your life".

"Well, some people can't help that!" she said. "We need to remake society so everyone gets their fair share."

Fair share? Wonder who gets to decide that! For a moment, I'm tempted to go all Orwellian on her deluded self, but that'll take me off on a tangent, and I'm angling for the kill here.

"Yeah, lady, and your Communist Party can make it work here, in a solidly capitalist country, after its failed so many times all over the world? We're all just supposed to chuck it in and let you decide how to make it all better?" I hear a faint "Hell, no!" from behind me. Obviously another 'downtrodden worker' want to hang onto their possessions.

I gotta say, she wasn't going down without a struggle. "Well, just because it hasn't worked elsewhere is no reason to stop trying!" she said. Jeez, where have I heard that before?? OK, time to hammer her into the pavement.

"Lady, Communism will never work out, here or anywhere. You just can't trump human nature! We all want to better our lives, and those of our kids. We're not termites or ants! It's not a natural act to give up hard-earned resources to help people from another community."

Eyes blazing, she retorted "Well, people just have to learn to do it! We will teach people how to share!"

Ha! Gotcha, sweetie! You stumbled right into my little snare!

"Oh, really? And where, pray tell, do you intend on making that happen? Perhaps a 're-education' camp? Perhaps the Gulag? What happens to people who refuse? I suppose they just disappear, right?"

She opened her mouth to reply, then hesitated as a few people started laughing. Then she turned all red in the face. I didn't give her a chance to recover.

"C'mon," I asked. "What happens to me if I just say No? What if I refuse to go along with your revolution? You gonna be the one to shoot me in the back of the head just like Stalin & Mao had done to millions of their own people?"

She was really steamed, and I was having a ball. I was just about to fire a second hull shot into her when her partner, hearing the laughing, I suppose, pulled her away and said "Let's go over to that corner down the block. There's more people there." The translation being, I'M not there...

So off they went, two deluded little Commies, heading out to change the world.

I hung on to the flyer, intending to scan it in and post it here, but as luck would have it, those Paragons of DumbAssery have taken advantage of the fruits of capitalist productivity and embraced technology. I.E. they posted their screed online. Have a look!

Their main website is a jumble of loosely-related topics, which is probably an accurate reflection of their assorted mental states. Their Exalted Leader, Bob Avakian, seems to be running their show with the characteristic iron fist. At least, his writings dominate the site. I would have a hard time following a leader called 'Bob'. A 'Robert', maybe, but not 'Bob'. It just lacks that... je ne sais quoi.

Here's ol' Comrade Bob.

I wonder how many times he practiced that pose to get the proper "Helter-Skelter!" ferverous gleam in his eyes? And the apple cap! Bwahahaa! I haven't seen those since 'Fat Albert & The Cosby Kids' went off the air!

Look out, Houston! The Commies are on the march!