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At last I finally got around to writing a blog post about what happened on the Mall in Washington, DC on September 16, 2017. In a nutshell there were three different events happening simultaneously on different parts of the Mall at the same time. These events were enough for the local media to warn would-be commuters that many roads would be closed to traffic that day. In addition, Metro decided to close the Smithsonian station, which I felt was a bone-headed move because it not only led to more walking for me than usual (due to the fact that Metro closed the only Metro station that is located directly on the Mall) but it could’ve led to a dangerous situation had something violent happened and people couldn’t try to escape to the nearest Metro station so they could board the next train.

Despite the Metro hassle there was still a potential for drama and it was possible that it could’ve lead to a situation similar to what went on in Charlottesville. I decided to show up in person with my camera to check everything out for myself. I would be there to document anything that went wrong if the situation warranted it.

Arriving to the Greenbelt Metro wasn’t so bad. Compared to the Women’s March back in January, that station wasn’t very crowded and I was able to add more money to my SmartTrip card and get on a train with no problem at all.

As I exited the Archives/Navy Memorial Metro station the first thing I saw was the closed-off streets.

Fiesta DC, September 16, 2017

Fiesta DC, September 16, 2017

Fiesta DC, September 16, 2017

Fiesta DC, September 16, 2017

First there was the annual Fiesta DC event, which was a celebration of Latino/Latina/Latinx culture that started with a parade down Constitution Avenue and ended with a festival on the Mall itself. This event was the least political and least controversial of the three events. I arrived early enough to shoot some parade participants getting ready for their turn to march.

Fiesta DC, September 16, 2017

Fiesta DC, September 16, 2017

Fiesta DC, September 16, 2017

Fiesta DC, September 16, 2017

Fiesta DC, September 16, 2017

Fiesta DC, September 16, 2017

I briefly thought about sitting in on some of the parade until I saw the huge crowds gathering on Connecticut Avenue. I decided to head to the two competing political events that were taking place on opposite sides of the Mall. As I made my way towards the grounds of the Washington Monument, I saw the set-up for the Fiesta DC festival that would begin once the parade ended.

Fiesta DC, September 16, 2017

As I continued my walk I saw a flock of birds taking a bath in a puddle on the Mall.

Bathing Birds, September 16, 2017

Before I go any further to write about the two rallies I attended that day I want to say a few things, especially to any fans of Donald Trump and the Insane Clown Posse who happens to be reading this. While I used Photoshop to edit my photos, I only used its basic features for cropping and for lightening up a few dark shaded areas in some of the photographs. I did not digitally add or delete any people. Everything you see in these pictures are what I actually saw in real life and they can be corroborated by numerous other media reports such as BillboardThe Guardian, Metro, and The Chicago Tribune.  What I’m posting here is NOT “fake news” that I pulled directly out of my ass. If, after seeing everything I posted here, you still believe that I’m posting “fake news,” then that’s your problem—not mine.

Here’s a short video I shot of both political events. Like the still pictures, I did not digitally add or subtract any people. (In fact I’m not capable of doing that on video because I can’t afford the software needed to achieve something like this.) What you see in this video is what I saw that day.

I started to shoot that video at the pro-Trump event right at the moment when people started to chant “LOCK HER UP!” in reference to Hillary Clinton (which you can hear and see within the first minute of that video). Donald Trump used to get his supporters to chant this at various rally events during last year’s campaign while calling her “Crooked Hillary.” I’m willing to admit that both Hillary and her husband Bill have a whole bunch of ethical problems, some of which goes as far back as Bill’s time as Arkansas governor. But I find it interesting that ever since Donald Trump moved into the White House, he hasn’t lifted a finger towards having any kind of criminal investigation against Hillary Clinton. He seems to deflect the blame towards Attorney General Jeff Sessions for the lack of action. But, to be blunt, if Hillary Clinton is a criminal who needs to be investigated, tried, and convicted, he needs to encourage the government to do this or else he and his followers (including the ones at the recent DC rally) need to stop using Hillary Clinton as some kind of a scapegoat that they conveniently chant “LOCK HER UP!” at rallies with nothing being done afterwards.

In other words, either press criminal charges against Hillary Clinton or STFU!!!

Now that I got everything out of the way, I’m going to continue with posting the still pictures I took that day. As I arrived closer to the Washington Monument I began to see the site of one of the rallies located nearby.

The Mother of All Rallies (aka MOAR) on the Mall in Washington, DC

The Mother of All Rallies (aka MOAR) on the Mall in Washington, DC

The Mother of All Rallies (aka MOAR) on the Mall in Washington, DC

I arrived at the Mother of All Rallies (or MOAR, for short) which was put on by supporters of President Donald Trump near the base of the Washington Monument. Despite the organizers claiming that thousands of people would turn out for it, the reality was that it was more like tens of people actually turned out.

The Mother of All Rallies (aka MOAR) on the Mall in Washington, DC

The Mother of All Rallies (aka MOAR) on the Mall in Washington, DC

The Mother of All Rallies (aka MOAR) on the Mall in Washington, DC

I have a few theories on why the turnout was so disappointing. First, Donald Trump’s approval ratings had literally hit a new low shortly before this rally, which would definitely turn off some of his alienated supporters. I also heard that the organizers had not only discouraged participants from bringing Confederate flags to this rally but they had also sought to include people of other races in this rally. Given the fact that Trump had been so blatant in courting neo-Confederates, neo-Nazis, and other white supremacists as his supporters, it’s obvious that many of them would be less-than-thrilled with the idea of leaving their Confederate flags at home and hanging out with people who are non-white (even if they are fellow supporters).

I did see a few people of color at this rally, such as these African-American men in this next photo. I don’t know for sure if they actually supported President Trump or if they were simply there out of curiosity like I was. I didn’t see anyone express any kind of dismay that they were there or anything like that. Nor did I hear any racial slurs being dropped. I think the people who were there were okay with non-whites also being there.

The Mother of All Rallies (aka MOAR) on the Mall in Washington, DC

Despite the efforts to reach out to people of other races, this rally was still overwhelmingly white.

The Mother of All Rallies (aka MOAR) on the Mall in Washington, DC

The Mother of All Rallies (aka MOAR) on the Mall in Washington, DC

The Mother of All Rallies (aka MOAR) on the Mall in Washington, DC

The Mother of All Rallies (aka MOAR) on the Mall in Washington, DC

The Mother of All Rallies (aka MOAR) on the Mall in Washington, DC

The Mother of All Rallies (aka MOAR) on the Mall in Washington, DC

The rally was surrounded by fences and it was guarded by volunteer security people. With all that green space and low turnout, it seemed like the rally didn’t need to bother with either. Here’s are a few shots of the rally from behind the back fence.

The Mother of All Rallies (aka MOAR) on the Mall in Washington, DC

The Mother of All Rallies (aka MOAR) on the Mall in Washington, DC

The Mother of All Rallies (aka MOAR) on the Mall in Washington, DC

While I was there I felt a bit uneasy and it wasn’t because of the speakers. (I knew what I was getting into when I went to that rally.) I didn’t feel comfortable being there and it didn’t help that there was no one there who was reaching out to me and saying “hi” or being friendly in general. I tried to blend in. That day I wore a t-shirt featuring Mickey Mouse giving the salute in front of an American flag and I wore a red, white, and blue bandana on my head, which I’m wearing in the photo below that I took two weeks later.

What I Wore That Day

Despite my efforts to blend in, I had a feeling that I still felt like “the other” despite that. It didn’t help that there were those volunteer guards at the fence area, some of whom looked bored while others looked intimidating. I also didn’t have anyone come up to be in a friendly manner trying to make me feel welcomed. I can’t put my finger on it but I just didn’t feel welcomed in a way I hadn’t felt since I lived in Glen Burnie (where I grew up with the other kids deciding that I was “retarded” so I was “inferior” and they never changed their attitude towards me as we went all the way through high school). I opted not to pull out the portable folding chair I had brought with me because I didn’t feel comfortable being around these people. I decided to leave that rally and head towards the Lincoln Memorial while taking pictures of the closed off streets.

The Mother of All Rallies (aka MOAR) on the Mall in Washington, DC

The Mother of All Rallies (aka MOAR) on the Mall in Washington, DC

As I walked past the Washington Monument, I took one nice shot of the obelisk in the dramatic-looking clouds.

The Mother of All Rallies (aka MOAR) on the Mall in Washington, DC

I started to head over to the Lincoln Memorial to check out the other big political event. Even though some people thought this was an anti-Trump event, the Juggalo March was something that had been planned for over the year by the rap group the Insane Clown Posse as a protest against the FBI labeling their fans as being a “gang.” This labeling happened while Barack Obama was still in office, which is yet another reason why I feel that he was such a big letdown from 2008 when he campaigned as this big time progressive clamoring for change but I’m not going to go there right now. (You can read my previous posts on why I became disappointed in Obama here, here, and here.)

As I walked past the World War II Memorial, I knew I was getting closer to the rally area for the Juggalo March when I saw these juggalos (which is what the Insane Clown Posse call their fans) posing for photographs.

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

I eventually reached the Reflecting Pool with the Lincoln Memorial in the far background.

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

I arrived at the Juggalo March site and instantly saw that there were more people present at that event than at MOAR.

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

I’ve been to other rallies and marches on the Mall and I’ll admit that the Juggalo March turnout paled in comparison to them. One example was the 2010 One Nation Working Together March, which also took place at the Lincoln Memorial end of the Mall (you can read the text description and see the photos and video). And even that march was overshadowed by two even larger Mall marches: 2010’s Rally to Restore Sanity an/or Fear that was organized by Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert (you can read the text description and see the video) and the Women’s March, which took place earlier this year.

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

In any case, the Juggalo March may have been smaller than all of those aforementioned Mall marches but it still outdrew the MOAR event and that is what the media focused on after both events ended. It’s kind of fitting that supporters of a buffoon were outnumbered by a bunch of clowns. (LOL!)

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Once I reached the area I pulled out my portable folding chair and ate the lunch that I brought with me. Compared to MOAR, I felt pretty comfortable being among the juggalos. Even though I don’t own any Insane Clown Posse t-shirts nor do I have any tattoos, the people there were more laid back and mellow. They kind of reminded me of Deadheads except with more clown makeup. I even smelled someone smoking marijuana while I was walking among the crowd taking pictures.

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

The participants and the speakers on stage frequently said “Whoop! Whoop!”, which is apparently how juggalos frequently greet each other. I listened to the speeches from the stage and I heard some heartbreaking stories that stemmed from the FBI’s classification of the Insane Clown Posse’s fans as a gang. One woman who was among the speakers talked about how the state took custody of her children simply because she had a tattoo shaped like a hatchet man (which is one of the Insane Clown Posse’s symbols). Another woman, who had been given positive reviews by her bosses at her job ended up losing her job after one of them visited her Facebook page and saw that she had simply hit the “Like” button on the Insane Clown Posse’s official Facebook page. One man recounted being pulled over by the police simply because he had an Insane Clown Posse bumpersticker on his car.

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

As I listened to those stories, I felt unnerved because that could’ve been me or anyone I knew had any of us ever been fans of the Insane Clown Posse or if the FBI had branded fans of a band I liked as being in a gang. Had the FBI given the same classification to fans of Bruce Springsteen, U2, or Nirvana, I definitely would’ve had a much harder life because of fears that I would lose my job or my car or my home simply because I like a certain band and its music. (For the record, I had only previously heard of the Insane Clown Posse because they had been signed to a recording contract by a label that was owned by Disney only to have that contract quickly rescinded when Disney got wind of what their debut album was like and the company developed cold feet. I’ve been watching some of their old videos on YouTube and I find their music to be catchy, sort of like what Cypress Hill was like in their heyday.)

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

All I know is that I felt far more comfortable around the juggalos than I did around the Donald Trump fans. When I was at the Juggalo March I never once felt like I was a freak who didn’t belong because I was way out of my element—unlike the MOAR event.

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

I found the people to be very friendly and I found it incredulous that the FBI would label these people as being a gang.

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

This next photo was the closest I was able to get to seeing someone speak at the podium on stage. Even then I was only able to get this quick shot before someone else crowded his head in front of me.

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

The impression I got is that the people there were happy and having a very good time even if they were protesting how the FBI classified them.

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

I have to admit that I only became uneasy when I saw some people holding signs saying “Clown Lives Matter” just like those in the next two photos. It’s because my Unitarian Universalist congregation (as well as other congregations in the greater Unitarian Universalist Association) has been actively involved in anti-racism work in order to make the denomination more friendly to people of color. (One example is the UUA’s ongoing Standing on the Side of Love campaign.) Our congregation has been actively confronting White Privilege and learning about how we white members may be unconscious racists due to being raised in a toxic racist culture like the United States of America where people of color, especially African Americans, are frequently subjected to police brutality and mass incarceration. There are quite a few members in my congregation who have read Michelle Alexander’s book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. It’s a topic that’s way too complex to discuss here but, as part of our anti-racism efforts, our congregation has been selling “Black Lives Matter” buttons and yard signs and I’ve seen many white members wear those buttons to church on Sunday.

My problem with “Clown Lives Matter” signs is this: Being a clown is a choice. You can choose to put greasepaint on your face and wear funny clothes. When you’re tired of people staring at you for being dressed like a clown, you can always take off your clothes and makeup. Black people don’t have that choice. They didn’t choose to have dark skin—they were born with it. Unlike being a clown, black people can’t remove their dark skin when they’re tired of being gawked at and/or looked down upon and quietly live lives as private citizens. Being a clown is a choice. Being black is NOT a choice.

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

I wasn’t the only one who felt uneasy. I heard a speaker at the podium who was identified as a juggalo of Puerto Rican descent and she explicitly said that it wasn’t cool for juggalos to make signs appropriating slogans and language from other groups’ struggles for this rally. I knew what she was talking about because I heard her say this after I had taken the above two photographs.

Those signs were the only time I had any kind of negative impressions about the Juggalo March. The vast majority of people held signs that were relatively benign and didn’t appropriate Black Lives Matter or any other movements.

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

The Juggalo March emphasized that it was open to all regardless of political beliefs or affiliations. As a result I saw people carrying anti-Trump signs and these people in the next photo who wore t-shirts indicating that they are part of the Three Percenters movement.

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Since I was at the Lincoln Memorial anyway I decided to step inside and see the statue of Honest Abe for the first time in so many years. (Even though I’m a local I don’t always make time to visit all the tourist hot spots every single week.) I’ve seen that statue in person so many times throughout my life (especially when I went on school field trips as a child) but it’s still nice to be able to see it just one more time.

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

There were juggalos, like this person in the next photo, who took the time to go inside the Lincoln Memorial and see the statue of Abraham Lincoln.

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

As for the weather itself it drizzled at one point for less than a half-an-hour but, otherwise it was very cloudy and pretty muggy with the high humidity. (At least the temperature was in the low 80’s.)

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

The juggalos made me feel so welcome that one of them even gave me a lollipop.

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

After holding their rally next to the Lincoln Memorial, the juggalos started to march. My legs were so stiff and sore that they were close of giving out (walking down the entire length of the Mall will do that to you) so I ended up not marching with them.

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

Juggalo March, Washington, DC, September 16, 2017

I later read online that they basically walked around the Mall then returned to their original starting point where the Insane Clown Posse gave a free concert that lasted past twilight and into the night.

Instead I walked towards George Washington University so I could pick up the Metro at the Foggy Bottom station. I took these last two pictures on the campus while I was walking.

George Washington University, September 16, 2017

George Washington University, September 16, 2017

While I was riding the Metro I heard an announcement saying that the Smithsonian Metro had just been re-opened. If my legs hadn’t been so tired, I might have gone off at that station so I could check out the booths at the Fiesta DC. But I was tired and stiff so I just took the Metro back into Maryland.

I was sore for the next few days but it was all worth it in the end because it was a memorable day.

Whoop! Whoop!

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Back on Inauguration Day in January I made this prediction where I said that Donald Trump would not last past his first term in office while also saying that it’s possible that he may not even finish his first and only term. Each day I find that my prediction is inching just closer to becoming a reality.

A couple of days ago I came across this video by Keith Olbermann where he’s reporting that, after serving less than a year in office, President Donald Trump has finally realized that “people really fucking hate me.” Here’s the video where you can hear about this for yourself.

But I really don’t need Keith Olbermann to tell me this. As a Washington, DC-area resident, I’ve seen this lack of love for The Donald first-hand ranging from hearing frequent cracks about President Trump from various locals to seeing some of the stores in DC create signs and store windows openly mocking the president.

I even have new evidence showing how unpopular Donald Trump has become since he occupied the White House. Last Saturday there were two major political rallies both occurring on opposite sides of the Mall and the local media were speculating that it might turn into a total street brawl between the two different groups that would be similar to what went down in Charlottesville. One was being put on by Donald Trump supporters and it was called “The Mother of All Rallies” (or MOAR, for short). The other was being put on by the rap group Insane Clown Posse and this group was holding this event as a protest against the FBI classifying its fans as a gang. To be fair, I read that the ICP had planned this rally for over a year—long before Trump was elected president and Barack Obama was still in office. (Which means that it was an Obama Administration FBI who had made the gang proclamation against the ICP’s fans.)

There was so much hype in the media over this so-called “clash of two different groups” that Metro had decided to close the Smithsonian Metro station that day, which turned out to be a totally bone-headed decision. (That’s not to mention that I had to do more walking than usual because I had to get off and on at stations further away from the Mall because Metro had closed down the one station that is actually located right on the Mall itself.)

It turned out that more people turned out for the Insane Clown Posse than for Donald Trump. That’s right, there were more people who were willing to openly proclaim that they are a Juggalo (which is how the ICP dubbed their fans) than people willing to openly proclaim that they still support Donald Trump.

I shot a short video comparing the two events where you can clearly see how lopsided the attendance at both events were. Don’t let the anti-Hillary Clinton “Lock Her Up” chant at the beginning deter you from watching the rest of this video. Just marvel at how the Juggalos outnumbered the Trump supporters.

I also shot a bunch of still photos as well but I’ll make a separate post featuring them sometime next week. In the meantime, you can check my recent posts on Instagram or Flickr if you’re dying to see these pictures right now.

There were a few local vigils throughout the Washington, DC area in response to what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia. I attended one of them, which was called LOTUS Action: A Creative Response to Hate in Charlottesville on August 14, 2017. I also shot a few photos as well.

Here’s the shot of the venue where the event took place, Art Works Now, which is located in Hyattsville, Maryland.

LOTUS Action at Art Works Now, August 14, 2017

Here’s another shot of the Art Works Now building, which is located next door to Pizzeria Paradiso.

LOTUS Action at Art Works Now, August 14, 2017

The event started with people saying a few words about Charlottesville and Heather Heyer’s death while saying that we can’t let hate divide us as a people and as a nation.

LOTUS Action at Art Works Now, August 14, 2017

LOTUS Action at Art Works Now, August 14, 2017

Maryland State Senator Paul Pinsky spoke at this event.

LOTUS Action at Art Works Now, August 14, 2017

LOTUS Action at Art Works Now, August 14, 2017

There was also someone from the clergy present. The Rev. Anthony Farmer spoke about coming together against hatred and bigotry.

LOTUS Action at Art Works Now, August 14, 2017

The event was well-attended. In fact the small room was so crowded that some people ended up standing through the event.

LOTUS Action at Art Works Now, August 14, 2017

The event ended with music as everyone sang Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land.”

LOTUS Action at Art Works Now, August 14, 2017

LOTUS Action at Art Works Now, August 14, 2017

LOTUS Action at Art Works Now, August 14, 2017

There was a reception with pizza, which was provided by Art Works Now’s next-door neighbor Pizzeria Paradiso.

LOTUS Action at Art Works Now, August 14, 2017

LOTUS Action at Art Works Now, August 14, 2017

LOTUS Action at Art Works Now, August 14, 2017

LOTUS Action at Art Works Now, August 14, 2017

LOTUS Action at Art Works Now, August 14, 2017

I’ll end this post with a shot of the ceiling in the lobby of the Art Works Now building.

LOTUS Action at Art Works Now, August 14, 2017

As a followup to last Saturday’s fuckery in Charlottesville, some right wingers are launching a protest against Google in nine cities. It looks like my hometown of Washington, DC is on that list.

I seriously hope they call this off (or at least postpone it) because this nation doesn’t really need this shit. Of course they won’t because these alt-right pussies thrive on confrontation and, well, you know, they have to strike while the iron is still hot.

UPDATE (August 17, 2017): The organizers have decided to postpone the march for the time being after receiving numerous threats.

Last night a bunch of white supremacist jackasses marched on the campus of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Today in Charlottesville these same assholes took their vehicles and plowed through those counter-protesters who were peacefully protesting because they simply want these neo-Nazi and KKK pussies to just go away. Right now I’m seeing tweets like these and there are literally no words to describe this.

It was only last month when I happened to be back in my hometown of Glen Burnie, Maryland when I came upon a parking lot with this yellow pickup truck that had this bumper sticker.

I can imagine the owner of that pickup truck cheering whoever plowed into a group of protesters in Charlottesville today. If he has an orgasm over this, I wouldn’t be in the least bit shocked.

This is the latest in a string of incidents that has led to the rise of the white supremacist movement, which began with the election of Barack Obama (because the American people dared to elect a black man to the White House) and it has accelerated since Donald Trump was elected.

I live just a two-hour drive away from Charlottesville so, in a way, it’s like this happened in my own backyard just like the police murder of Freddie Grey in Baltimore.

All I know is this. If you whine about terrorism from ISIL or Al Qaeda yet support the Ku Klux Klan, you are inconsistent because the KKK is a terrorist organization that is just as deadly as the other terrorist groups. If you support neo-Nazis then you are spitting on the graves of those people in the U.S. military who literally gave up their lives fighting the Nazis during World War II. There are no shades of grey when it comes to supporting white supremacists.

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Meet the unconventional family who lives in a 1940s time warp.

$330,000 in financial aid bought this person a slot in the American meritocracy. He writes about the flaws in that system.

The good news is that Net Neutrality isn’t dead yet and the above graphic is only an animated gif. If the Trump Administration has its way, then you’ll really be encountering graphics like this whenever you’re visiting this blog or other sites that don’t have the backing of the big telecommunications corporations (i.e., Comcast, Verizon, Time Warner, and AT&T) while waiting unusually long times to access whatever you want online. For more details, visit Battle for Net Neutrality or the Electronic Freedom Foundation.

Ramadan

For all the times I’ve been to Dupont Circle, I’ve never went there during DC Pride Weekend, even though I’ve lived in the Washington, DC area for years. The only reason why I went this year was because Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School was held at the Bier Baron that day. I originally planned on writing one post until I looked through the pictures and realized that I had taken so many that it really warranted writing two separate blog posts about my one day in Dupont Circle during DC Pride Weekend. This post will focus on the photographs I took that day while the Dr. Sketchy’s post will have to wait until the next one.

DC Pride Weekend had a big parade and party that took place in Dupont Circle the previous day. I wasn’t able to make it because of tight finances (the Metro system is not only getting more expensive but yet another fare increase is set to take place by the end of this month) and this heatwave has settled in the area so the temperature reached a high of around 95 degrees F.

The following day it was still very hot and humid with highs reaching 95 once again. At least the Metro trains are air conditioned and I spent as much time in the various air conditioned stores as possible. While Saturday was the big party and parade in Dupont Circle, Sunday was slated as a day of protest on the Mall. I wasn’t able to make it to that protest mainly because I attended church in the morning and Dr. Sketchy’s started at 3 p.m. so there was literally no way I could squeeze going to the National Mall in between (especially given Metro’s flaky weekend schedule where you could wait anywhere from 15 minutes to a half-an-hour or even longer depending on which stop you’re at and if Metro is doing any kind of maintenance work on a certain line at a certain station). I saw this couple who were clearly on their way to the Mall march.

I arrived at the Dupont Circle Metro station, which was definitely decorative for the occasion by having its list of scheduled trains arranged like the rainbow flag.

It was also fitting that the same station had this banner ad for Cher’s upcoming concert at the MGM casino in nearby National Harbor.

I didn’t mind missing the big march on the Mall, especially when I stepped outside and felt the high heat and high humidity smack me in the face. There were people milling around in Dupont Circle but I suspect that there were far more people protesting at the Mall. The first thing I did was head over to Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe where I saw these LGBTQ-friendly signs.

There was also this excellent sign that made fun of Donald Trump’s notorious “covfefe” tweet by announcing a new Covfefe cocktail featuring White Russian while providing quotes from former FBI director James Comey’s recent testimony that introduced the phrase “honest loyalty” into the English language.

I browsed among the books at Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe while noticing this prominent shelf towards the front of the store featuring LGBTQ books.

I also saw rainbow flags and store patrons who were all decked out in rainbow and/or LGBTQ-themed attire .

After Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe I walked along the streets of Dupont Circle where I noticed rainbow flags everywhere and people dressed in rainbows. I took the bulk of these pictures before and after Dr. Sketchy’s. (Hooray for longer daylight hours!)

I eventually made my way to the Bier Baron, where Dr. Sketchy’s took place. Even that place was decked out in rainbows.

I even got into the rainbow festivities by taking pictures of my colored pencils all lined up in a loose Roy G Biv rainbow pattern (which also included colors one usually don’t see in a rainbow like brown and white) before Dr. Sketchy’s began.

Like I wrote earlier, I’ll devote my next post to what I drew at Dr. Sketchy’s.

While there were rainbow colored palettes everywhere in Dupont Circle, I found this one interesting non-rainbow thing that I photographed. This is a tiny statue (which reaches no higher than my calf) of a baby sleeping on top of a baby elephant. How cute!

I ended my time at the fountain that’s located right in the middle of Dupont Circle. There were a few people chilling out even though it was dinnertime and the temperature was very hot and humid. Strangely the fountain was turned off that day plus the basin had no water in it. (I honestly don’t know what is going on with that fountain.)

That’s it for now. Stay tuned for my next post on attending Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School at the Bier Baron during DC Pride Weekend. 🙂

Passover

I went to the Light City event in Baltimore on its second night, which fell on April Fool’s Day, but this event was definitely no joke. I wrote a previous post about that night where I wrote about what it was like to see my own animation, The March of Liberty, being shown on a giant screen at such a popular event like Light City while posting a reaction video I made. I’m finally getting around to sharing the rest of the photos. (I took a bunch of pictures that night so I ended up having to make decisions on which photos to use.)

I arrived before sunset because I wanted to find where the On Demand area was located. As you can see in the pictures, it was a very cloudy day.

I took a few pictures of Camden Yards when I was on my way to transferring from the Camden Yards light rail stop to the Charm City Circulator heading towards the Inner Harbor. Opening day would take place just a few days after I took these pictures.

Camden Yards

Here’s a statue of Cal Ripken’s retired number.

Camden Yards

Here’s a statue of famous baseball player Babe Ruth, who was born in Baltimore.

Camden Yards

These painted baseballs on the sidewalk near the statue leads the way to the nearby Babe Ruth Museum.

Camden Yards

The street banners proclaim that this year is the 25th anniversary of the day that the Baltimore Orioles began playing their home games at Camden Yards.

Camden Yards

I ended up traveling way out to Pier 6 in the Inner Harbor. I took a few pictures while I was blundering around, starting with one of the Harborplace pavilions, which is currently undergoing remodeling and renovation.

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Here is what one of the Light City art pieces looked like in broad daylight.

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

I walked past the Power Plant, where I noticed the guitar-themed railing that’s currently located outside of the Hard Rock Cafe.

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Located opposite the Power Plant is a tropical-themed bar known as Dick’s Last Resort.

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Some lights resembling birds roosting in trees outside of the Pier 5 Hotel.

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

A whimsical display that looks like something out of the film Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory outside of an office building.

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

McCormick & Schmick’s restaurant at its Pier 5 location.

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Three umbrella-filled boats floating in Baltimore Harbor.

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

I decided that I needed to take a break so I found a bench where I ate my dinner. (It was a fried chicken dinner with thick fries and a roll that I purchased at a Royal Farms store located in Linthicum before I took the light rail into Baltimore.) While I was eating this immigration rights protest march had arrived at the Pier 5 area of the Inner Harbor and the protesters walked right past the bench where I was eating my dinner. I took the opportunity to take some pictures.

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

The marchers made their way to the Inner Harbor Lighthouse, which was being used as a display area for a Light City exhibit about immigrants. A post-march rally was held next to that exhibit.

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

I finally found the On Demand area. I took a photo of the sign.

Light City, Baltimore, April 1, 2017

I even took a closeup of the area of the sign where my name was printed.

Light City, Baltimore, April 1, 2017

Here’s a shot of the On Demand screen, which was showing another video, along with a glimpse of the backs of the adirondack chairs that were provided for people to sit in before sunset.

On Demand Area at Light City

Here’s another shot of the On Demand screen, showing a different video, at night.

On Demand Area at Light City

Like I wrote in a prior entry, I waited outside in the cold for over two hours until my film was finally shown. When it finally appeared I got very enthusiastic. I shot a short reaction video. I also shot stills of my film being on screen. Maybe I shot too many stills but it was such a rare opportunity to see my video being shown in a public venue like this that I felt like I had to document it from all angles (including some shots of people sitting in the chairs) so I can prove to other people that one of my videos was actually shown in public like this.

My Animation Video

My Animation Video

My Animation Video

My Animation Video

My Animation Video

My Animation Video

My Animation Video

My Animation Video

My Animation Video

My Animation Video

My Animation Video

My Animation Video

My Animation Video

My Animation Video

My Animation Video

My Animation Video

My Animation Video

My Animation Video

My Animation Video

My Animation Video

As for how the people who were there responded to my video, I wasn’t able to get any kind of an accurate gauge as to whether people liked it or not. I didn’t get any boos. But I also didn’t hear any cheers. I saw a few people sitting in chairs watching it when I was there. By the way, you can view that animation, The March of Liberty, right here.

After my film was shown, I left the On Demand area. I had sat in the cold for so long that my body felt stiff. I also had to start making a move towards the nearest light rail station so I can catch one of the last trains out of the city. I managed to take a few more pictures of the other Light City exhibits as I made my way back to the light rail station while wading my way through the massive crowds at the same time. (Yes, the second annual Light City was just as crowded as the first year was.)

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Even a few Baltimore police officers blended in with Light City.

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Here is one of the bar tents that were set up at the event. As you can see in the picture below, it drew a lot of people.

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

The last photo shows one of the Light City exhibits being reflected in the back of a bus stop terminal.

Light City in Baltimore

There were more to Light City that what I shot but between fatigue and trying to make the light rail, I wasn’t able to see it all. I had planned to making one return trip but the first night I had scheduled—which was two nights before the final night—rained very heavily. So I put it off until the following night, which was the night before the final night, only to have a very cold front with heavy winds replace that heavy rainstorm. I wasn’t able to make it the last night because I went to the annual Sakura Matsuri festival in Washington, DC and I really couldn’t physically handle two festivals on the same day.

I found out on Facebook about a dance protest that was being organized by the LGBTQ activist group Werk for Peace. They were protesting the Trump Administration giving plum jobs to homophobes along with its policy towards Muslim immigrants. The protest started at the Trump International Hotel and it ended at the White House. It was a pretty joyous protest despite the fact that it was bitter cold outside. (The temperature was in the low 30’s.) The high point was when they played Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” and people were cheering and dancing outside the White House. Here’s a short video of the protest when the people initially gathered and danced outside the Trump International Hotel.

Here are my still photos, starting with the Trump International Hotel.

Werk for Peace Dance Protest, Washington, DC, February 3, 2017

Werk for Peace Dance Protest, Washington, DC, February 3, 2017

Werk for Peace Dance Protest, Washington, DC, February 3, 2017

Werk for Peace Dance Protest, Washington, DC, February 3, 2017

Werk for Peace Dance Protest, Washington, DC, February 3, 2017

Werk for Peace Dance Protest, Washington, DC, February 3, 2017

Werk for Peace Dance Protest, Washington, DC, February 3, 2017

Werk for Peace Dance Protest, Washington, DC, February 3, 2017

Werk for Peace Dance Protest, Washington, DC, February 3, 2017

The next photo shows the pickup truck that led the protest as it blasted dance music.

Werk for Peace Dance Protest, Washington, DC, February 3, 2017

The protest went down Pennsylvania Avenue as people were literally dancing in the streets.

Werk for Peace Dance Protest, Washington, DC, February 3, 2017

Werk for Peace Dance Protest, Washington, DC, February 3, 2017

The employees at the White House Gifts store came to the front door and cheered the protesters on. One of the protesters (draped in a rainbow flag) ran over to the store and embraced the employees.

Werk for Peace Dance Protest, Washington, DC, February 3, 2017

The protest ended at the White House as people were dancing in the streets while holding anti-Trump signs.

Werk for Peace Dance Protest, Washington, DC, February 3, 2017

Werk for Peace Dance Protest, Washington, DC, February 3, 2017

Werk for Peace Dance Protest, Washington, DC, February 3, 2017

Werk for Peace Dance Protest, Washington, DC, February 3, 2017

Werk for Peace Dance Protest, Washington, DC, February 3, 2017

This next photo made a humorous reference to the non-existent Bowling Green Massacre.

Werk for Peace Dance Protest, Washington, DC, February 3, 2017

Werk for Peace Dance Protest, Washington, DC, February 3, 2017

I’ll admit that this protest was small compared to the Women’s March on Washington but I don’t mind because I wasn’t crammed in as much and there also seemed to be more of a sense of joy as people were cheering and dancing. It also didn’t receive as much media coverage, aside from this WTOP story.

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