Parker's poem here spoke to me with its subtle high school warfare imagery. Sometimes, we need to remember where we come from, and how our lives today square off with what we were doing in more innocent times. Are we truly "charging into violence" or simply playing a game? While everyone else celebrates the football season this fall, let's not forget that there are authentic battles being fought outside of the bleachers and sports arenas. Right now, there is real blood being spilt in the streets. All-American SWAT teams kick in the doors of at least one poor son-of-a-bitch (if not a hundred) everyday, raiding their homes and terrifying their families, for committing victimless "crimes". So, which battle is "real" and which one is make-believe?
Sure, as the poem suggests, as we tune in Sundays and Monday nights to gaze at the TV screen with our friends and drink beer and cheer-on our favorite teams (go, Broncos!), we could say that what we're watching is "the real game." If you happen to score tickets for the Super Bowl this year, you damn well better believe it's a real game in light of what you paid for them.
But that's only because, whether you're an anarchist "vandal" tearing down the current system or a sociopathic blood-sucker enforcing and writing the innumerable laws of this piece-of-shit government, you will not view this battle--the battle outside the arena--as a game.
This battle does not entail sportsmanship. The state's purpose in this battle is to incarcerate or kill its opponents. Thus, our struggle against the state is not a game. It's a war.
But that doesn't mean we can't have fun in our fight for freedom! So, let's order up some anarchy burgers to devour and party our asses off as we find ways to fuck with our rulers without using the same means of violence they use against us. One of the best and easiest uses of guerrilla warfare we can employ against our enemies entails simply enjoying life, pursuing our own happiness and pleasure--while breaking whatever laws necessary to do so--and creating art with or without the state's permission.
Just remember, warfare can be a blast without blowing people up. That doesn't make it a game. It just means that, sometimes, when we toss our monkey wrenches in the machine that means to crush us, we can laugh and play while doing so. A nonviolent war of resistance against the state can be--indeed, should be!--a great deal more fun than any old football season.
Our struggle ain't no game. It's a party, mother-fuckas!
(Thank you, Alan Parker and The Vandals):
Between Poems the Vandals Go
By Alan Michael Parker
Behind the iron bleachers,
Playing football in the snow.
Blue jeans black as bruises, stiff with ice,
The vandals clap their hands,
Shuffle frozen toes in beat up hightops
And two pairs of woolly socks.
They pretend to be
Greek heroes, charging into violence
Like tired lovers, relentless as a poem.
They pretend they're you and me.
On the other side of the bleachers,
The real game continues: the marching band
Cuts up the artificial turf, the tuba and the drums
Warm the hearts of boys and girls.
Cheers festoon the air -
Then helmets crack, a whistle blows,
The vandals shake their heads,
Pack up their liniments and cardigans,
And trudge on off, beyond
The parking lot
Where the little yellow buses
Idle odorously in lines.
Dumb words, the vandals mutter,
Squeezing through and squeezing by.