”When I’m president, everyone gets a free pony.” – Vermin Supreme.
By Ronald Newlander
Image (top) Vermin Supreme at Occupy Wall Street, 2012
In the conversations concerning political metamodernism anyone will tell you, politics has always been performance art. Enter Vermin Supreme. He’s been taking it to a whole new level for years. When an actor needs some method for a role as a politician, he or she goes straight to the campus that provides it all: The Washington D.C. Academy for the Performing Arts.
For example, to prepare for his role as Frank Underwood, Kevin Spacey trailed Kevin McCarthy and Steny Hoyer to get a feel of how Washington works. In a Huffington Post interview he’s quoted, “I don’t believe them; I don’t believe what they say. I don’t think they’re being absolutely sincere. I think it’s performance art, and most of them are bad actors”.
The entertainment industry has usurped American politics in the form of shows like West Wing, House of Cards and Game of Thrones. More time and concentration is spent by the average American watching primetime political dramas than all the time spent on following and participating in real politics. It is saddening to note how career politicians will admit to the accuracy of the writing in these shows. The theatricalization of politics blurs the lines between political reality and the dramatic portrayals of deceitful, conniving politicians seen on Netflix or HBO.
As social juxtapositions occur, we’ve had performers engaging the political arena and government officials portraying political characters for Hollywood and prime-time television. There’s been a revolving door so to speak between the dramatic arts and government. The suspension of disbelief has made it to the big time.
Ronald Reagan, Shirley Temple, British actress Glenda Jackson, Arnold, Clint and Sonny Bono are famous examples. As a matter of fact IIona Staller, AKA “Cicciolina” a famous model and adult film actress; formerly married to artist Jeff Koons, was elected to the Italian Parliament in 1987. Senator Fred Thompson who just recently passed away, had long and rewarding careers in both in government and the performing arts.
We have been conditioned to accept things as they are made to appear. We pass memes along popularizing the socially accepted standards of dishonest and divisive politics. As if they were prerequisites for running for public office. Money is speech and to run for office you’ll need plenty of that. Running on issues evidently is as constructive as listing job experience on a resume; unless of course you know which breakfast cereal best represents your psychological profile.
Vermin Supreme is a performance artist who grew up near Boston and has been politically active in local politics since the 80’s. As a republican with anarchist tendencies he observes the fatal flaws in American Republicanism and Libertarianism quite specifically. Abolishing or reducing government with no constructive alternatives would only increase disparity and leave many at the mercy of charity.
Enjoy a brief musical interlude from the ”Poor Nobodys” as they rehearse their score to the documentary “Who is Vermin Supreme?”, or let the video play out while you continue reading. It’s quite pleasant.
Vermin Supreme believes in the anarchist’s core values of individual accountability on a community level. Government does not need to intervene in every aspect of our lives. If anything, Anarchism defies chaos by demanding more interaction and cooperation on the municipal level, regardless of how it’s been misdefined in the American political lexicon.
Do not be fooled by the boot. He is no dunce and his message is resonating. In 2012 Vermin ran on the Zombie Apocalypse Preparedness Initiative. The man is in rhythm to the beat of the nation. For 2016 it’s an idea whose time has come. The Free Pony Party wants to put a pony in every American’s backyard.
The Free Pony Party platform addresses alternative energy, government issued ponies and a well-constructed dental hygiene program. Pony poop for methane gas and zombie powered generators will do much to assist our efforts in reducing emissions and our dependence on fossil fuels.
With government issued tooth-paste containing harmless yet addictive compounds in tandem with random and warrantless dental inspections, Vermin Supreme hopes to end gingivitis, which has been “eroding the gums of America for too long”. Finally we have a candidate who puts science first. Genetically bred and modified flying monkeys would make pretty effective tooth fairies. I can see a beautiful partnership coming together for Google and Monsanto when they collaborate on the first bio-mechanical version. “Ah you [brushing regulahly], Sarah Connah?”
The party maintains one core value as the mandate of its mission and that is to protest the current political party and election process. Vermin’s political career was born of the era when art became the supreme spectacle; during the 80’s when Mylar constructivism, bubble wrap stuck to gallery base-boards and metallic wallpaper were setting the trends for the neo-hedonism and hyper-Rococo death throes of postmodernism.
The boot-hat may be the perfect analogy for a metamodern society that thinks it’s literally submerged over its head in geopolitical muck and mire. We’re in “deep shit” is the message I’m getting. Vermin Supreme wants to be your “friendly fascist”. Symbols and mascots of the party include the boot-hat, a giant toothbrush, ponies and zombies. I think he’s got all the props to hook into pop-culture and really market himself.
”Proper dental hygiene is essential to proper social order.” – Vermin Supreme
Vermin Supreme is the man, the myth and the legend whose reputation precedes him. He carries the flag of a cynical society that’s reached its final stage of total complacency, if not utter desperation. Perhaps Mr. Supreme will know how to affect some positive gains through his own skill-sets, as he emulates and calls to task our own theatricised version of American politics through his example.
Catch the Spirit! Maybe we really do need an artist in the White House – for “Change”.