by Jim Paine
Having listened to enough Ward Churchill speeches to qualify as at least an upper-division Ethnic Studies student (and, thus, fully deserving of all the public acclamation and reverence that position deserves-- ie, zilch), I have arrived at several conclusions, the first of which is rarely covered in media accounts (with the glowing exception of zombie's excellent pictorial dissection of several Churchill events), but which can best be expressed "Where do they find all these cretins?" PT Barnum was, in the final analysis, a pollyanna.
At every Churchill "rally" (one cannot call them "forums" and continue to claim a reverence for the objective meaning of words, although most media and all universities seem to think otherwise), the innate choral nature of a Churchill audience reveals a constituency comprised entirely of amen-corner idiots (primarily white middle-class louts, unsurprisingly) brimming with eager loathing of the US, and drives home the point that Churchill is not so much "winning hearts and minds" as he is providing already-won hearts and minds with the "intellectual ammunition" to bravely battle the hateful and murderous US. One imagines that had only Mummy and Daddy bought Brent that pony like he wanted, Brent would have found something more productive to do than enthusiastically echoing Churchill's sedition today. As the satirist Karl Kraus pointed out (which quote I've shamelessly cribbed from The Weekly Standard), "'the secret of the demagogue is to make himself as stupid as his audience, so they believe they are as clever as he." In achieving that level of stupidity, Churchill has succeeded, and judging from his audience, it was no mean feat.
But that's all prologue to the second conclusion I've drawn from Churchill's speech (and honestly, he just has the one), which is that those wishing to schedule him can save the speaking fee and travel & lodging fees by simply having someone read the following:
"Greetings my relatives blah blah blah.... Blah blah Leonard Peltier blah blah blah still in a cage.... Blah blah blah little Eichmanns blah blah.... Blah blah blah [litany of US-perpetrated holocausts ranging from the Dutch playing kickball with the heads of slaughtered Indians from whom they had earlier purchased the island of Manhattan to the Dresden fire-bombings and, of course, Hiroshima and Nagasaki] blah blah blah US out of North America!"
The above version has the added attraction of being brief. Purists may argue, however, that omitting the length and density of a Churchill speech is to lose the soporific effect of the original. I offer, then, the outline of Churchill's speech:
- Self-identify as an Indian. For authenticity, learn the Sioux words for "Seditious Buffoon" and announce that that is your true name, and that "Bill Smith" is your "colonial name" (45 seconds)
- Defend convicted murderer Leonard Peltier (two minutes)
- Blather on contradictorily with exculpatory material concerning the "little Eichmanns' essay (seven minutes)
- Launch a long, long, long litany of the US's apparently unbroken history of slaughter and genocide that, concatenatively, more than justifies the 9/11 terrorist attacks (15 minutes)
- Ask a series of pseudo-rhetorical questions following the basic line of "How would you address the egregious human rights violations of the United States?" (two minutes)
- Without allowing rumination or conversation on the preceding question, quickly launch into a systematic derogation of "pacifist" solutions. Remember: you wrote Pacifism As Pathology (three minutes)
- Propound knowingly about US Constitutional law, international law, and the illegitimacy of US existence. (four minutes)
- Argue that individual citizens (like, say, your audience members) are the "enforcement arm" to ensure that the government complies with aforementioned international law "by any means necessary." (one minute)
- Having eliminated all possible nonviolent solutions to your pseudo-rhetorical question, leave the determination of what possible action remains legitimate as an exercise for the student. Broad hints are allowed, but explicitly telling your audience to "off the pig" (however receptive they may be to that encouragement) is cheating.
- Question & Answer period: Here, say whatever you want. Really. Anything will suffice. Mention Locke or Malcolm X (or both, if you're feeling cocky) for extra points with the audience. Any question you wish not to answer can be effectively responded-to with sarcasm. Lately, this function has been assumed by other audience members, and you merely have to nod or say "well said" to achieve applause, or perhaps even a standing O.