Speak Out, Act Out, Stay Out – An Altersation

The Sewers welcomes and congratulates this Altersation between RockStar Leandra Ghoulish and Just Protester, as they discuss protest in a time of pandemic and what the world needs less of

The Just Protester (TJP): Oh my god, no way! Fuck! The Angelus rock! Let me just ask you two questions: one, what’s up? and, before you answer, two, will you marry me?

RockStar Leandra Ghoulish (RS-LG): Wow! Hah! What if I said yes?

Just Protester (TJP): Hah no way! Seriously, I’m a huge, huge Angelus fan. I have the Dislocated poster on my wall since 2010. Excluding the Dead too, I followed your tour across seven states. No, eight, eight states! Fuck! You Rock.

RockStar Leandra Ghoulish (RS-LG): Wow, thanks –

TJP: I just want you to know, like, I’m always on your side. Fuck everyone. They don’t get it! It’s like, you’re too intelligent for about 99% of the people who interview you, I just cringe sometimes, for them, y’know?

RS-LG: Ah –

TJP: Do you wanna see a video of me singing “Red polyester”? No one’s ever seen it –

RS-LG: Oh, oh, it’s alright, really.

TJP: Fuck, I’m sorry, I’m an idiot –

RS-LG: No, it’s alright, how are you holding up?

TJP: What? With the pandemic and all? Or with the so called “riots” triggered mostly by the presence of the police? Anyway, it’s nothing. It’s the Illuminati, it’s not real.

RS-LG: Ah –

TJP: Yup. There’s no actual virus, y’know. And all the protesters get paid to protest.

RS-LG: It’s a… a…

TJP: Haha! Not really.

RS-LG: Oh!

TJP: I just like doing that every now and then, to see how people react. Y’know, some people around me, like, people on my social media, some of them actually post this stuff. There is no virus, there’s this global scheme… I mean, our well justified inability to trust the government… it’s a huge warning sign but, I mean, shit. Using federal police as part of Trump’s campaign for office should be a warning sign too, you know?

RS-LG: It’s not so much a distrust, as a political discourse that’s gone entirely corrupt and impossible, because the value of truth –

TJP: Yeah!

RS-LG: Is just lost. When truth becomes so political, so partisan –

TJP: Fuck!

RS-LG: I wonder if we would recover from this. I mean, I often feel silly these days –

TJP: You’re not silly! No! you’re a genius!

RS-LG: I mean, you know, thanks. But when we were doing the social distancing thing, the staying at home thing. I mean, I did all these things to keep busy and amused while the world is kinda going to hell! Not because of the pandemic, but because of this political discourse, that has nothing to do with the people anymore. The pandemic only made it more tangible, and the way protests are treated is like… like the manifestation of this dysfunctional, poisonous discourse.

TJP: Yeah. And it’s just amazing to watch how the use of force makes things escalate so quickly. I mean, on the one hand. One the other hand, it makes more and more people show up to fight back, peacefully, to fucking fight for our democracy.

RS-LG: Were you in Portland?

TJP: No, unfortunately not. I couldn’t sit still while watching it, seriously…

RS-LG: Yeah.

TJP: I mean, I have in my head this constant movement between macro and micro, you know? Like, these protests, and the violence the protesters are facing with the police, it’s like, they’re fucking just. And they’re gonna get bigger, coz we’re facing a huge economic crisis.

RS-LG: Exactly.

TJP: But like, have you seen the movie “The Big Short”? You know, about the subprime crisis in 2008? Like, Michael Burry, he foresaw the whole thing. And you know what he’s invested in now? Water. Fucking water. And we were like, during a pandemic, posting pictures of ourselves posing as famous paintings? What the fuck?

RS-LG: Yeah, yeah.

TJP: So like, in our immediate present, we’re fighting for our democracy, but the climate crisis we’re facing is like hovering above…

RS-LG: But it’s the same struggle.

TJP: Of course. We’re fighting for democracy, meaning we’re fighting for a society in which decisions are made for the common good of the people, of all people, not the corrupt 1% whose interests overshadow everyone else’s. That’s… that’s like, what happened in Beirut, that’s what happens when environmental and economic decisions are made by and for the 1%!

RS-LG: Yeah. You’re so right.

TJP: By the way, totally unrelated, I just remembered I wanted to tell you I loved your New Order’s “Temptation” online challenge you posted in May.

RS-LG: Hah! Did you do it?

TJP: Did I dance for seven minutes in front of a mirror like the girl in the video? Well, no.

RS-LG: Haha!

TJP: But I loved it. It was like… deep, somehow.

RS-LG: That video is amazing. I’m so ashamed I haven’t seen it until recently. I mean, I knew the song, of course, but the video.

TJP: I think Julian the paramedic really stepped up there…

RS-LG: Haha, yeah, dressing like Victoria Bergsman in the video made the difference. We’ve been listening a lot to New Order recently. Timeless. Especially this song and its many versions, makes you think. Like, when we’re recording, the thought is that once something is recorded, it’s kinda done, you know? that doesn’t apply for live versions of course, but anything live is out of the question right now, anyway. So we’re really into recording different versions of the same song now, without that mindset of finding “the best version”, I mean, not as a linear progress, but more like, a multi-dimensional process, you know?

TJP: So you’re recording stuff now?

RS-LG: Yeah. well, I mean, we’re certainly not on tour, y’know? I guess about 80% of what we’re recording now is garbage, but sometimes you have to write and write until you get something good. The tricky part is knowing, eventually, which songs belong to the 80%, which belong to the 15%, and which are a 5%.

TJP: Oh, what’s a 5%?

RS-LG: The fine mixture of pure garbage and good writing that makes a solid rock and roll song.

TJP: You’re a genius!

RS-LG: Hah! So what have you been up to?

TJP: Well, you know, I began 2020 with a bad vibe. I think I said in January that this is going to be the worst year ever, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see. I don’t feel this way anymore, by the way. So in April I was thinking about going back to my blogs, writing again, not as a guest in other blogs, like I’ve been doing so far. And I guess the 80% garbage rule applies there too. In my case it’s more like 90% –

RS-LG: Oh, that’s alright, that happens too –

TJP: Yeah, but it just made me go, y’know, bah. It’s… y’know what the world needs less of right now?

RS-LG: People?

TJP: Well, haha! That’s… fuck, I thought I was being provocative with the Illuminati thing…

RS-LG: Oh, wait. No, I didn’t mean… I did not mean I wanted people to… it’s not COVID related, that remark, it was just… imagine I had said that a year ago! That’s the context. I mean, no context. Oh, fuck.

TJP: No, no, I totally get you, yeah! Just, y’know, the timing…

RS-LG: Yeah. So you were saying?

TJP: Blogs.

RS-LG: Yeah?

TJP: The world needs, among other things, less blogs.

RS-LG: Oh! So, you’ve decided…

TJP: I need to do something real. And if I write, I need to write out of doing something, y’know? So I’m gonna get a camping tent and live outside the State House in Annapolis.

RS-LG: Wow! Yeah! but… why?

TJP: What do you mean why? As a statement. a protest, a totally peaceful protest. As in, going out, staying out as a political statement.

RS-LG: You know, that’s as weird as it is great. yeah! good for you!

TJP: So will you come for a couple of hours? To show support?

RS-LG: Ah –

TJP: Or will you just be like those people who say “way to go!” on Twitter and go on with their business?

RS-LG: Well, I –

TJP: Coz we need to be out there, you know? that’s what they don’t want us to do. I’m gonna be out there – social distancing and all – but in the public sphere.

RS-LG: Well, but I live on the west coast…

TJP: You’re right. So you can come for a couple of days.

RS-LG: You know what? I think I might.

TJP: Seriously?!

RS-LG: Yup.

TJP: Fuck! that would be huge! Wow I’m excited.

RS-LG: When are you going out there?

TJP: Two days from now. August 18. I lost my job three weeks ago, and tomorrow I’m leaving my apartment, I can’t afford it anymore. Gonna put all my useless shit in my parents’ house in Hagerstown –

RS-LG: Shit!

TJP: It’s now or never. I don’t care if I’m gonna be there alone for weeks, for months. But I will be there. I’m gonna speak out. I’m gonna act out. I’m gonna stay out.

RS-LG: Um, but if you live in the tri-state, why not do it in DC?

TJP: Yeah, there’ll be time for that too. I mean, I don’t want to do it in DC, coz I want people to do it everywhere. Just get a camping tent, or, I dunno, a chair, a blanket, whatever, and just be out there, anywhere.

RS-LG: Yeah! like, if you build it, they will come!

TJP: Sure, but less weird and more, y’know, political. You can’t protest on Zoom.

RS-LG: Well I’m all for that. Goodluck. I mean, to all of us!

TJP: Totally, yeah. And y’know, see you there! You promised!

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