Washington, DC (HRPN) – Interview Conducted by John Carico
How are you today? Can you provide us a few details about yourself for those who aren’t familiar?
Vermin Supreme: Hello to you, sir. I am mighty fine . Thank you. My name is Vermin Supreme. I am best known as a fringe political candidate espousing the issues of zombie preparedness, time travel research, mandatory tooth brushing laws, and free ponies for all Americans. It IS, of course, a Federal Pony Identification Program. I also wear a rubber boot on my head for good luck. I use the U.S. presidential election and it’s attendant pop-cult hoopla as an amplified soapbox from which to spout at the world.
Of all issues, international or domestic, which would you choose to debate Stephen Colbert?
As far as a battle of wacky wit goes, I imagine just about any topic would do just fine. It all comes back to ponies and zombies anyway. I would rather a more subtle and informal discussion/interview format. Topics I would enjoy – Can corporate comedy be a radical tool , a tool for reform ? Can corporate comedy be a tool of overthrowing the corporatacracy? Can corporate comedy foster subversion or does it create cynicism? How do you feel about fans that have radically different opinions or fans that are just terrible people?
You’ve stated you are a friendly fascist. Which corporate and government mergers do you see as beneficial in the future and if you become president which revolving doors will you open for corporate villains and their government cronies to waltz through unabated?
National Pony Security Agency and MicroSoft.
Department of Pony Defense and General Dynamics.
Dental Industrial Complex Committee and Colgate.
Department of Homeland Pony Security and Elmer’s Glue.
Dental Intelligence Agency and Google.
US Pony Postal Express and FedEx
Department of War Ponies and Purina Pony Chow
Chamber of Pony Commerce and the Koch Brothers
Department of Oversized Hats and Novelty Sunglasses for Ponies and China,
Which is a more effective form of economic sabotage glitter bombing Republicans, blinding police with your shining teeth, or having your state issued pony poop on Monsanto’s azalea bushes?
Sadly, I don’t believe any of your given whimsical examples make for a good definition of economic sabotage. The Republican led gov’t Shut down and Sequestration, , or the great ‘screw the pooch’ Banker led Crash of ’08 , now THOSE were act s of economic sabotage . The question, perhaps should be : Economic sabotage, to what end, and for what reason ? Are we trying to destroy capital or change some corporate policy we don’t like. I certainly endorse applying economic pressure as a method of free speech . To me, a consumer boycott, taxpayer revolt, or a DOS attack all seem a fair use of collective action and symbolic protest. They are tools utilized by left and right special interest groups to express their politics. Creating parallel systems o f barter of goods and services that exist outside t he official economy is a thing. The Grey market, the b lack market, and cryptocurrency, all chip away a s lice of the official economy. Mutual aid , mutual aid gift economy,and sharing our good fortune helps . Staying out of the credit debt system is probably a good place to start . A debt based economy does not seem sustainable to me. Capitalism will eat itself. I believe the real questions should revolve around what will it take to transition to a Pony Based Economy .
On a Serious Note, Many are calling for revolution and we have seen a mass awakening springing up around issues such as wage slavery and ecocide.
What voices and groups do you feel have impacted your views about transforming society, past and present?
Wage slavery and ecocide are just a part of the unstoppable march of capitalism IMHO. Historically the Luddites could see the writing on the wall. Wobblies understood workplace exploitation very well. The anarchist labor movements of the past, and the struggle for the 8 hour day , the 5 day workweek, their use of wildcat strikes an d factory sit ins were exciting innovations. In my own times, you know I love those Occupy Wall Street kid s taking back the public square and all. It was truly a joy to see another spasm of generational awakening. I loved my anti globalization kids of the 90’s and 00’s . I loved me the Clam Shell Alliance late 70’s early 80’s and their fights against Seabrook. The Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament of 1986 came and swept me out of Baltimore. I worked with the Seeds of Peace Collective in their early years of providing logistic support for peace marches and such. We worked with the American Peace Test at the Nevada Nuclear Test Site coordinating some of the largest civil disobedience against nuclear weapons. As far as ecocide awareness ,the Earth Firs t! and later the Earth Liberation Front and even the 7 0’s GreenPeace caught my young eye.
You take part in a very nuanced form of performance art. What artists have inspired you?
I have a natural affinity for the surrealists and the dadaists, the situationists, the discordians. The hyperbole of Johnathan Swift the chaos of the Marx Brothers. The Baltimore art weirdo underground circa 1979-1986 was indeed a seminal scene for me. I learned the pushing of buttons and boundaries of reality and the power of presenting alternative realities to an unwitting publics. The Great Thanksgiving Day Parade Takeover was an amazing piece of direct political absurdism. The political pranks of YIP Abbie Hoffman. The media pranks of Alan Able. Pat Paulson’s run at the white house was an inspiration. I also worked with the Church of Euthanasia , a purported suicide cannibal cult out of Boston. circa 1997, crazy agit prop trolling fun. This crew created over the top public spectacles using anti-abortion street activists as foils. It brought us onto the Springer Show.
How do you feel about NSA spying?
Unless this spying has something to with monitoring people’s dental health then I am four square against it.
How do you feel about whistle-blowers such as Eric Snowden and Chelsea Manning?
As far as great American’s Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden, they have my full support, until I become president. Then whistle-blowers like all malcontents will be dealt with swiftly and harshly.
You attend the rainbow gathering quite frequently can you tell us how the people you meet there have impacted your life?
My wife and I have been attending the annual Rainbow Gatherings for over 25 years. It has become a must attend alt.family reunion for us . It is the largest annual temporary autonomous zone (TAZ) in North America for over 40 years. Many years it has been the largest act of civil disobedience in North America. It functions a s an anarchistic organism, although it does not explicitly identify itself as such. It is a gathering of the tribes. As such it brings together a broad cross section of sub-cultures. It functions in a non-hierarchical , consensus based fashion with various collective groups dealing with various slices of infrastructure.. Gatherings are the place where the young me learned a lot of my clowning chops. Merriment and laughter is a goal at these events. It allowed me to learn how to have fun and make a connection with the ever present LEOs, while doing cop escort duties. It gave me the opportunity to be arrested in a fashion of my own choosing. It gave me plenty of chances to work on non violent conflict resolution skills in the community.
I consider the Rainbow Gathererers my longest and strongest constituent base. The people come fro m all over the country to attend these events. They gave me my first national network of supporters. Th e Rainbow (address) Guide enabled my early tours. There is a major overlap between my Rainbow and activist friends through the years. I have described myself as a ‘Rainbow Anarchist’, having learned much of my understanding of anarchy from these gatherings.
So Obama let many of the critical thinking left down. Do you see any candidate, other than yourself, being able to bring any real positive change in our current system?
That depends , positive change for the better, or positive change for the worse? Positive change for whom ? I am sure there are potential candidates that progressives would be excited about . Elizabeth Warren for one comes to mind. Al Frankin , if he was still funny, maybe. Bernie Sanders? Jill Stein , was in the last race . As was Cindy Shehan and Rosanne Barr . However the system is built against the third party threat. For my vast libertarian constituent base, Rand Paul seems a like ly default candidate. Ultimately the question becomes, can the office of the president make the change that people want? Look at the Obama example . Many people projected a belief that things were going to be different, for the better. In real world thin gs arguably got worse. The bitter disillusionment t hat seems to be a right of passage for young people get ting involved in electoral politics is fine for my campaign . It is a terrible thing for a country.
Anything you’d like to say to aspiring revolutionaries, radicals, and political performance artists?
#1 Practice security culture. Avoid getting embroiled in bomb plots with FBI informants if at all possible. In the meantime, do what you can to strip the emperor of all clothing. Expose the goons behind the curtain. Help de-legiti mitize all authority through creative activities at every possible opportunity. Have some crazy fun while doing so. All that stuff about love and stuff, totally true.
These may very well be the end times for this here human rodeo. If not the end times , a t least very difficult times. The race between total environmental collapse and police state totalitarian clampdown is neck and neck. It is hard to believe t hat we are not all doomed. The odds we are up against seem certainly insurmountable. To know this and see this, this mess we are in, To not be overcome with cynicism, nihilism, or apathy, and in stead employing empathy and hope… To continue to work and fight for a better future… A future that may or may not happen…..A future that may or may not be ruled by robot dinosaurs … To continue to organize and agitate for a better present …. These are acts of great optimism and I salute you. The road to ponytopia will not be easy . There will be many hardships . The path will be rocky and perilous. No t all of us will make it. There will be resistance. There will be repression. There will be ridicule. There w ill be zombies. The transition times will be tumult uous and uncertain. We must remain determined and focused. We must stick together, and watch each others’ backs. Mutual aid and our wits will see us through these dark times. It may be our children or our children’s children that finally see the fruits of our labor. But once we get there and everyone has t heir ponies,. it is going to be so wonderful. Ponies to love and care for . Ponies to talk to . Ponies to confide in. Ponies as constant companions. We can brush the ir mains and brush their teeth. Skip with me people. Skip with me. Together we shall ride our ponies into a zombie powered future.