Rat Boy Slim

How I helped resuscitate Elia Kazan

Oh, those crazy Young Americans for Freedom (YAF)! How could we resist an invitation to make anti-Communist signs with them to counterprotest the Elia Kazan protesters at Sunday's Oscar™ snooze-athon? Nutshell: Kazan, who is as old as Strom Thurmond, made a bunch of flicks starring people like Marlon Brando back when Brando was something less than 400 pounds. Then Kazan ratted out all of his Left-liberal, progressive, socialist and commie pals to Dick Nixon and the other witch-hunters in the United States Congress. Now people are mad! Real mad! And when the Academy honored Kazan with a lifetime-achievement award on March 21, a whole bunch of people refrained from clapping! And there was a protest outside!

And darn if those YAFers didn't have a fab time protesting the protest. Apparently, these "less government" folks think it's just tops for the government to employ citizens as narcs, informing on one another in secret hearings about things that aren't illegal! Remind you of any erstwhile communist country? Or any current independent prosecutor?

YAFers are a fun bunch, though. The last time we hung out with a batch of them-at the statewide Republican Convention last year-we passed out on their hotel-room floor while we made them watch Warren Beatty's socialist flick Bulworthon the in-house movie channel. They liked it. But those were different YAFers-the northern Californian kind; one of them was even on welfare, though, oddly, he didn't like his YAF buddies to know that.

So, anyway, Joe McCarthy was a "patriotic American," House UnAmerican Activities Committee (HUAC) snitch Kazan was a "patriotic American," and Communistsare "bad" and must always be referred to as Stalinists for maximum irritation. With such subtly shaded and nuanced political views, we met Saturday night at the Orange home of Jeff and Madaline Greene. Madaline stays home with their two small kids; Jeff is a field rep for state Senator Ray Haynes(R-Riverside). For their wedding in 1993, he gave her diamonds. She gave him a Derringer. Considering the number of homicides that are husband-on-wife, that's love!

Our mission that night: to make signs! Signs that would state bravely and irrevocably that the 80-year-old Communists protesting director Kazan at the Academy Awards should shut up and stop trying to undermine this Land of Freedom, or as we once heard it called at an Eagle Forum conference, "this land of wings"! ("There's nothing funnier than an 80-year-old Communist screaming till his blood vessels burst," someone chortled jovially.) Communism has killed more people than cancer and AIDS! Go away, Tran Van Truong! Go away, Stalinists! Love it or leave it! Gas, grass or ass-nobody rides for free!

They are a smug bunch, our friends the YAFers. What's particularly lovely about them is how little regard they have for facts, laughingly contradicting themselves and blithely shrugging it off as irrelevant. We love that! And what's even more special is how they have no conscience whatsoever! YAF's 22-year-old leader, state chairman Brian Park, related one of his fondest memories: "Once we planted a sign on the other side [of a protest they'd crashed]," he said. "'Anglos Are the Illegals,' it said. All the coverage the next day was about how there's racism in the Hispanic community, too!" And they laughed and laughed. What fun!

Even more fun is infighting! Their blood rises about as often as an adolescent boy. West Coast YAFers are all basically Libertarians (East Coasters tend toward Christian Coalition, they tell us). So when the Ayn Rand Institute formed the Ad Hoc Committee for Naming Facts (how's that for Orwellian?) to protest the Kazan protesters, YAF called 'em up and wanted in on the action. But the Ad Hoc-ers were too bossy, so YAF decided to make some placards calling Ayn Rand "A Bitter Old Hag Who Rots in Hell." Oh, and they're crashing the protest despite the Ad Hoc-ers wanting all the signs to carry their group's name and not YAF's. "They wanted us to subject our will to the common good," someone said deadpan. "That doesn't sound very Objectivist to me."

"We're known for crashing other people's protests," Chairman Park said, giggling like a teenage girl faced with 'N Sync.

"It's always easier to crash than to create your own," Greene added. "Once, we crashed a protest where the group had literally spent thousands of dollars summoning the media and things like that. We showed up with eight people and got 50 percent of the coverage." Then they all had a good laugh, like White House plumbers.

Member Darren Marks asked Greene if Haynes will be carrying SB 1029. Affirmative. But what is SB 1029? Why, it's a bill requiring that HIVtesting name names! Just like HUAC! "It's not so much about the names as it is a way to divert $5 billion in funding from the gay community," Marks assured our nonplused self, seeing as how the $5 billion is currently misspent on things like "big salaries." Damn those gay men! Wouldn't you just know it!

Marks also related a "hysterical" film he saw at Cypress College called War Zone. "It was about how all men are evil and will always try to rape you," he said. "I said it was biased male-bashing. All the feminazis were standing up, yelling at me!" He was tickled; he had a great time. He called the women "feminazis" or "lesbians" every time he refered to them. It sounded like a pretty silly film.

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