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Stupid Protests, Right and Left

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I thought I could not possibly see a dumber protest than the pouring down the drain, by restauranteurs, bar owners and winos throughout Red America, of bottle after bottle after bottle of French wine a few weeks ago. An empty gesture, I urged my “Freedom Fries”-eating comrades; the wine is already paid for, the French have your money, and you’re not even going to catch a buzz. Dumbest. Protest. Ever.

Or so thought. But now I think we have a tie.

I am told that some antiwar protesters in San Francisco have staged a “vomit-in” to graphically illustrate how “war makes them puke.” They appear to have ingested quantities of milk tinged with red food coloring and vomited in unison on some federal buildings! And this is supposed to be a dramatic gesture, bold and arresting. Which it might be if we can ever stop laughing at them.

The puke-a-thon is particularly amusing since, I am sure, many of these same people spend a lot of the rest of their time railing about America’s culture of conspicuous consumption and conspicuous waste, about mounds of disposable diapers in landfills, about excessive packaging, about the extra food that gets tossed out behind restaurants every day that could have gone to Food Not Bombs.

But these concerns are trivial compared to the chance to puke in front of a TV camera to protest a war that even now is setting a people free, removing a man who, let’s not forget, could have prevented all of this by just packing a suitcase and taking a vacation in Jordan, feeding villagers in Iraq their first proper meals (OK, MREs, but at least they’re nutritious)… I bet the residents of Safwan would love to show their gratitude to those San Franciscans who vomited untold gallons of milk on their behalf.

I know, I know, gestures like these feel good, draw publicity for the cause and bring people of like minds together. But there are so many more constructive things to do with the time and effort that goes into orchestrating such demonstrations of ire.

Don’t hate the media, become the media, Lydia Lunch once advised – and here we all are. Never again will news and information be a top-down, tightly controlled, one-way flow. We are all the media.

The same works for public policy. Every year in this country there are elections. Every year, these elections suffer from dearths of quality candidates, coherent and meaningful dialogue, constructive efforts, and voter turn-out.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

I sat for two years in my little ol’ hometown and griped and carped and pointed fingers before finally waking up to the reality that the only real way to effect change is to get my hands on the gavel. So I ran for office and got elected. I’m 33 years old, a baby in a town full of geezers, and it’s an uphill struggle every day to bring about meaningful change, but let me tell you, it’s a lot easier to make that struggle, and make it worthwhile, when you have the authority.

You can do it, too. It’s not a show.

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About Kate Sherrod

  • there was an interesting article in yesterday’s boston globe about the silly extremes to which boycotts can be taken.

  • I don’t get it, Kate. Are you saying that running for office (or voting) are the only legitimate methods with which to practice democracy? Why would we have the freedom to assemble if the Framers didn’t feel it was important to democracy?

    I find it interesting that a common type of criticism that pro-war folks are offering of protesters is the discovery of some miniscule piece of alleged hypocrisy.

    I.e., shutting down traffic is hypocritical–it will add fumes and increase global warming. You didn’t say this, M. Simon did.

    But I’d put your comments in the same category: Vomiting wastes food, therefore protesters are being hypocritical.

    By this line of thinking, virtually any action could be criticized as hypocrisy. The picket signs waste paper and kill trees. The megaphones waste electricity. Marching uses up shoe leather, which kills animals.

    The only thing left is inaction.

  • >I don’t get it, Kate. Are you saying that running for office (or voting) are the only legitimate methods with which to practice democracy?

    No, but I do think they’re the best, most effective ways.

    >I find it interesting that a common type of criticism that pro-war folks are offering of protesters is the discovery of some miniscule piece of alleged hypocrisy.

    >By this line of thinking, virtually any action could be criticized as hypocrisy. The picket signs waste paper and kill trees. The megaphones waste electricity. Marching uses up shoe leather, which kills animals.

    *I* find it interesting that in this day and age so many people have concluded that hypocrisy – the failure to consistently live up in every thought, word and deed to ethical and moral principles that are by their very nature imperfectly attainable – is now the worst of sins. It isn’t. Hypocrisy is a normal human failing.

    I frankly don’t care if the wine dumpers (right wing) or the puke patrol (left) are hypocritical. I do care if they’re silly, wasting their good time and energy on empty gestures, alienating potential supporters of their causes (did any of the SF protesters ask that poor woman in the SUV whether or not she supported the war?), or subjecting others to potential harm.

    We still have a functioning democracy and the freest society mankind has ever known, one that is the envy of the rest of the world (which is why migrations tend to go Westward), and it still more or less works. It’s a good system, but not a perfect system (and that’s all we can hope for being the flawed human beings that we are) – but it could still be better, especially if people stop automatically assuming that they’re disenfranchised and take to the streets to riot when they disagree with what’s going on, and start putting the system to work for the people whom it is supposed to serve. It’s really not that hard.

    But, as my pals like to quote with great frequency, “Democracy is three wolves and a sheep deciding what’s for dinner.” This time the wolves said go to war. Next time, maybe they won’t. Best chance for that outcome is – not to have the same wolves in power.

  • Sorry Kate, three wolves and a sheep, etc. is not democracy, it’s dictatorship. In democracy there are no sheep, since, as you’re modelling, human beings do have a choice, unlike sheep who seem to me to be predestined.
    Neither bulimia nor anorexia can be much helpful by way of protest, as they express despair and frustration, no less than they mirror a culture of greed and excess.
    When I was a child my grandfather taught me to kiss the piece of bread that happened to fall.
    In Israel this week again a convoy of food is collected and brought to the occupied territories by way of protest.
    It does not create immediate change, but what does?

  • the Rev Nick

    I have a question for the vocal anti war crowd, and I would like some kind of honest answer, becouse I honestly want to know: did you peopprotest the following: Iraq invasion of Kuwait; Iraq gassing of the Kurds; horrible atrocities commited during the civil wars in places like the Congo and Sierra Leone; the Chechen (sic?) wars going on now; genocide in Bosnia; the coup in Jamaica; the brutal tactics of South American drug Cartels; (for those of you old enough) the Tienamen square massacre; Iraq invasion of Iran; and all that’s just off the top of my head. Please, someone tell me, because if the answer is what I suspect it is, that you people only protest what your own country does, than you are all hypocrites whose opinions are less than worthless. The same goes for protestors in other countries- are they equal opprotunity complainers or is it only because it’s America. Someone tell me.

  • Brian

    Your completely right about people who protest wars. No one likes war obviously. Prostesting only your own is hipocritical. For those protesting war on terror. Please stop wasting your time here and take your time and money and go to the middle east and please protest to them where the action is. Oh wait. you want make it back so you’d rather do the popular thing that gets you attention here because you are safe thanks to Former Pres. Bush. And we all known you need some kind of attention because no one in your personal lives will really listen. Probably because your not really worth listening to because your thoughts and justifications are ignorant rather than educationally and factually suported.

  • Brunelleschi

    Rev Nick/Brian-

    The purpose of a protest in America is to send a message to the American government. They may be done by people who just hate all war in a generic sense, but a specific protest is about a specific policy or vote, etc.

    Protestors seek to create the impression that their opinions are shared by enough voters that supporting the policy in question will have consequences on election day.

    Most are trying to get on the news at home, for this reason. I doubt if any one them paid to fly to the ME and get in some Arab government’s face, that this would put pressure on politicians at home.

    Another motive is if a certain war or action is being downplayed or even keep secret, the idea is to get it on the news so it isn’t a secret anymore. I have done this myself and it worked so well a congressman had my friends and I spied on by the FBI in retaliation. This was verified because our local paper got the files through the FOIA, and it made the news even one more time. The motive was to make a secret public knowledge, and we succeeded. we won.

    I used to get invited to a local high school once a year to explain “political pressure groups” to a civics class. I would bring articles about our antics and show how they made the news and why that mattered.

    It’s just about applying pressure.

    I don’t know about you Brian, but I don’t believe that Bush made me safer by making more enemies. Protesting a bullshit war is patriotic.

    Another way to look at it is protests are just political street theater. If you don’t like it, look the other way.

    “….because your thoughts and justifications are ignorant rather than educationally and factually suported.” (sic)

    That’s bullshit. Any time I protested something, I was on the side of facts, or I wouldn’t do it. It was the government that was lying or spinning the truth.

    Speaking on non factual positions, EVERY time the US uses it’s military power, its billed as spreading freedom. That’s rarely factual.

    What happens when you engage in a debate about a war is the people that support it will start out saying it’s about freedom out of habit. When you destroy that tired nonsense and explain that its about oil, or bananas, of coffee, or copper, etc, and provide facts, the pro war side will eventually agree and start trying to defend taking/controlling the resources that we want. They say “What’s wrong with that? Are you saying we shouldn’t act in our own interests, etc?”

    So they prove themselves wrong. It wasn’t about freedom then was it?

  • Brunelleschi

    One more-

    I don’t think the vomit-in was very creative, but it did make the news.

    Pouring out wine in America to send a message to France is stupid. The French are not going to feel political pressure at home because of that. They are just going to think Americans are ignorant.

  • Brian

    I respect your opinion and want go into to detail. Your definitly on the other side. Im not pro war by any means. It disgust me but is necessary especially when we were attacked first such as 911 which could have been prevented had a certain democrat did his job when he had the chance. Im not a big Bush supporter but it has become popular to hate him and to many uneducated people buy into all the non sense with out any facts. Our foreign policy has been a issue for years and agree that it is’nt helping. The way out one make more sense if the politicians quit dogding the issue of energy independence and make something happen but that would make America stronger and i dont want to believe this but think just maybe some people in washington dont want to see that or they would quit making it harder to do so. thats just one thing i think would help. i would like to hear your opinion. I definitly enjoy open and good hearted debates. Also,what party to your support? for my own curiousity.

  • Brunelleschi

    Assuming you asked your’s truly…

    I’m not sure what you are asking, but I’ll take a stab at it..

    First, 9/11 was not Arabs attacking first at all. It was a reaction, not an invasion. It was planned and carried out by Al Qaeda, which isn’t even a government. It’s an international insurrection against imperialism (wars over oil in Arab nations) and blind bankrolling of israel.

    Western imperialism is so predictable, Al Qaeda’s platform spells it out… The west is manipulating Arab governments to get to oil and creating repressive regimes, they want to establish permanent military bases in the ME, they won’t stop supporting Israel, etc.. if you are a “man in the street” in the ME, that is exactly what you see, and OBL seems like a prophet. He’s not. He just knows how the west behaves well enough to predict what the west will do and use it for their own agenda.

    Obama just stated that he wants to end dependance on foreign oil. That would be the wisest move any president has made in our lifetimes.

    Why hasn’t this come up before?

    1) The Bushes are an oil rich family. Conflict of interest.
    2) Clinton wasn’t radical enough to take such a stanch. Oil was cheap.
    3) Reagan was too busy making excuses for imperialism and doing it himself to think about what he was doing.

    My own protesting days were during Reagan. I grew up an Army brat and learned that American’s wore the white hats and fought to make the world free, and the commies just wanted to do mean things. Life was simple.

    Then I discovered reality. The US was engaged in destabilizations world-wide. They were either kept secret (covert actions) or not so secret (low intensity warfare), a war on the third world.

    What was the war on the third world about? It could not have been to make people free, because the US had been busy rolling back freedom, and manipulating governments to keep them open for private property/private property rights.

    The USSR, working from the economic model that is the opposite of private property rights, was doing the same.

    Jimmy Carter once said “Human rights are the soul of American foreign policy.” bullshit. He should have said “private property rights are the soul of American foreign policy.”

    Take just one example and multiply it for the globe-

    In 1954, the US planned and executed an overthrow of a democratically-elected government in Guatemala under the guise of rolling back communism. The truth about it (read “Bitter Fruit”) was that the government we called commies had paid United Fruit (US company) for land they had that displaced campesinos, and they wanted people back on the land, not foreigners.

    The catch was that United Fruit liked to lie about the value of it’s holdings there on its taxes, so the government paid them what they claimed it was worth! Doh!

    Unfortunately for Guatemalan democracy..the United Fruit company’s lawyer and his brother worked in the Eisenhower Admin. John Foster Dulles ran the state department, and Allen Dulles ran the CIA.

    A replacement president was hand-picked by the CIA. The land was taken back. The county lost it’s democracy, and the killing started. One repressive dictator followed the other, but the US seemed quite satisfied. This lasted until Reagan, and he was enthusiastic about keeping it going.

    I could type all night about more examples of this.

    Conclusion-America isn’t stomping around the world to make people free at all. It’s about private property rights, and our real problem with the USSR all along is they were tugging the world in the opposite direction.

    We managed to put ourselves on the wrong side of history in countless wars and covert actions for bullshit reasons.

    How can this happen? How can the executive branch, the foreign service (embassies, etc), international funds, the CIA, and our military establishment all sing the same tune of freedom, while they really are driven by something like private property and be blind to all the killing and enemies they created?

    Do they really believe their bullshit? Yes. One of these days I will write this up. It’s called a “meme,” a virus of the mind. Groups keep telling themselves the same thing over and over and it spreads, based on what serves their best interest. Memes evolve.
    Our meme was private property, and it made the nation blind. It still does.

    So I picked up a sign.

    I hope that helps.


  • Brian

    Ill only point out a few things for you. We are not fighting the Arabs. Great Obama said we need to be less dependent. Even Bush said that. He is not man of word if you dont know. He said one thing but is signed an order to bann domestic drilling witch Bush took the ban off. Obama said it, but did the opposite within one week. Also if we drilled now experts not democrats have said that oil could be delivered to this country domestically within 2 years if they wouldnt do the ban off ban on political games. Why you think the oil companies didnt go after that oil when the ban was taken off last year. Ill tell you. They new that Obama would put it back on and they would waisted millions of dollars in the beginning process in which they would be withdrawing there efforts at ths moment because of the order Obama just signed banning the domestic effort. Now i bet you want to throw out the alternative energy arguement. No doubt, they will have to be alternatives in the future but we also have to brigde the gap between now and then which is a long way a way. It will take, studies have shown about 20-30 years for alternative energy to take full coarse even if we had it today. So I will take 2 years or even the 10 years some like to throw out there over 30. Which the 10 years would be up if Clinton allowed for drilling in which he vetoed the bill. If we had an alternative, the problem converting would be, who would have the money to just buy a new alternative fuel car, heat and energy for our homes that quick. the answer in no one. but over time yes. Time that will be a longer wait than the oil wait unless they continue to say “oh yeah, we need to be less dependant” but banning drilling isnt gonna bridge that gap.
    As far as Alqaeda. They are not a goverment i agree. But OBL was responsible for building the Taliban up with his money. That is why he chose Afganistan to do his operations. He bought the taliban weapons, vehicles etc. to make them powerful enough to withhold the country while becoming protected by them since he is the one who fed them. Obl has more money they did in that he had all the pull they needed and also why they wouldnt give him up when they had the chance. Without Obl they had no strenght at all. So actually he was part of there gov’t in a sense, he had political power within them and still does. I want argue the Iraq war. I dont agree with that much at all. Saddam was a burden on his people yes, but that was none of our bussiness to me.
    Bush is oil rich, but texas oil rich not ME oil rich. Being a free market supporter i feel there nothing wrong with making money, even alot of it. I believe global warming is crap but dont fault Gore for a minute for making millions with it. If there wasnt a dollar to be made the theory wouldnt exist. Yes it is a theory that man caused it. i know you will respond to this so ill go ahead and state a small point. A fact is an absolute piece of evidence that proves truth to something. With that said, how can one side have all the facts saying its true, and the other side saying it had facts that it don’t. Looks to me that there cant be facts on both sides. I really dont care one way or the other but a fact is a fact and it looks to me that both sides only come up with what supports them so i look at the factors around it such as. Global warming has made Gore a millionaire by itself. not that he wasnt already. The GW theory causes this country and others to spend millions and also send millions to UN for studies and whatever else. Of coarse someone is gonna push it true or not when money in being made by it. nothing wrong with making money like i said, just pointing out there it is motive on the GW side which is money. but that is all on that, im not a climatologist but i do see the money motive. Ill sell you anything you want and say it its a offset carbon kit if makes me millions. so would alot of other people.

  • Brunelleschi

    “We are not fighting the Arabs. ”

    Who are we fighting in Iraq? Canadians?

    Most of that was hard to read.

    As far as domestic oil issues, drilling, coal etc… Obama needs to take on more step and say-

    “The policy of this nation is to not import oil by the year 2018. We will look at all energy options again, assess the situation, and all policy will be coherent and be evaluated with this one goal in mind.”

    This changes the debate. Right now, every energy fight is a separate fight.

    Take all the issues and look at them together, and prioritize them in terms of the one single, national goal-no importing oil. If the answer is drill, then drill. If the answer is nuke plants, then do it. If the answer is spend a zillion on some alternate fuel for cars, then do it.

    Think of it as the Kennedy “Man on the Moon” push of our age.

    Yes, we can.

    As far as global warming, the opposition to it is politically motivated and therefor very suspect.

    Science came up with it before it became a political circus. Liberals and Al Gore did not. Gore is just exploiting it, and that does not detract one bit from the facts.

    I will listen to science before I will listen to politicians when it comes to the condition of the atmosphere.

    I worked for NASA in the mid 1980s and the trend was well known at the time.

  • Brian

    Globl warming is a natural cycle from what i can see. not a big deal as far as my knowledge. Im sure the Iraqis are more of the persians not arabs. but whatever, i think we are on the same page for the most part. energy thing sounds right to me from your point. do whatever it takes. but will they. You know what i mean?

  • Brunelleschi,

    “Jimmy Carter once said ‘Human rights are the soul of American foreign policy.’ bullshit. He should have said “private property rights are the soul of American foreign policy.”

    You’re on fire, buddy. Keep it up. But of courses the Bushes would disagree. It’s all about freedom, they’d say. And so would second countless apologists on this or any other thread.

    My only question is: Are they really so naive or plain corrupt? One way or another, it’s inauthentic speech (however you look at it), and we should rightly ignore it or, better yet, expose it for what it is.

    I’ll look up the ground rules and post it on this site for future reference.


  • #14:

    One example of inauthenticity:

    “The connection of inauthenticity to capitalism is contained in the notion of ‘selling out,’ used to describe an artist whose work has become inauthentic after achieving commercial success and thus becoming to an extent integrated into an inauthentic system.”

    I guess similar standards apply to purveyors of long discredited ideas, damaged goods, and paraphernalia.

    To be continued . . .

  • Brunelleschi


    I’ll tell you the rest of the story on that concept…

    When Dawkins’ “Selfish Gene” came out, I saw an explanation of it, just as I was spending all my time trying to understand the wide gap between what America says and why, and what it does and why..

    This is the book where Dawkins introduced the concept of the “meme,” a mind virus that evolves within a population and it undergoes natural selection-Darwin style. We keep thinking in a certain way, and that way evolves based on what works for us, even if the whole thing is bullshit.

    What I took from that is our entire foreign policy system-military, embassies,executive branch, intelligence, even banking is infected.

    It is infected by the myth (meme) that taking what you want-AND-forcing the world into the “private property” network for selfish reasons, is understood at home to be the highest moral stance you can take.

    Kill a democracy (or anything not as nice), put in a dictator, force them to privatize so the US/west can come in and profit on their terms, and this is “spreading feedom.” But, for who? The people that are infected and no one else.

    Our system has private property as it’s foundation-the Locke influence. But we have to force the outside to accept to to operate on our terms. Never mind what the people on the other side want or need.

    Even the IMF/World bank is infected. They have a one-track mind. We will help you IF you privatize-for freedom… 🙂

    It works.

    Go back and look at all the wars, covert actions, and threats we do, and it is the only thing that explains every single one of them, and more importantly makes them 100% predictable.

    True story-As the Iraq war approached, I knew Saddam had to have a nationalized oil industry, or we wouldn’t even pay attention to his abuses. I took a chance and posted that on a board and stated this is what the war is about, and it won’t be over under the oil is in private, western hands. I didn’t even bother to look it up.

    The meme is that powerful. Think about it.

    Here you have a way to explain what the US does EVERY SINGLE time. I looked and looked and could find nothing that worked better.

    I have heard everything. We are motivated by high morals, fear, power, security, the need to displace evil, or survival of the fittest. None of them work. The private property meme works every time.

  • Brunelleschi


    How is it you understand climatology better than say, a NASA PHd?

    Again, the global warming stuff was all over science before it became political. Science works on careful peer review, and politics does not.

    It may turn out to be crap. But since none of us has infinite knowledge, our only choice is to keep an open mind and take the most reliable source we can, and understand the motives of those who wish to spin it.

    The right is fighting science for it’s own selfish reasons. The left is exploiting it for political reasons. Neither define the truth.

    You can only look for the best you can get-true, objective science-not spin.

  • Brian

    I said that to my knowledge. I only know what i am able to research which is a step ahead of alot of people who believe what they hear and not research there own knowledge. I did say both sides have there own story is why i dont believe in it to much besides, i have seen in nasa research that the earth has cooled some as well as they have made mistakes. but no one speaks of this and its hushed by the media. like i said, there is to much non sense on both sides that turns many people away from the issue no matter how important it is or not. They have down played it by spinning it so much that people dont care except for those who have something to gain or love to fuss. No rational mind can make sense of both sides so how can any normal person that is open minded take a side.

  • Brian

    Another thing, i wasnt aware you could get a phd from nasa, and if they admit they’ve made mistakes which they have. then someone should get there money back. PHd doesnt mean your mistake proof. even Einstein made mistakes and there isnt a nasa employee out there with that kind of genious.

  • Brunelleschi

    “No rational mind can make sense of both sides so how can any normal person that is open minded take a side?”

    Juries sit down to ask themselves that question every day about things they have not seen but heard 2 sides about.

    This one makes me think about how historians, as opposed to theologians, try and make sense out of what the real Jesus said and did, not what people wish he said and did.

    There can be only one truth, but count yourself how many people claim to have it. Most of them are wrong and only one can be right.

    Historians then use criteria. One of those is called the criteria of dissimilarity, more widely the criterion of embarrassment.

    This means that when you are looking at something and getting different stories, and you have no way to verify for yourself for sure who is right, stories that do not paint the most pleasant picture for the storyteller are more likely to be historical, and those that back up what the story teller thinks already are less likely to be historical.

    Take a more modern possibility-Suppose a friend is on trial for arson. No way could this person have done it, you think. The fire was during the Super Bowl, and you know how much your friend is looking forward to it. You testify that your friend left your house 5 minutes before the game to go home and watch. The fire is said to have occurred 20 minutes later than that. The implication is that your friend would have been watching the game and didn’t do it.

    Then his dad testifies that he stopped by your friend’s house as the game started and watched the first half.

    Then you friend’s mom testifies, and under oath, she says she SAW him do it.

    Who will the jury believe? The mom. Why? Dissimilarity. The mom is not going to admit something so embarrassing and damaging unless it is true.


    Look at who is saying global warming is false. It’s the right, that doesn’t not WANT it to be true. They don’t want restrictions on business. This does not pass the criterion of dissimilarity.

    Science says it is true. Why would they make this up? What is in it for them? It’s an uncomfortable truth, and admits that our wonderful technology has created something undesirable. This DOES pass the criterion of dissimilarity.

    That doesn’t make it fact. It just helps you pick which is more likely to be fact.

    Forget the Al Gore’s. They are just exploiting an uncomfortable truth by making an issue out of it, and selling lectures, DVDs and books.

  • Hope and Change?

    Emperor’s New Clothes Updated 2009

    Gee….CNN one of the first to call King Barry what he is…the same old same old..

    CNN) — Unfortunately, we are again asking the president to explain why exactly he announced, with great fanfare, new ethics rules if he had no intention of abiding by them.

    The Obama administration is yet again asking for a waiver to its very own rules about hiring lobbyists.

    This time, it is the new treasury secretary, Tim Geithner. He wants a former lobbyist for Goldman Sachs to be his top aide at the Treasury Department.

    My view is simple: Mr. President, if you want to hire former lobbyists because you think they are the best people to do the job, then hire former lobbyists. Just don’t hold a big news conference first to tell us how your administration is going to be so different from previous administrations in that you won’t be hiring lobbyists.

    It’s the hypocrisy and the double-talk that makes so many of us so cynical. Do what you think is best for the country. Just be straight with us about how you’re going to do it.

    Where is the Hope?????
    Where is the Change????

  • Brune (#16).

    Yeah, a very powerful concept; capable of taking you down the rabbit hole. Lent the book to someone and they didn’t return it.

    By the way,I have an idea I want to kick about. You can email me through the URL, if you don’t mind.


  • Brian

    I agree brunelleschi. I never said warming never occurs or ocurred. But science also shows that it has warmed and cooled in cycles for thousands of years before SUV’s and factories. Like you said, what rational mind can choose a side. Both sides can a make a point but which point is the right one. once again, like u said.
    Let us all have discussion on Obama’s policies already. i would like to hear some opinions.

  • gegah666

    In general, protests are an ineffective way to foster social change and give participants a weak and whiny appearance. People are fond of their hard-earned right to beat their chests and holler at passersby in a random manner; but for the most part, it’s to no avail.