What Has Four Hundred Legs And No Brain?

« April 2005 »

Memo to the Arizona Minutemen: MAKE ME LAUGH.

I beg you. Please make me laugh. When the clusterfuck happens, and the clusterfuck is, whether you choose to believe it or not, completely and utterly inevitable, please, make it funny. Because the odds are that you'll just make it tragic.

The Arizona Minutemen, in case you havent' heard since none of them are the pope, are... and I'll try to cover all the words used to describe them in various stories - a volunteer citizen border patrol anti-immigration armed vigilante militia. They have, through their own self-proclaimed authority, tasked themselves with stopping, or slowing, the flow of illegal immigrants from Mexico into Arizona.

I love stuff like this. Stuff where, if everything goes exactly as planned, it's an awful, awful idea. And the dozens of things that can and will go wrong make it an even worse idea. The first problem, of course, is that NOBODY ASKED THEM. They decided, all by their Arizonan lonesomes, that this was a problem, that something needed to be done, and that they were the ones to do it. And they should do it with guns.

It was true about Wisconsin cat-hunting, and it's true about Arizona immigrant-hunting. There are, in my mind, very few problems in this world for which "Let average people with guns shoot things they don't like" is an adequate solution. Especially when the problem is illegal immigration, which, let's face it, attracts a fair share of people with white hoods in their closets, Pat Buchanan bumper stickers on their cars, or both.

The good news is, the organizers deny that any of the Minutemen are members of white supremacist groups, directly contradicting white supremacist groups who say they've got members in the Minutemen. It's a bit of a "no cannibalism in the British Navy" type situation, admittedly, but when you're forming a 21st century posse, you take what you can get. And if you can't take the word of a 73-year-old woman who wants to wear an "Undocumented Border Patrol Agent" T-shirt, whose word CAN you take? ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"It has nothing to do with racism. I love the Mexican people. They're beautiful people. I see nothing wrong with them coming here. But they need to do it according to the law." - Faye Leedy, who, despite her best intentions, does not reassure me in the slightest.

Their stated goal is to patrol the border, spot illegal immigrants, and report them to the Border Patrol, trying to avoid confrontations. Which leads to the question... how do they "spot" illegal immigrants? How, exactly, they are able to discern the difference between an "illegal immigrant" and a "brown guy walking to the store" escapes me at the moment, but I'm sure they have flash cards or something. You know, Maybe they have to pass a little test before they get their T-shirt.

So even if everything goes perfectly, the Minutemen are to men what minute steaks are to steaks. Pale imitations you get because you don't have the time or money for real steaks. Sure, they got a group of 18 their first day. Eighteen arrests. We will never find out how many of those people were actually illegals, because that's not the way news works.

Already, as they stumble around on the border, the Minutemen are tripping electronic sensors the Border Patrol uses, setting off false alarms and tying up actual law enforcement personnel. The Border Patrol says that recalibrating the sensors so that they detect neither YEE's nor HAW's would be cost-prohibitive at this time. One day in, they're fucking things up, and nobody's even fired a shot yet. And these are the first couple of days, when everyone is fresh, and the TV cameras are all on them, and they're so flush with excitement and purpose they hardly need any booze at all. But entropy sucks, and around day five or six, the mistakes are gonna start to add up.

Ideally, in a perfect world, the first "tragic" incident would involve one group of Minutemen firing on another, leading to a firefight with wacky misunderstanding overtones. That would be funny, because they'd be hoist on their own retard. They'll have given themselves just enough rope to lynch themselves. And as a bonus, the whole project would be utterly shamed and discredited, and no imitators would get off the ground for years. And we could laugh, and laugh, and laugh.

Never works out like that, though. It's so rare these days that idiots suffer for their idiocy without someone else getting hurt along the way. But we can dream. Dream of a world where redneck protesters fill each other full of lead 'cause one of 'em had a pretty deep tan. It's not much, but it's something.