The only anarchists Chatterbox ever found funny were the Marx Brothers, whose anarchism lacked any political dimension, and, intermittently, Dario Fo, who would probably prefer to be called a Marxist. But Chatterbox is always willing to give it another go. So, when he saw a Washington Post parody called the Washington Lost peeking through a coin box at the Takoma Park subway station this morning, he dropped in a quarter and removed the one-page publication, leaving behind the actual Post that it had been wrapped around. (Memo to the Post: Please note that you made money on this deal. I'd already read the real Post at home.)
The verdict: Anarchists haven't gotten any funnier in the globalist 21st century. A story headlined, "Study: Media Doesn't Trust Public" started out amusingly ("According to the survey, 78% of the media have 'little' or 'no' trust in the public"), but it quickly degenerated into heavy-handed agitprop (" 'The People!' exclaimed Alexander Hamilton XVIII, director of the study. 'The People is a Great Beast!' ") The story went on to make a joke about Slate Editor Michael Kinsley employing three former steelworkers to "rub lotion into my corns" that Chatterbox likes to think he'd find dopey even if he didn't work for Kinsley and share Kinsley's distaste for protectionism. (How did anarchists become advocates for statist restrictions on free trade? Discuss.)
Even dumber was a story headlined, "Besieged IMF Plans Meaningless Cosmetic Changes." Note how the parodistic impulse quickly degenerates into sloganeering:
The Fund's new $70 million ad campaign features cleancut, non-threatening, multi-ethnic teens singing the praises of what they call 'The International Monetary Fun.' A sample:
We're the IMF!
We're the Banking System's Ref!
The Rappers Call Us 'Def!'
However our Hideously Cruel
Policies Will Remain Unchanged
Somewhat better was the headline, "Introducing ... Brazentina! Brazil, Argentine to Merge," though, as with the media-study parody, a promising idea was dragged down by leaden rhetoric ("Brazentina will improve its economic efficiency through the elimination of its unproductive surplus population, such as children and grandmothers"). Much the same occurred with the story headlined, "In Moving Ceremony, New US Consumers Are Sworn In," wittily illustrated with a photograph of a woman in a Tommy Hilfiger sweatshirt taking a citizenship oath in front of Starbucks.
The Post, incidentally, is bunkering in for this Sunday's "Spank the Bank!" protest rally, to be emceed by Michael Moore. A memo was circulated today alerting Post staffers that the U.S. mailbox near the Post building on L Street "has been removed due to the IMF/World Bank Protest" and will reappear on Tuesday. Similar warnings of mayhem went out today to White House staffers. According to one White House memo, the cops are putting a "security perimeter" around "the IMF, the World Bank, the White House complex and the Treasury Department." If the perimeter is to encompass that whole area, it could disrupt a lot more than the federal government; for example, Newsweek's Washington bureau is there. The White House memo also urges staffers that "the number of appointments be kept to a minimum" from Friday through Monday. But before the World Bank/IMF protesters crow that they've already won, they should remember that Washington is a city routinely shut down by snow flurries.