You know, when I first got to hearing about Arkansas UnCut, an extension of US Uncut, a grassroots organization fighting to make corporate tax dodgers pay their fair share rather than cutting important programs like education, Medicare, etc., I just kind of took note of it and went about my business. When I heard about some of their antics, like protesting Bank of America in Fayetteville dressed as zombies, I said, okay, maybe these people are nuts…Then I saw some of their videos and found myself laughing my ass off, and cheering them on for what they’re doing.
And yes, I’m letting you see the video of the zombies.
Now again, I laughed all the way through both videos, but it’s not the same laughing I do when Debbie Pelley brings her crowd of loonies to ramble at town meetings in Jonesboro. That’s laughing at someone. I’m laughing with these guys, and that’s when it struck me just how powerful what they’re doing is.
This stuff is street theater at it’s best, and honestly, I think it’s effective. Humor is a powerful weapon, one that has enabled cartoonists to destroy politicians and comedians to shape the national news. These guys at Arkansas Uncut put a lot of work into this and had a great time doing it, and I bet at the end of the day their message sticks. It’s hard to forget zombies carrying signs that say corporations aren’t paying taxes or having a fake billionaire thank you for the bailout and tax breaks you’ve paid for. Sure, there will be sticks in the mud that don’t like this kind of stuff and folks in the traditional media that will never take it seriously. Screw ‘em. These guys need to keep doing what they’re doing. And honestly, I would love to see them up the ante a bit.
That said, not every person out there can pull this off and it’s not always the best way of getting results. There’s also a fine line between this and the ridiculous antics of Rod Bryan at the state capitol that helped to undermine the work of pro-environment legislators and activists. But as long as the folks at Arkansas Uncut don’t let things get too crazy, know when to tone it down or even turn it off, and don’t have some wild man of the woods ranting about guillotines, I think they’ll be okay.