Occupy Wall Street

Operation American Spring: Guy Fawkes Comes to Washington

Another Friday, another fizzled revolution.


This ain't no rag, it's a glove.
Operation American Spring

On Friday, Washington witnessed the dawn—and probably the dusk—of Operation American Spring, a populist protest that was supposed to involve millions of patriots occupying the National Mall nonviolently until the president and various other high officials agreed to resign. Turnout was a bit lower than the organizers anticipated: Instead of 10 to 20 million revolutionaries, they got a couple hundred. The National Journal's dispatch from the fizzled insurrection makes it all sound rather charming, with a woman called Momma Bear stepping up to take charge of the march when it became clear that the formal organizers weren't quite up to the task. The issues inspiring the crowd included Benghazi, the Bundy ranch, and the general state of the U.S. Constitution.

But the detail that leaped out at me was this:

Two hundred people or so, largely white and near the age of retirement, milled around among a few scattered college-age kids, many of whom donned Guy Fawkes masks.

V for vamoose, Obama!

Guy Fawkes masks! At this point those things have taken on enough contradictory meanings to fuel a dozen semioticians' PhD theses.

Maybe the meanings aren't completely contradictory. Those V for Vendetta masks tend to show up in networked, decentralized movements that directly defy authority: Anonymous, Occupy, the Indignados, the Arab Spring. Operation American Spring was clearly modeled on both the Arab Spring and Occupy, a fact that dismayed the protest's critics on the right. Should it be surprising that some of the demonstrators decided that this was how to dress for the part?

But even that common ground might be slipping away: Twitter's telling me people put on the masks at a rally for the military regime in Egypt, and I'm hard pressed to think of anything anti-authoritarian about that. At this point someone should start a cable news show where no one is identified, everyone wears a Guy Fawkes mask, and nobody agrees about anything. It'll be like Crossfire crossed with 4chan.

NEXT: Reality Show President: Inside the White House PR Machine

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  1. Is that a photo of Fist?

  2. Need a Kmele Foster mask. He is the real face of freedom.

    1. That’s racist.

  3. “someone should start a cable news show where no one is identified, everyone wears a Guy Fawkes mask, and nobody agrees about everything.”

    Too late. We already have The Independents.

  4. At this point someone should start a cable news show where no one is identified, everyone wears a Guy Fawkes mask, and nobody agrees about everything. It’ll be like Crossfire crossed with 4chan.

    That’s basically what H+R was like years ago, before registration. Now it’s an echo chamber where everyone is expected to keep the same name forever so they can be hounded by ad hominems (except Randian/The Angry Optimist/Neoliberal Kochtopus who nobody harassed at all).

    1. Oh my god your petulant whining is so fucking delicious. Cry for us, Tulpy-Poo! Then threaten us like you did to Playa!


      1. I didn’t threaten anybody, slanderer. All the slanderous fucks calling me “mendacious” and “liar” and “not self-aware” accomplish is to confirm that their opinion is worthless. Keep at it, you’re only boosting my self-esteem.

        1. The only thing better than your tears is how obvious you were under your new handle.

        2. men?da?cious
          not telling the truth; lying.”mendacious propaganda”synonyms:lying, untruthful, dishonest, deceitful, false, dissembling, insincere, disingenuous, hypocritical, fraudulent, double-dealing, two-faced, Janus-faced, two-timing, duplicitous, perjured;Moreuntrue, fictitious, falsified, fabricated, fallacious, invented, made up

          a person who tells lies.synonyms:deceiver, fibber, perjurer, false witness, fabricator, equivocator

          Seems to me like your conduct wrt your friend Rollo qualifies you for both — and your conduct since surely qualifies you for “not self-aware”. All the player-hate isn’t exactly coming from nowhere.

          1. Then I await your condemnation of Epi for accusing me of threatening people, which is worse than just making a false statement, it’s slander.

            1. Oh my god your patheticness is like a fine wine. I mean whine. More, Tulpy-Poo, more! Show us that delusional persecution complex! It’s incredibly entertaining.


            2. .

            3. While, in the modern day the distinction has lost a lot of revelance.

              He libeled you, not slandered.

              1. Well, since Tulpa is a thoughtform, those libelous words are actually physical representations of slanderous oration.


        3. You keep telling yourself that, Tulpy-Poo. You are pathetic beyond any measure of loserdom, and you know it. Oh man, it’s just so scrumptious watching a mendacious lying fuck like you squeal and pretend that it boosts your delusional “self-esteem”.


          Now threaten me! Come on, it’ll be hilarious!

    2. Ive harassed all 3 of his versions.

      Proving you are a liar once again.

      1. You harassed him for changing his name? Don’t remember that.

        1. Well it definitely happened you stupid fuck so get your stupid fucking memory checked.

  5. Twitter’s telling me people put on the masks at a rally for the military regime in Egypt, and I’m hard pressed to think of anything anti-authoritarian about that.

    They’re probably worried about reprisals from Muslim Brotherhood types.

    I’m torn on Egypt. Obviously I’m not enthralled with military dictatorships, but they really did massively fuck up their first stab at democracy.

    1. .

  6. Poor, misunderstood Hydra.

    Won’t somebody answer his questions?

    1. Has he ever asked a question? All I ever see is him slurping authority cock in declarative form.

  7. The Guy Fawkes mask is the Yankees baseball cap of stupid protests.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the proportion of Fawkes mask wearers aware of the history of the mask is actually lower than that of the general population.

    1. Bah, don’t be too harsh on them. I put up with the folks wearing yellow ribbons to support the troops, despite the semiotics actually originating with that stupid song about telling your parents to fuck off and then begging for forgiveness.


        Your delusions of grandeur only complement your persecution complex. Your patheticness is incredible. Do you have a single friend, anywhere? Have you ever? Oh it’s just so delicious.

        1. Excuse me for not caring what the guy who follows me around the blog and beats the shit out of his H and A keys thinks.

          1. So that’s a no. Which we all knew already. Incredibly, unbelievably pathetic.


            Just go kill yourself now, mendacious lying loser fuck. Now threaten me! Come on, you know you want to!

      2. I put up with the folks wearing yellow ribbons to support the troops, despite the semiotics actually originating with that stupid song about telling your parents to fuck off and then begging for forgiveness.

        What the fuck are you babbling about?

        1. I was misremembering the details, it was a guy sent to prison trying to come home to his girl.

          the ref

          1. Except the yellow ribbon goes back to the old West, to cavalry in the Indian Wars.

  8. Why not Davy Crockett coonskin hats?

    1. Good, but I like the tri-corn hats better.

    2. I like that.

      Guy Fawkes masks for Occupy.
      Tricorn hats for Tea Party.
      and Coonskin Hats for libertarians.

      1. I prefer this guy


    3. I’m sorry, coonskin hats?


    4. How about Alfred E. Neuman masks?

      Or just go as past POTUS as in Point Break.

      Although prefer the elegance of a Lone Ranger or Zorro or Phantom or Batman mask. Or a bandana for those who prefer to see better than breathe.

  9. I only heard about this from a liberal, buffoonishly mocking them on FB.

    I had no idea what he was talking about.

  10. ClownCar qualifying in progress, featuring a crowd numbering in the dozens, coming to you live from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

    1. only one week to Monaco.
      Breathe, Brooks, Breathe.

  11. Just go kill yourself now, mendacious lying loser fuck.

    Who would collect the money for day old doughnuts and Slim Jims at the Circle K tonight?

  12. only one week to Monaco.

    Bah. Even better- MotoGP tomorrow morning.

  13. What happened to the millions of Black Helicopter types who are angry at the Muslin Kenyan for taking their guns and 401K’s away?

    They must all be locked in those FEMA concentration camps I heard about.

    1. Here’s What Jay Carney told TheBlaze About the Newly Released IRS E-Mails

      Asked about the IRS scandal in a pre-Super Bowl interview, President Barack Obama said, “There were some bone headed decisions out of ? out of a local office.”

      In light of the new e-mails, obtained by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, White House press secretary Jay Carney is sticking with the president’s assertion in the pre-Super Bowl interview

      Remember, when this scandal broke, Tax Exempt Organizations director Lois Lerner used a staged question at a media event to jump out in front of a Treasury Department internal investigation, and after some obviously insincere mumbling about how outrageous her organization’s actions were by President Obama, the Administration settled on a narrative about “rogue low-level employees in the Cincinnati office” ? perhaps as few as two people. Among the people peddling that story was White House spokesman Jay Carney. Another unindicted co-conspirator in the case, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), tried to sideline congressional inquiry and turn hearings into a farce by asking low-level employees from the Cincinnati office if they had ever received a personal phone call from Barack Obama, instructing them to target Tea Party groups.


      1. Yesterday you said that Carl Levin was the one who sicked the IRS on the TP groups.

        1. And nothing in there says any different, learn to read.

          “FAKE SCANDAL!!!!”

        2. Are you seriously telling me you don’t understand that this is Carney’s reaction to those emails? You’re actually saying that you’re so fucking stupid that you think this story, which is Carney’s reaction to the emails that show Levin was involved, contradicts something somehow?

          You’re actually admitting to being that fucking dumb?

          That’s what you’re going with? Because yesterday you just shut the fuck up and ran, which, frankly, is a much better strategy for you.

          1. PB is a master of not understanding what he’s reading. His misunderstandings all seem to respect the narrative he chooses to ride.

  14. Jack Villeneuve?

    1. But the passion still burns within him!

  15. Two hundred people or so, largely white and near the age of retirement

    Obviously they didn’t hear about the free buffet at Golden Corral.

    1. It’s not free.

      You must be having a good day, you’re not the most hated person here right now.

      1. No, that makes Shreek sad.

        He is like a child that runs around screaming hoping daddy will pay attention.

        1. Ageist!

        2. No, I keep hoping libertarianism will catch on.

          In my 20s I thought it was just a matter of a few decades until Small Gov, secularist, pro-drug types like me drowned the two big parties out.

          Was I ever wrong – and I hate being wrong because I rarely am. But I was really wrong on that call.

          1. n my 20s I thought it was just a matter of a few decades until Small Gov, secularist, pro-drug types like me drowned the two big parties out.

            Your enunciation was remarkable for a man with his lips wrapped firmly around Barack Obamas cock.

            1. I escaped the GOP Plantation. You should try it.

              1. Since WTF doesn’t seem to be here,

                “…don’t lock eyes with ’em, don’t do it. Puts ’em on edge. They might go into berzerker mode; come at you like a whirling dervish, all fists and elbows. You might be screaming “No, no, no” and all they hear is “Who wants cake?” Let me tell you something: They all do. They all want cake.”

              2. Yeah shreeky when you went over the wall you pole vaulted right onto the TEAM EVIL Plantation…..you only think you are free!

          2. Small Gov, secularist, pro-drug types like me who support TARP.

  16. Does anybody ever bother to point out that Fawkes was basically a Catholic Totalitarian terrorist?

    I’d love to point out to liberals that they seem to be idolizing the Grandfather of all Abortion Clinic Bombers, but I’d probably just get blank stares.

    1. That is a good analogy. I first learned of Guy Fawkes in The Magus, which is one hell of a great 20th century novel.

      But since it is fiction I can’t rely on anything I read in it.

      1. “Palin’s Buttplug|5.17.14 @ 5:44PM|#

        I first learned of Guy Fawkes in The Magus, which is one hell of a great 20th century novel.”

        Stop lying. We know you only watched the movie.

    2. And Thomas Jefferson was a slaveholder, so that means libertarians should toss the DoI into the trash too?

      1. .

      2. Are you suggesting there was some grand liberation motivation for Fawkes, and that his Fundamentalist Catholicism was somehow ‘incidental’?

        You really don’t help yourself at all with this whole “tulpa is an idiot” meme. you seem to revel in it. At least the Bo version does.

        1. Fundamentalist Catholicism

          English protestants were not exactly the good guys.

          Also the Gunpowder rebellion was pretty much a preamble to the 30 years war.

          No “right” side in that war.

      3. That’s not even close to the same thing. No one tried to discredit some seemingly-good idea Fawkes had by pointing out something bad about him, which would be an ad hominem. By pointing out that he was a Catholic fundamentalist, people are criticizing his attempt to install a Catholic theocracy. I’m not sure how you see that as equivalent to the TJ/DOI example

        1. Catholic fundamentalist

          I know language changes and yadda yadda yadda, but fundamentalism is pretty specifically protestant.

          I have trouble with Islamic fundamentalist too.

          1. The term “Islamic fundamentalist”. And them too.

            But I was referring to the term.

            1. Fundamentalism original referred to these essays:


              Also it came from LA.

              1. Yes, I know, that is my point.

                When someone asks me if Im a fundamentalist, I say, “I dont know, Ive never read them.”

          2. I can see how Fundamentalism would be specifically Protestant, but I think the term fundamentalism can be applied to any religion. The latter may get its origin from the former, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a validly-used word.

    3. Good point, although there honestly weren’t any good factions during that time period from a religious freedom standpoint. Catholics during the Jacobite and Protectorate eras faced a strong backlash from the protestants.

      I think England actually banned Christmas around that time as a “popeish” ceremony with no Biblical backing (which is more than a little true, but still).

      1. Yes, you’re right.

        There was virulent anti-Catholic persecution on both sides of the channel, and catholics were certainly a aggrieved minority; that said = Fawkes was a dedicated and ruthless pro-catholic ‘fighter’ who had participated in wars alongside Spain in a few different locales. I call him ‘fundamentalist’ maybe unfairly = but unlike those who used political means to argue for catholic emancipation, he was all about killing everyone and overthrowing the regime. Which is a fair distinction I think.

        1. Wasn’t Queen Elizabeth actually pretty good to the Catholics at least until her main advisor guy died?

      2. I think England actually banned Christmas around that time as a “popeish” ceremony with no Biblical backing (which is more than a little true, but still).

        It was the Puritans who banned Christmas in 1647.

    4. That’s part of the ambiguity. I’d always understood his being a figure being made fun of, as when burned in effigy. But now that’s mixed with the “I am Spartacus” role, so I don’t know what it means to wear the mask.

  17. So is this a tease or are Obama and his “swarms of Officers” going to resign?

  18. It’ll be like Crossfire crossed with 4chan.


    1. Well, there is xchan

  19. Maybe the meanings aren’t completely contradictory.

    I would think people who oppose Catholic Theocracy wearing the mask of a prominent Catholic Theocrat is pretty contradictory in of itself.

  20. Also it’s pretty hilarious to see people aping French Revolutionary symbolism considering how it led to 23 years of almost constant warfare, saw a France believing that it was engaging in Regime Change to liberate Europe, saw Jacobins suppressing civil liberties and mass executions of political opponents, brutal suppression of anti-government revolts, mass conscription, price controls, inflation and suspension of the constitution in the name of wartime necessity, oh and resulted in a military dictator who ended up proclaiming himself emperor.

  21. Fun fact: Guy Fawkes is the origin of calling people “guys.”

    1. Fun fact #2: In my brain, I think “Gee” not “Gy”, like he was a hockey player.

  22. Sometimes man you jsut hve to roll with it.


  23. The biggest problem about revolutions is what the name implies: revolving rulers. How about a rebellion against authority without revolution?

    If you can’t evade then it comes down to defending yourself by countering force with force, and such acts still do not imply revolution or overthrow, just nullification.

    1. ‘Nullification’ style resistance of the sort that more anarchist libertarians prefer does work, but not very well and not for very long (at least, thus far in the historical record). To provide one of the more successful (if short-lived) examples from the historical record, the main methods of such (immigration/emigration, evasion of authorities, and general vigilantism/banditry) were employed by the Polish-Lithuanian peasantry in the Ukraine, and eventually led to escalation until the Ukrainian resistance was bound up in the Hetmanate which proceeded to eliminate Polish power and was suborned by Russian power in short order. A similar phenomena occurred in interwar Ukraine, which was briefly in the throes of anarcho-socialism before being forcibly brought into the fold by the USSR. It would only be after the Battle of Warsaw that the USSR’s expansionism was checked by an equal and opposing conventional Polish army.

      To some degree nullification exists everywhere that there is a law that goes unenforced. More absolute forms of nullification such that the governing power has no authority over the lives of its subjects, not so much — and they probably won’t so long as anarchy is unable to marshal conventional armies capable of eliminating interference by others.

  24. I’d imagine it’d be pretty hard to attract millions of gainfully employed people to take time off, head to Washington and protest leviathan.

  25. At this point someone should start a cable news show where no one is identified, everyone wears a Guy Fawkes mask, and nobody agrees about anything.

    ummm jesse,

    I understand you are mostly a print guy…but you do realize ReasonTV does exist right?

    That “someone” can be you.

  26. If you believe that the Morsi/Islamic Brotherhood regime would have been a total disaster for freedom, leading to massacres of Christians and/or a war with Israel, then yes, supporting the military regime that defeated him can be a pro-freedom view (even if many of us wish the citizens of Egypt had better choices than those two!)

    The lesson for the West to learn from places like Egypt and Iraq is that it can be very counterproductive to attempt to introduce democracy into countries where most of the people do not support freedom, or at least don’t understand what needs to happen for them to get or keep freedom.

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