The standoff in Nevada with rancher Cliven Bundy has apparently turned into some sort of wingnut Burning Man, with a various assortment of people gathering with some truly bizarre views on virtually everything. Esquire sent a reporter there to gather some comments from them and much fun ensues.
In the background, a singer with an American-flag guitar warms up the stage with a raspy hollering he explains as Tibetan throat singing. Suddenly noticing a man off to the side shaking maracas, he stops and grips the mic:
“Is there really a black man in the house?” A lone “whoo” goes up from the folding chairs. “You’re with the media, right?” The cameraman nods, and the singer returns his focus to the folding chairs. “So, are we racists here today? That’s how they’re trying to spin this one — this is good. Channel 13 came at me the other day — a cute little blonde, of course. They sent her at me, y’know, go get the story! Go get the radical…” The generator cuts out, silencing the mic, and the story about how he isn’t a racist is lost.
“There’s a black person here, therefore we can’t possibly be racist.” Non-sequitur much?
A militia member with the group Oath Keepers named Mark, who drove in from out of state by way of Zion National Park (“which was absolutely beautiful — you should go”), offers to explain to me the truth behind public land management.
“The assumption is that the BLM is part of the federal government. But we need to check the facts on that one. The BLM doesn’t work for the government: they work for the United Nations. They might as well be wearing blue helmets. If we find out there’s money being exchanged between Harry Reid and the Chinese government, no one should be surprised.”
WTF? The BLM was established by the merging of two federal agencies in 1946. This isn’t some big secret, for crying out loud.
A self-trained lawyer tells me the same. He adds that Bar-certified lawyers, like the ones who prosecuted Bundy, have sworn loyalty to the British government, whose statutes encourage sex with clients. “That’s what they do with all their clients.”
Sounds legit. Oh, and Bundy thinks he talks to God:
The crowd, fresh off their victory at the Battle of Bunkerville, gives Bundy a standing ovation. But he doesn’t seem pleased. He reproaches the crowd for failing to follow the word of God – to the letter – which he says is being delivered through him. They failed, for example, to follow his instructions to tear down the toll booths at Lake Mead and disarm the Park Service.“The message I gave to you all was a revelation that I received. And yet not one of you can seem to even quote it.”
Cliven continues, sermon-like: “The records of our bible — how long have they been kept? Thousands of years. They’ve been turned over generation after generation, buried, and all kinds of things happen to ‘em. And yet, here, something I felt was inspired [by God] and yet we haven’t even carried it forth for even a couple of days. Shame on us.” Smattering of clapping.
He goes on to explain that, although they managed to deter the BLM, they failed to do it “within one hour,” as the revelation had prophesied. So when an hour passes, he decides to get in his bulldozer and march on the BLM himself. The dozer gets stuck in the mud and he receives another revelation.
“It come to my mind real plain — the good Lord said, ‘Bundy, it’s not your job, it’s THEIR job.’ So we come back over here and heard that they had brought some cattle back. So I want you to understand,” addressing the crowd, “This is not my job, it’s YOUR job.
Well isn’t that convenient for him?
In the downtime, a group of men laments the way the world has changed. Obama, a Muslim Kenyan, doesn’t let kids say the pledge in school anymore.
45 states require the pledge in school. This has precisely nothing to do with President Obama or the federal government at all. But hey, if you’re gonna just make shit up, make it good, amirite?
Behind us, an older man, whose face is cut up from tumbling down a hill during the protest, gets into his beige sedan to leave. It’s covered in lettering:
IF YOU WERE BORN IN 1980 AND AFTER. YOU MAY BE IMPLANTED WITH A GOVERNMENT MICROCHIP WITHOUT YOUR KNOWLEDGE: GOOGLE DOCTORS THAT REMOVE MICROCHIPS.
“Google MKUltra,” he says cryptically, “Then you’ll find what I’m about.”
It’s wingnutapalooza. Better keep a keen eye out for those chemtrails and the juice boxes that turn us all gay.