Wednesday, January 4, 2017

From the Oxford American, “Later that day I met with Wes Blackman. . .”

All these months later I’m still getting surprised, incredulous calls and emails from people who just somehow stumbled across this article by Rachel Monroe in the Oxford American, titled “Monkeywrench”, published last August.

After the article was published used several excerpts from this very lengthy, extremely well-written, and highly entertaining work—highly recommend you read in it’s entirety when you have the time. Following the images from Everglades EarthFirst! (see below, “Yes! It is Happening”) is the first excerpt. For excerpt #2 use this link. From Monroe’s article:

“Most people in the room were not Floridians; instead, they lived in fringe towns—Ithaca, Bloomington, Oakland—where the rent was cheap enough that radical politics could flourish. [emphasis added]

For excerpt #3 use this link:

“. . . I [writer Rachel Monroe] walked in late to find a dozen tattooed people pretending to be a machine. Tentatively at first and then with increasing enthusiasm, they pantomimed the pulling of levers and the pushing of buttons and other nonsensical but orderly tasks.

Without further ado, hope you enjoy the very first excerpt from last October, “Later that day I met with Wes Blackman. . .”:

Remember the Anarchist (“I’m Chuck Bass”) that ran for a seat on the City Commission? The ‘musical’ that had so many people worried? The article by Rachel Monroe is a look back to those heady days leading up to the March 2016 elections in Lake Worth.*

     “Later that day I met with Wes Blackman, the blogger who’d been leading the anti-Hartman, anti-musical faction. The anarchists’ nemesis turned out to be a tall, broad-bodied man who spoke so reasonably and blandly—about the history of zoning ordinances in the town, and height restrictions, and other wonky city-planning topics—that I nearly forgot the rancor he embodied online. ‘I’m a liberal Democrat, but the political spectrum in Lake Worth is skewed so terribly that most people here would see me as a right-wing Republican type, [emphasis added] he told me. ‘They think that money is an evil, that people having the ability to make money somehow is a bad thing, that there’s greed involved. That if someone’s making profits, that’s not the way it should be, and we should live at a subsistence level so other people can live better? I’ve really tried to figure it out, and I end up scratching my head.

*The Anarchist Ryan Hartman lost in a landslide to Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell. To read Hartman’s fact-challenged concession message following that election use this link. Here’s an excerpt: “By the end of the campaign, they [the press] refused to even call me for interviews (in fact, Kevin Thompson lied in two of his articles about trying to contact me).” Kevin Thompson is a beat reporter at The Palm Beach Post.

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