One of our missions at City Paper is to provide a comprehensive guide to goings-on about town. Some of those events are wholesome family fare for kids and parents to enjoy. (Be sure to check out Love City at Garfield Artworks on March 24, for example!) Others, though, are downright perverse.
But we pass no judgments here at CP. So for the hardcore fetishists out there, let me recommend this descent into debauchery: a "Tea Party" tax protest to be held in Pittsburgh and other cities on April 15. Details are scant, but I got a feeling this is gonna be like a Fellini film -- complete with Bible-thumpers, circus freaks, leather-clad dwarves, and maybe even some Libertarians.
After all, it's boosted by the American Family Association, which kindly sent us an e-mail about the protest and directed us to this site.
The AFA is perhaps better known for its jihads against gay people, but in these tough economic times, you've got to diversify. So suddenly, the group has decided that the moral cause of the day is not AIDS in Africa or even Janet Jackson's nipple, but ... taxation.
"We want to send a message to Washington," Donald Wildmon, the longtime wingnut who heads the AFA, tells us via e-mail. "We cannot spend our way out of debt, and we find it immoral to pile debt on our great-grandchildren."
Well, it's nice to see Don keeping busy. I mean, at least he's found a genuine cause ... as opposed to his previous campaigns against TV shows like Three's Company and Laverne & Shirley. (By the way, Don, how IS that campaign to clean up television going? Just about got that worked out?)
But ... "immoral"? Really? One wonders how these guardians of public decency managed to hold their peace during the Bush years. After all, the National Tea Party Day Web site rails against such commmon Bush-era practices as "run[ning] up trillions of dollars of debt and then sell[ing] that debt to countries such as China." Not to mention "leaving a debt our great-grandchildren will be paying." (Notice how it's only the GREAT-grandchildren Wildmon's crew is upset about? I get the feeling somebody's grandkids should call more often.)
This is, of course, exactly what gets up my left nostril about these latter-day Pharisees. If this were just a political attack on Obama, the hypocrisy wouldn't bother me: Politicians do this sort of thing all the time. I only really get irritated when people lay claim to the mantle of "morality" while engaging in transparently partisan stunts. Deficit spending was moral when we needed to bomb Iraq back in the Bush years, I guess. But if it's for something like providing healthcare to all Americans, why, that's the Devil's handiwork.
The funny thing is that Wildmon has something in common with the Wall Street sharpsters whose bailout he decries. Neither the hedge funds or the fundamentalists have realized the rules have changed. When voters went to the polls in November, they voted against the toxic combination of conservative politics -- against the big-money guys who screwed up our economy, yes, but also against the Don Wildmons of the world, who spent years trumping up "values issues" like Terri Schiavo and stem-cell research while Wall Street looted the economy.
Had Wildmon and Wall Street been less self-righteous, they would have learned some humility from those election results. AIG and Merrill Lynch might have realized that it's a bad idea to give out performance bonuses while seeking bailouts with the other hand. And Wildmon's lunatic fringe would realize that almost everyone is embarrassed by their shenanigans.
But hey -- don't let that get in the way of having a good time on April 15. Turn out in Downtown Pittsburgh wearing the kinkiest get-up you can find. I guarantee you won't be alone.