Punching Fascists: Reflections on an American Tradition

(This article was originally published at Yester.ly.)

The day of now-President Donald J. Trump’s inauguration, Richard Spencer was punched in the head during a live interview by a black bloc anarchist. For those who don’t know, Richard Spencer is the intellectual “mastermind” of the alt-Right, made famous by Trump’s senior adviser Stephen Bannon while he was editor-in-chief of Breitbart.com. Spencer is also the Director of the National Policy Institute, which, despite its completely innocuous-sounding name, is a far-Right white nationalist “think tank.” Shortly after getting forearmed during that interview, during a later interview, Spencer was punched AGAIN!

spencer punch 1

Over the past few days, the Internet and social media have been debating whether it is okay to punch Nazis, with many liberals and progressives taking stock of their own personal affective joy in seeing Spencer getting what he deserves in the form of a fist to the head, are also suggesting that even though he deserves it, violence is not okay, not even when it comes to punching Nazis (several of these pieces are linked to in the third to last paragraph of this article). While we can and probably should debate the ethics of it, punching or even killing fascists is as American as apple pie. World War II anyone?

Our culture is also rife with well-known and well-received examples of American heroes punching Nazis—the worst kind of fascist.

Captain America punched Nazis, including Adolf Hitler himself on this cover from 1940 (a year before the US would officially enter the war).

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Captain America’s running antagonist Red Skull was often portrayed as a Nazi or actively working with the Nazis. Captain America punched him many times in and out of his Nazi regalia.

red skull hitler 1 capt america punching nazi red skull 1

Even Captain America’s side-kick Bucky Barnes got in on the action, punching Red Skull into Hitler. Americans have always liked two-for-one deals, and apparently this applies to punching fascists as well.

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While not as exciting as seeing Cap punch Hitler or Nazi-collaborator Red Skull, Batman and Superman threw rocks at the three fascist leaders of the Axis powers on this more propagandistic cover from 1943.

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Here’s a link to eighteen examples of comic book characters punching or otherwise assaulting Nazis (most of the time it’s Hitler).

Indiana Jones was also a notorious puncher of Nazis.

Indy Jones punching nazi

^This bald guy is a Nazi.

Not only does this Nazi get punched several times by Indiana Jones, but he also gets obliterated by an airplane propeller shortly thereafter.

In fact, Indiana Jones punching Nazis in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) was so popular, George Lucas decided to make another Jones movie based on punching Nazis: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989).

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In The Last Crusade, even honorary American Sean Connery (playing Indian Jones’ father) gets in on the action. The success of both of these films shows that Americans enjoy when fascists eat crow—and knuckle sandwiches.

Brad Pitt seemed to become sexually aroused by killing Nazis in Inglorious Basterds (2009), an entire film oriented around punching, shooting, killing, and otherwise attacking Nazis.

Brad Pitt Inglorious Basterds_killing nazis.gif

That was in the past though right? Wrong. Americans cheered across the country after the deaths of fascists like Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, and Osama bin Laden. While these examples from the Middle East and northern Africa are more complicated cases (with respect to how fascistic their regimes were and which end of the political spectrum they were given their supposed association with Arab/Islamic socialism), they still represent the enduring American love affair with violence against, at the very least, anti-American authoritarians.

There are more examples too.  In the environmentalist children’s cartoon Captain Planet, a Hitlerian character gets an elbow to the gut by one of the Planeteers. Daffy Duck fights fascists in this Looney Tunes clip. The cult-classic video game franchise Wolfenstein is oriented around the killing of Nazis, and in the immensely popular Call of Duty: Black Ops (2010), there is a mode where you kill Nazi zombies (Really though, are there other kinds of Nazis?).

Americans clearly have a long-standing obsession with using violence against fascists—and rightfully so—as fascism stands against the best of American values, values we have had more than enough trouble living up to, even in the absence of any mass domestic fascist movement (the Trump campaign and Presidency notwithstanding).

Those who know me intellectually very likely know that I am a pacifist, through and through. I abhor violence and killing of all kinds, literally in all situations—even self-defense. Let me be very clear though, this pacifism is a purist, categorical ethical standpoint, not necessarily a reflection of any strategic perspective on the practical uses of violence, say by revolutionary movements. The implications of this “quasi-pacifism” do not preclude the possibility that in certain cases violence may be politically justifiable as a pragmatic means to stop greater violences (but that is literally the only measure, if it actually accomplishes that goal without legitimizing violence in general).

That’s just my take though. The Nation, .Mic, among other sources have posted their perspectives on the use of violence against fascists and white supremacists. Vice even consulted the New York Times Magazine resident ethicist Randy Cohen. They don’t seem to be fans.

George Ciccariello-Maher on the other hand, who made national news due to his satirical tweet on Christmas Eve in 2016 calling for “white genocide” (a contrived concept invented by white supremacists and the alt-Right to describe various multicultural practices and policies including immigration, affirmative action, and interracial marriage), is a big fan of punching fascists. If anyone deserves to punch some fascists it’s him; after his now infamous tweet, he and his family received hundreds of death threats from white supremacist fascists online. Classy people those racist fascists are. It is worth noting that Drexel University, where Ciccariello-Maher is Associate Professor of Politics and Global Policy, condemned his tweet—but not the death threats against him and his family.

The neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer (which I am not linking to. If you want to give them clicks and are reading this, you probably have Google) has used this incident as a rallying cry for more violence against the Left—which is anyone to their left, politically.

The question remains, not whether punching fascists, Nazis, and die-hard misogynists and white supremacists is ethical, but rather whether it is a politically pragmatic approach to dealing with these kinds of people—as opposed to the counterrevolutionary demand that we “tolerate” them or else become hypocrites. I think there are good ethical and political reasons to reject the logic that we must tolerate the intolerant and certainly even better reasons to reject the demand that we tolerate the intolerable, but what are the consequences of using violence to oppose fascists? World War II anyone?

In the aftermath of his well-earned fists to the head, Richard Spencer said that he is now afraid to speak in public without security. Without deciding for you, I’ll simply say this: I won’t be losing any sleep if Richard Spencer and his ilk feel less comfortable speaking and gathering in public to spread their bigotry and hate.

Courtesy of Twitter:

richard spencer punch meme 1

*A special thanks is owed to Leo Collado, a friend and former student, who offered invaluable expertise on the many pop culture examples of punching fascists discussed here. He is a fount of anti-fascist expertise. This article is much improved for his many suggestions (only a portion of which make an appearance here).

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The Gaslighting of Poor Jimmy Comey

 

 

Recent news reports–though these days one should probably specify the hour of the breaking news one is referring to–have suggested that still-President Donald J. Trump made now-former FBI Director James Comey extremely uncomfortable with his overt gestures of flattery and comradery during Trump’s early weeks in office, seemingly in an effort to get Comey to drop the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election and possible ties between Russian agents and the Trump campaign, specifically regarding former General Michael Flynn.

It seems Trump’s unwanted advances have no gender restriction.

This comports with past reports that while out to dinner at one of Trump’s many (what we can only imagine are classless and tacky) restaurants, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was forced by Trump to order the meatloaf.

Apparently Trump’s accusers are “too ugly” to be subject to Trump’s grotesque, let’s call them, “affections,” but Comey and the ever-beautiful Chris Christie are not. Interesting.

On one occasion Trump asked Comey over to the White House for what became an awkward dinner where Trump asked everyone to leave the room. While, by all reports, Trump refrained from grabbing Comey by the “penis,” leaks have suggested that Trump put his hand on Comey’s leg, leaned in so Comey could feel on his neck the delicious mixture of hot dogs and two scoops of ice cream-scented breath wafting out of Trump’s gaping noise hole, while Trump suggested that Comey drop the investigation into Trump’s other boyfriend, the aforementioned Michael Flynn.

On another occasion, Trump called Comey while he was pooping to tell him that he had just taken the “most terrific” “biggest” shit ever by any President ever–and that over a million people were there to watch it happen. Trump continued to suggest that the previous record holder, Richard Nixon, had over 200,000 illegal immigrants who watched him take his, so it didn’t really count.

Finally, we have the above-pictured handshake turned awkward one-sided hug, which Comey told friends made him feel “disgusted.”

All we can say is that Comey probably understands how all those women who have accused Trump of sexual harassment and assault feel. Or so he probably thinks.

It really is so difficult being a man in power these days–never mind being President or the director of the investigative arm of the authoritarian-corporate US state.

Poor guys. Our “heart” goes out to them both.

Roger Ailes, Dead at 138. What Really Killed America’s Longest Living Piece of Shit.

Despite the superficial similarities with Jabba the Hutt, we should be cautious about assuming that Roger Ailes was killed by a nearly fully-trained youthful Jedi knight. That said, he also most certainly did not slip on the floor–and then into a coma–prior to dying.

The beyond loathsome founder of Fox News died today (*hold your applause*…okay you can applaud–but keep reading!). What most people don’t know is why, after being away from his demonic baby Fox News for such a short time, Ailes suddenly died. Luckily, I have uncovered documents that reveal his secret for long life–and why his strategy didn’t last…

While collaborating with an as-of-now unknown Third World fascist leader in the 1960s, Ailes stumbled upon a well-hidden secret for long life. 138 years, though? Shocking, I know.  Actually, you probably won’t be surprised about how he did it.

To put it simply: Ailes used a magical, male-only (sorry ladies…seriously, I apologize…) legendary power; he nearly quite literally sucked the youth out of his young, blonde employees at Fox News.

Most people know of Ailes’ long-hidden (at least outside of Fox News and any number of well-paid law firms) habit for sexually harassing and assaulting his female “journalists” and “news”casters (let’s not pretend that just because they were clearly victims that what they did for a living in any way resembled journalism or the dissemination of real news). Speaking of attempting to inseminate…

The truth is, Ailes was merely trying to survive…forever.

Every failed attempt to cop a feel or dive-bomb some slightly revealed cleavage (which was part of the required dress code for all female employees at Fox News), was simply an old Hutt’s long-successful ritual of stealing the vitality from these young professionals who simply wanted to make it big in the political commentary industry so they could tell people lies like their beyond-reproach hero Bill O’Reilly…errr….

And on that note, there has been no evidence suggesting that Ailes shared his secret with O’Reilly or Bill Cosby; they were legitimate scumbags. But not Ailes, no no. No siree.

Once the radical feminist agenda intervened and decided that women should have a right to work in an environment where a decrepit old slug doesn’t leer, comment, or ejaculate on their five inch heels, the jig was up for Ailes. They stole his harem– and his fountain of youth.

Tough luck I guess.

Unphased by First Erection in a Decade, Mike Pence Breaks Senate Tie to Allow States to Defund Planned Parenthood

In what seemed like a scene out of Anchorman, and hardly more coherent, Mike Pence exercised his constitutional right to break a Senate tie, which he first did to confirm the barely-literate and book-burning anti-school Christian Wahhabist Betsy DeVos as US Secretary of Education.

On this occasion— fully-engorged for the first time in roughly a decade, according to medical documents– Pence carried out his vice presidential privilege to allow states to withdraw funding for Planned Parenthood, which provides crucial affordable health care to women around the country (including cancer screenings, STI testing, and family planning services).

Again, according to medical documentation released to our investigative team on condition of anonymity, Vice President Pence has tried everything to become sexually-aroused, but since the Affordable Care Act has guaranteed women the right to basic health care and family planning coverage, no amount of Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, cocaine, or luxury penis pumps would work. Though the thought of rolling back basic rights for women, gays, lesbian, transgendered persons, blacks, Muslims, atheists, and progressive “Christians” had often been enough to get him hard when he was younger, these tried-and-true methods were no longer working.

Despite our team’s efforts, we were unable to confirm whether or how often Pence had used his state-funded comprehensive health insurance to pay for the various treatments for his perpetually flaccid…Christian supremacist world-view.

“I never even considered the possibility that I would get to be the one to cast the deciding vote to allow our righteous states to take the exotic, arousing step of defunding Planned Parenthood and that that would nearly bring me to climax” Pence told a 16 year old female staffer, who spoke to us on condition of anonymity due to pending unknown legal proceedings against the governor–presumably stemming from the much reported on encounter between young female interns, the former Indiana governor, three ministers, and seven professional magicians at a required business “party” at the governor’s home in late 2015.

Speaking to reporters outside of the Senate chamber, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) said, “I swear I thought Pence was going to knock over the podium he was so excited. I completely understand why. Actually, I need to call my wife, right now. I hope she’s completed all her required tasks for the day.”

When asked for comment on her husand’s visibly rousing vote, Second Lady Karen Pence, out of breath, told our reporters: “I can’t really talk at the moment, I need to do all the laundry, go food shopping, pray five times, reread the approved Bible passages that conform to Mike’s entirely comprehensive, accurate, and selective [mis]interpretation (sic), and get my nun costume dry cleaned before he returns home, otherwise he might not look at me like he is going to tonight–at least until Neil Gorsuch comes over again and tells him about his plan to repeal Roe v. Wade and other basic human rights protections for women and sexual minorities.

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Stay tuned for our next report on the drugless orgy, which over a dozen North Carolina GOP legislators participated in after convincing the country that they actually repealed the bigoted, transphobic, violence-encouraging “Bathroom bill” that forces transgender people to use the bathroom opposite to their gender identity and has cost the state over $3 billion in losses incurred by boycotts of the state since the bill was originally passed and signed into law. In fact, according to the ACLU, the bill that was passed supposedly repealing the “Bathroom bill” is a farce. According to our sources, the all-male GOP orgy was quite the opposite.

White House orders media blackout; Trump’s body liquefies in the Oval Office.

After ordering the EPA and its staffers to share no information with the press or on social media about anything related to the EPA or the transition to a purely whale-oil based economy, newly duped Chief-of-Staff Reince Prebus expanded that order to include the entire Executive Branch–at least until Trump’s cabinet was fully in place.

After only five hours, Donald Trump’s body began to form a deep orange puddle in the middle of the floor of the Oval Office. One Secret Service agent who witnessed the event said, “It kinda looked like nacho cheese. Woah, I’m actually hungry for some nachos now.”

After telling reporters that he “thought Trump could last at least 12 hours without posting on Twitter or saying something–anything–to the media,”  now-President Mike Pence began disassembling the centuries old Resolute desk used by a number of past Presidents. When asked what in God’s name he was doing, Pence replied: “Exactly. In God’s name, we’re gonna build this fuckin’ ark, just like Trump said a thousand times over the course of the campaign.”

Justifiably confused, the remaining reporters–the ones who were not drunk off their asses depressed that they’d probably be out of a job again– pushed Pence to explain what he was talking about.

Pence sternly replied, with a slight glisten in his right eye, “You know the ark I mean. The one to keep the Mexicans out.”

–Reporting live from the former Oval Office, which is apparently now a nacho cheese-stained Church….

GOP Convention-Goers Accidentally Cheer the Words of Black Muslim First Lady

In a stunning display of bipartisanship at the RNC last night, potential future First Lady/Daughter Melania Trump offered a stunning tribute to the current first lady and badass vegetable nazi, Michelle Obama. While many commentators speculated that the third Mrs. Trump needed to plagiarize that portion of the speech because after 18 years of living hell with a hateful orange skin covered pile of poor people’s bones, she quote “was as dead on the inside as she looks on the outside.”
Responding to that suggestion, with completely lifeless eyes, Mrs. Trump said, “I love Michelle Obama. I can only imagine what it is like to be married to an even minimally decent man like Barack. Seriously. I wanted to pay tribute to her success, and especially for delivering such a powerful speech in 2008 that I literally couldn’t help but copy it.

What remains most shocking about this all, besides an immigrant being welcome at the RNC at all (at least one who isn’t part of the exploited janitorial staff of course), is that ……MUSLIMS!!!! ISIS!!!!!! BLUE LIVES MATTER!!!!…My apologies folks, Rudy Giuliani is now on hour 7 of his well-reasoned, calmly delivered Shakespearean soliloquy…

Reporting Live from the tropical paradise that is America’s flourishing Rust-belt, Joe Biden.

Dershowitz on Trump’s Anti-Hillary Star of David Tweet–Last Straw for Jewish Voters Who’ve Been in a Coma for the Past 12+ Months

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2016/jul/05/donald-trumps-star-david-tweet-recap/

Alan Dershowitz is a highly educated and sophisticated moron. Besides his past calls for the legalization of torture and repulsive and ebullient support for the massacring of (Palestinian) children and other gross and illegal activities of Israel, he has just suggested that this whole star of David tweet from Trump was–and should be– “the last straw” for some conservative Jewish voters. I’m sorry, if this was your “last straw”–that THIS was the thing that made you not support Trump– you’re also a moron.

Here’s why: Donald Trump is a piece of shit and has been basically forever–but at least since the whole Birther thing and definitely 200% a piece of shit since he announced his 2016 campaign for the Presidency, headlined by his assertion that most Mexicans are rapists. He has said some of the most vile, hateful things America has more or less tolerated since Rick Santorum and George Wallace were allowed to speak in public.

Seriously though, regardless of any of that, if the shape of a dialog bubble is your last straw for anything, please dear god stop using straws to decide who to vote for…

Here’s the only way this stupid (and yes, originally anti-Jewish) tweet can be your last straw: 1. You think Mexicans are rapists. 2. You hate working people and thus oppose maintaining even a minimal social safety net including a minimum wage. 3. You hate all Muslims and think there is something inherently evil about being Muslim that warrants a complete disregard for the Constitution and Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 4. You think that women are inferior to men and deserve to be treated like shit. 5. You support the use of violence against people who disagree with you (in peaceful ways). 6. You thought Trump was kidding about all the fascist comments he’s made in the past (including previous retweets of neo-Nazi quotes and memes). 7. To summarize, you’re a hateful, bigoted idiot.

If these don’t apply to you, the only explanation is that you’ve been in a coma since the day Donald Trump announced he was running for President.

To continue with Dershowitz’s inhumane pseudo-intellectual existence embodied in today’s CNN interview, he also stated that Bernie Sanders and Trump were similar in that they tried to maintain support from anti-Jewish camps on their respective sides of the political spectrum. Dear. Fucking. God.

Okay, he goes onto explain himself: Bernie stayed silent when his supporters called on him to criticize Israel for murdering civilians and illegally occupying Palestinian lands….hmmm…wait that doesn’t sound like anti-Jewishness at all. That sounds like pro-human rights to me. Ahhh now it all makes sense: Dershowitz opposes human rights, so he gets confused by critiques of Israel rooted in basic human decency and international law.

In Dershowitz’s mind Hillary Clinton must be the perfect candidate. She abides by the “anything critical of Israel is anti-Semitic” mantra at the core of the (un)Democratic Party and supports the rampant violation of human rights. A match made in Paradise.

Finally, a special shout out to our corporate friends at CNN–giving a voice to people who should be completely ignored since 1997.

(I’ll have an actual satire of this story from the perspective of that Jew in the coma posted soon.)

“I Did Not Have Campaign Relations with that Woman” Part 2

New information is trickling in on the Bill Clinton not-campaigning-sex scandal, similar to how his semen trickled onto so many suspecting dresses over the years.

According to sources familiar with the encounter–because they were eavesdropping on the other side of the door–Bill Clinton refused to use lubricant while he was not campaigning vigorously inside of the poll worker, and he insisted on yelling “feel the burn” for the entire estimated 43 second ordeal.

The volunteer has been released from her duties at the polling station shortly thereafter, although she has not been released from the hospital as of yet as she is undergoing treatment for a different kind of burning (and itching) sensation…

“I Did Not Have Campaign Relations with that Woman”

In a flagrant and intentional violation of Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ election law, former President Bill Clinton had sexual intercourse with a young poll (not pole) worker at a polling station in Boston on Super Tuesday. Massachusetts was a key battleground state in the 2016 Democratic Party primary. Exit polls showed insurgent candidate Bernie Sanders with a 4% lead over the former Secretary of State, Goldman Sachs motivational speaker, and unrepentant war criminal Hillary Clinton–that was, until her husband’s Viagra kicked in. The Clinton campaign needed to prove to the media that she could win in a state whose Democratic base was not primarily blindfolded conservatives. 93 delegates were up for grabs, but instead Hillary ended up winning by roughly 25,000 “votes” and now a young woman has crabs. (Il)legal seafood anyone?

As it turns out Massachusetts’ election law is quite specific on this issue. It is strictly prohibited for anyone to campaign within 150 feet of a polling place or from 6 inches inside of a polling volunteer.

When asked for an explanation on how Hillary Clinton went from being down 5,000 votes to being up by 25,000 shortly after her husband finished “not campaigning” inside of the sultry 23 year old, first-time poll volunteer, the campaign spokesperson said, “We’ve paid off everyone already–or rather, Goldman Sachs has picked up the tab for us–and good luck trying to stop us from winning, or at least buying this election! What did you think? That this was a real democracy? HA!”

Tom Brady’s Suspension Reduced to 2 games for “Merely Committing Domestic Abuse”

The recent suspension of New England Patriots quarterback and male model Tom Brady has received a great deal of coverage over the past 24 hours since the punishment was handed-down. According to an ostensibly independent NFL investigation into the supposed deflation of game balls used by the Patriots during and prior to last season’s AFC Championship game, two equipment managers were deflating footballs because the under-inflated balls were preferred by Brady. The report suggested that not only were a few footballs actually deflated, but also that there is no known advantage to deflating footballs. Additionally the report speculated wildly with no actual evidence, that Tom Brady explicitly and definitely probably was “at least generally aware” that something was going on with the balls.
Brady has thus been suspended for 4 games for conduct detrimental to the integrity of the NFL. It has been implied that this suspension was primarily due to Brady refusing to cooperate with the NFL’s investigation in the form of turning over his personal cell phone records.

In a feat of spectacular journalism and with the help of Juilan Assange and Edward Snowden, I have obtained and viewed Tom Brady’s personal text message records. I have since turned them over to the NFL, which then immediately responded to my inquiry that they will indeed be cutting Brady’s suspension in half.

It turns out the reason why Brady was so reluctant to turn over his cell phone records was because he consistently admits–even brags–to his friends, colleagues and really any one whose number he has, that he consistently beats his wife, and beats her good and long. Sometimes the reason given is because Tom threw an interception or got sacked in his last game, or even had a bad day at practice. Sometimes Tom says “I am just bored and a little buzzed.”  Either way, he had good reasons, and we all get it.

In light of this exonerating evidence regarding Deflategate, the story will likely completely disappear from the mainstream media.

I have also obtained an early draft of Roger Goodell’s impending press release on the reduction of Brady’s suspension. Goodell writes:

“We were to hasty to judge Tom. He is a great player, and we are sorry for ever questioning his integrity. We fully understand that sometimes you just need to hit a bitch, but that is no excuse for failing to comply with a royal decree from the Commissioner’s Office. In light of the facts though, we cannot in good conscience maintain the 4 game suspension of such a great star and future Hall of Famer for such a minor infraction as domestic battery.”

–Reporting from the Twilight Zone (also known as 21st century corporate-patriarchal America), a regular guy capable of basic reasoning.