Thoughts from the ammo line

Ammo Grrrll is thinking MOSTLY PEACEFUL thoughts. She writes:

People used to ask me when I was a standup comic: “Where do you get your material from?” That question came back to me when I pondered this topic.

It was just after yelling at Mr. Ammo Grrrll (the famous novelist Max Cossack) in total frustration because I was trying to type in a security code for my Humana Pharmacy’s disembodied voice phone message using my teeny tiny phone keypad which kept going off keypad mode and back to my contacts, forcing me to start over. Max was trying to be “helpful” from his reclining position on the couch without having a clue what was happening with my phone, and, okay, I snapped. It’s possible that I may have overreacted; it’s possible that I even realized I was being kind of a, uh, let’s just go with, jerk.

I went to check email for a minute or two, came back and was just about to apologize when I realized he was asleep. The boy can fall asleep at the drop of a hat and sleep through anything. If he isn’t an official member of the Narcolepsy Society, he’s cheatin’ ‘em on dues. Oh, well, maybe when he wakes up, he will think it was all a bad dream.

Then I thought, “But my conversation with him was ‘MOSTLY PEACEFUL.’” Right up until the time I started screaming. I guess five months cooped up with one person for at least 23 out of 24 hours a day in the same house that I once thought was spacious has had a deleterious effect on my personality.

And I am doubling down on my commitment to being even more mostly peaceful going forward. Similarly, the Civil War was also “mostly peaceful” – which was why it was called the CIVIL War – right up to the point that somewhere between 618,000 and 750,000 people lost their lives. Out of a population of just 30 million. (The larger estimate was made a few years ago after painstaking research. Either way, that’s a horrific number of people. Though barely a rounding error to a committed Maoist trying to make Paradise on Earth.)

It is more than surreal to watch network news-heads and elected Democrats try to come up with euphemisms to describe the wanton violence, arson, looting, and nauseating physical attacks on the police and random passersby. They seem to have voted on “mostly peaceful” for describing mob violence, along with Ilhan Omar’s felicitous phrase for terrorist attacks as “some people did something.” Yup. That about covers it.

Now it happens that I know quite a bit about ACTUAL peaceful protests because I organized or participated in dozens of them. Let me show you the difference.

My very first protest was at Northwestern University in 1966. It was a silent vigil by about 20 people outside the auditorium during a speech by Johnson Administration spokesman Arthur Goldberg. Let me highlight a couple things. At no time did anybody try to PREVENT anyone from entering the venue to hear the speaker. That would have been unthinkable, and not just because we would have been crushed like bugs by the Chicago police. We wouldn’t have done it because we didn’t think it was right. Doesn’t that sound quaint today?

Neither did anyone try to shout down Mr. Goldberg’s speech. Crazy radicals that we were, we BELIEVED in free speech. And not just for us. We just stood there, admonished to dress nicely so the newspapers couldn’t make us look like crazies, and “made a statement” with, I believe, ONE sign about how war was bad. We said nary a harsh word to any of the guests who were coming in to hear Mr. Goldberg; however, several of them said unkind things to US on the way out. The usual favorites: “Are you a boy or a girl?” “Damn hippies.” “And that “other F word” suggesting the boys gathered there may have liked other boys overmuch.

Later, when the Movement got much larger and more powerful, naturally, it split into several factions. The faction to which I devoted a fair amount of treasure and many years of my life was ALWAYS peaceful and, in fact, organized movement marshals to keep protesters on the march route and prevent them from breaking off to cause any problems. There were not only factions that endorsed and encouraged violence, but we strongly suspected that there were among us “agents provocateurs” from the FBI or other domestic police agencies. After what we have seen with Comey and his merry band, I don’t have the slightest doubt.

Further, we always had permits to march, in the blocked-off streets if we could get them, but on the sidewalk if we could not. NEVER did we obstruct traffic on a highway. Our faction also – and this is very important to me to this day – NEVER insulted or assaulted a soldier or vet or implied in any way that his personal participation in the war effort was anything but noble and brave. Our generation was – and probably remains – deeply divided about the wisdom of that agonizing conflict, but my co-thinkers and I never burned an American flag or waved a North Vietnamese one. But plenty of others did.

From Jane Fonda to the Weathermen and other Maoists, America-haters and terrorists like The Lightbringer’s buddy and possible ghost writer Bill Ayers acted much more like the current crop of protesters.

Long ago, I was a Psychology Major and we studied a most disturbing experiment called “The Asch Line Experiment” from 1951. In brief, how it worked was an unsuspecting person was part of an experiment that included 7 actors, plus the leader. The leader would put a line up on a lighted screen, with 3 others next to it, one of which matched. He would ask the actors which one matched, one at a time, down the line until he got to the one not in on the experiment. All 7 would give the same wrong answer and the last person would, initially, depart from the GroupThink and say the obvious correct answer.

As the experiment went on, the pressure to conform would get to the odd man out, even when the disparity in line lengths was enough to make the one not in on it believe the others must be insane. But eventually most could be made to agree. And that was from people with no skin in the game, no Nike shoe contracts, no 7-figure salaries to protect in Hollywood, the media, academia, or Lifelong Incumbents with a license to loot the taxpayers.

What does it take to make a person observing police stations ablaze, Molotov cocktails hurled, half a BILLION (with a B) in destruction in Minneapolis alone, 60 some days of riots in Portland, smashed windows, looted stores, toppled statues – a black man wearing a MAGA hat murdered – what does it take to make a person insist that was all “mostly peaceful”? I knew from some old movies that it was possible to gaslight one person – but half a country? Yikes!