Drunken Activism in a Military Town: By Todd Price

My tactics of annoyance have been diverse. They run amuck but generally tend to be towards those viewed as ignorant. My politics have definitely butted heads with many a conservative soul. The last eight years of Bush have been hell on earth, if you ask me. I have always been against everything that party stands for anyway, but his goofy smirk and ignorant swagger—not to mention bumbling of the English language—touches off a nerve in me that is akin to a spasm. With this all out in the open, I want to share with the world my personal policy of drunken activism.

The world has become a complacent place, especially here in the U.S. of A. No one wants to openly share a political discussion for fear of an argument. I, myself, am guilty of not wanting to know if someone is Republican due to the loss of respect I would harbor towards them. In any case, this doesn’t stop me from voicing my opinion. We are in a free country and I’ll enjoy those freedoms while they still exist.

The drunken aspect of activism makes it all the more fun to me. I would go out and get tanked all night long, I mean one of everything, hell, make it two of everything. One event took place in San Diego, CA after a night of debauchery. I was amongst friends and 6 AM bar sounded like a pertinent idea at the time. Scholari’s Office, a well-known early bird dive bar was the location for bloody marys. I consumed one, spilled most of the next one on my pants, and decided that a breakfast burrito and someone’s couch was the only thing left for me to do. As I said my goodbyes in a strong slur, I parted ways and started to walk down the street home.

As soon as I ventured outside the bar I saw a clean cut gentleman parking his SUV across the street. He had two Bush stickers on his vehicle and one was on his front windshield. I staggered across the street and began pointing at the sticker. He finished parking and reluctantly got out of the vehicle. I asked him if he liked Bush. He said, simply, “Yes.” And I responded, “You’re an idiot!” I realize this statement carried no profound metaphor. Genuinely irritated but able to overlook my shenanigans, he decided to walk into the coffeehouse and ignore me. I said, “Hey mister, check it out!” and began peeling the sticker off his car! This was definitely not well received and he started chasing me around his car as I, while laughing, told him to calm down. People, including the bartender, came from across the street to help contain the situation. As this man yelled, “I will not be threatened by thugs in my own neighborhood!” I rattled off things like, “Get out of this neighborhood!” and, “Brainwashed” in annoying, drunken, southern drawls. The early bird Republican wasn’t pleased. As he fumed and spat out his retorts, I turned and walked away; off to a breakfast burrito and a nearby couch to pass out, oblivious to the volatile behavior I induced and content to stumble down the street. The incident was so vague to me. The story had to be reiterated by friends several times before congealing to this rendition.
The 1960s hey day of protests has receded to looting, riots, and vandalism at the turn of the millennium. Our voices have been strangled, muzzled, or just turned into an off-key melody of someone else’s song. Well aware of the situation we live in, I just continue life on the course I set sail to in my youth. Bush stickers beware.

I lived in the OceanBeach area of San Diego for a while in 2003-2004. The attraction to this particular area stems from its bohemian aesthetic. All kinds of weirdoes and transients frequent the place. The ocean is enticing as well. Green-minded individuals were supposed to make me feel like humanity was in a new age of progressivism. As most generalizations go, this didn’t work out to be the case. While many here cherish progressive lifestyles, the military factor in the San Diego equation makes it a far cry from finding inner peace. With the marine bases and naval stations comes the overwhelming stench of undeterred patriotism. Defending a country is different than bombing everything in sight.
So my realizations had already set in that OceanBeach wasn’t the new utopian lifestyle I yearned for. Aware of this, but also determined to make my opinion clear, I challenged some who seemed to taint my ideology. One day I drove to the post office and parked next to a huge SUV with Bush stickers plastered across it. I was wearing my headphones and listening to the Evol CD by Sonic Youth. At this point in my life, a black marker was always nearby. Nonchalantly, I scribbled “Sux” across the sticker and faintly heard someone yelling at me. I turned to find a large, gray-haired man shaking his fist and chasing me down the street. I outran him and darted into the post office only a few yards away. A little panicked, I mentally played out varying situations of cops waiting outside, the man, wielding a gun and waiting on me, or a physical altercation with a guy twice the size of me.

As I reluctantly exited the post office, the man waited expectantly. He was more than pissed and walked next to me back towards where I parked my car next to his vehicle. We had a fairly intense conversation. He told me that he wouldn’t deface a “pussy, faggot ass Kerry sticker” and I responded that, “I hated them both.” He then told me that he should’ve “kicked in you’re car door in for that shit” and I pointed out, that would be “really immature.” You could’ve boiled an egg on his forehead. Then the large, hulking, possible military veteran informed me that that was his office building I parked in front of and he’d have me towed if I “ever parked there again.” I reflected that, “It’s a public parking space,” and then inquired if he meant the accounting firm we stood in front of. Yes, it was the very same office. I told him that it “makes sense then,” in regards to his affinity towards a money-hungry politician such as Bush. In hindsight, I realize this is doing nothing to change anyone’s opinions. But the truth be known, I don’t care and don’t expect anyone to change their political affiliations, it just makes me feel better about having to deal with eight years of an asshole.