Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Buy Gold! : Radical Chic Revisited

posted by Free Press Houston @ 11:02 AM

by Harbeer Sandhu
Photos by Sanam Tavassoli

In the shadow of the Galleria--literally just a stone’s throw across the West Loop from Dillard’s--a wealthy Palestinian family hosted a fundraiser last Saturday night for The Progressive Coalition--a “ticket” of three progressive candidates for Houston City Council. They are Don Cook (At-large candidate, Position 1), Deborah Shafto (At-large candidate, Position 4) and Alfred Molison (write-in candidate in District C). The keynote speaker was former Georgia Congresswoman and 2008 Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney.

Alfred Molison, Cynthia McKinney, Deb Shafto, Don Cook

Outside, luxury SUVs mingled with beat up sedans sporting too many bumper stickers and hatchbacks bursting with folding chairs. Inside, opera and classical music played on the stereo while grey beards and pony tails hovered about a spread of chicken kebabs, hummus, pine nut cheese, and assorted pastries. About 35 people attended and they all dressed like either businesspeople or substitute teachers.

After about 30 minutes of schmoozing and hobnobbing (during which the hummus disappeared but the chicken remained largely untouched) the gracious host introduced the first candidate, Alfred Molison.

Molison gave a quick speech emphasizing his support of human rights for all. He told an anecdote about a campus group called the Alliance of Concerned Students for a Unified Left (ACSUL). They liked to wear kaffiyat, he said, at which point McKinney proudly held her own kaffiyeh aloft, until suddenly, one day, the kaffiyat disappeared. The end. That story concluded, he made some vague statements about the Israeli government’s short-sighted inhumanity and introduced the next candidate.

The lights dimmed and the bass line to “Shaft” kicked up as Deborah Shafto took the stage. She made a string of general pronouncements supporting peace, drug law reform, and support for jobs creation and a living wage. She supports saving money with universal healthcare and spending it on public transportation improvements. She believes that “people are waking up” and that “change is inevitable.”

Right then Don Cook’s cell phone blasted out his Slim Thug ringtone. It was the Obama administration calling with a cease-and-desist order for Deb’s use of their trademark.

That resolved, Don took the stage. The main focus of Don’s campaign seems to be the issuance of resolutions, like the failed Houston City Council resolution condemning the Iraq war in February 2003. He wants to “change the way that Houston interacts with the world and the way the world interacts with Houston.” He wants to make Gaza City (or was it Bezerkely?) the sister-city to Houston.

Then Cynthia McKinney took the stage. She brought the audience up to speed with her travels since her arrest by Israel last summer: she has been hanging with Desert Rose in South Africa and Céciiiiiile Duuuufloooooot in Paris. Sounds rough.

She made some nebulous allegations regarding Israel’s successful efforts in rendering the US antiwar movement useless, then some more conspiratorial allegations that Sarkozy’s and Obama’s election wins were “intelligence operations.” She supported these allegations with irrefutable proof in the form of statements that went, “I’m sure most of you know this, or if you don’t you should...”

Then she took questions. The firs questioner asked her to elaborate on her conspiracy claims regarding the demise of the antiwar movement. The second asked, “What is the head of the snake?” And the third question was from a man who asked what citizens can do to fight back against usurious banks during this financial meltdown.

“Should we withdraw all our money from banks to prompt a run on the banks?” he asked. “Just take it out and, I don’t know, stash it in our mattresses?”

“Buy gold,” McKinney answered. “Buy gold and find out what China is doing and do what they do. I think they’re abandoning the dollar. They’re buying precious metals.”

Your humble reporter raised his hand to challenge this ignorant debasement of the Green Party’s four pillars (ecological wisdom, social justice, grassroots democracy, and nonviolence) but a kind lady in the back of the room beat him to it.

“Gold might be a good investment if you’re interested in material wealth,” the wise lady said, “but as Deb Shafto said earlier, our true wealth is our community. You can’t eat gold. Gold won’t keep you company. We have to invest in our communities, and that’s why we need our people on City Council.”

Support Alfred Molison (write-in candidate in District C), Deborah Shafto (At-large candidate, Position 4) and Don Cook (At-large candidate, Position 1) for Houston City Council on Tuesday, November 3. They have chicken.


At October 22, 2009 at 8:47 AM , Anonymous Harbeer said...

Doh! My lynx didn't work.

For more information on these candidates, click here.

For more on why gold sucks, click here and here. (For FREE GOLD click here.)

For Tom Wolfe's classic 1970 article "Radical Chic" about a bunch of rich white people who had to give their black servants a day off in order to host a fundraiser for the Black Panther Party, click here.

At November 17, 2009 at 2:09 AM , Anonymous buy gold said...

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At November 30, 2009 at 9:08 PM , Blogger Yerba said...

Do you buy chicken? I have chicken for sale. Crispy, golden chicken.


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