Just Desserts: Resistance By Wind, Cake, Shepherd, Tunnel and Hymn To The 81%by Abby Zimet, Further columnist February 5, 2020
As the ignominious GOP cover-up lumbers on, so do we the people. This week, patriots and outlaws applied their wit, grit and rage to newly creative protests, bolstering our collective spirits before an ongoing flood of idiocy and venality. At the border, even as Trump’s “great, great wall” was ingloriously downed by wind cancer and indomitable Mother Nature, officials discovered the longest, most sophisticated smuggling tunnel ever. Almost a mile long and a painstaking 70 feet underground, the tunnel handily runs from outside Tijuana’s airport to the San Diego area. Mirroring “The Great Escape,” it boasts an extensive rail cart system, forced air ventilation, high voltage electrical panels, an elevator, a complex drainage system and a newly added spur. The massive find that “blows past (the second-largest one)” reportedly stunned border agents. “We never really thought they had the moxie to go that far – they continue to surprise me,” said one, who helpfully added, “I would bet (that) right now they are building more tunnels.” Officials said the discovery exposes the scope of the drug problem at the border; they conveniently declined to add it also exposes the absurdity of building a damn wall in the first place.
Meanwhile, many others rose up in revolt against official tomfoolery. According to one wry report, unhappy Basque shepherds in Nevada, arguing that comparing their sheep to Fox News watchers and docile GOP senators is “a rank canard, a calumny and an affront,” organized a Shepherds’ Revolt. Cue memes, TV appearances, bumper stickers – “Republicans Fleece Sheep” – declaring that referring to Republicans as sheep is “just plain offensive, to sheep.” Activist bakers also voiced their displeasure with gutless GOP Senators by creating and sending to every one of them an Impeachment Cake. The brainchild of clean-energy advocate Colin Bishopp, the project raised $7,000 and drew 400 volunteers to help the Brooklyn bakery Butter & Scotch make 53 sheet cakes for 53 Republican senators; each urged “Let Bolton Testify” and added various pleas for “the sweet taste of truth and justice” – “Don’t Dessert Democracy,” “Get Your Sheet Together,” “This Is History in the Baking,” “Democracy Is At Whisk,” Hamilton tributes “You’re In the Room Where It Happens” and “History Has Its Eyes On You.” Per ethics rules, each Let-Them-Eat-Cake cost under $50, with leftover funds donated to the ACLU and Center For Human Rights. Within a day of the start of deliveries, news and refusals spread enough the Senate began banning cakes, along with dissent, unless accompanied by a staffer.
A poignant, unexpected protest has also come from one Daniel Deitrich, an Indiana pastor who grew up in an evangelical community and farm town in Michigan, was “taught to take the words of Jesus seriously – Love God, love your neighbor, feed the hungry, fight against injustice…love, peace, kindness, gentleness,” and is “deeply saddened” by the loyalty of evangelicals to “a man who so clearly embodies the opposite of these values.” A longtime musician who started the South Bend City Church, where “spiritual exiles have found a home (and) you don’t have to check your brain at the door,” Deitrich argues “worship music should give us hope…not just praise and thank God, but help us lament, reflect, confess, celebrate, challenge and push us outside the walls of the church.” His recently released, now-viral “Hymn To The 81%” – referencing the 81% of Christian evangelicals who voted for Trump – is stirring and defiant, what one admirer calls “a cocktail of prophetic fire and Christ-like grace…both a love song to the church and a call to repentance.” Dietrich blasts those who have “weaponized religion..putting kids in cages/ripping mothers from their babies”; when he looks to them for moral guidance, “All I heard was silence/Or worse you justify it.” In lament and rebuke, Deitrich repeatedly calls on his elders to “come home.” His pained but fierce plaint: “You taught me better than this.”
You said to love the lost
So I’m loving you now
You said to speak the truth
So I’m calling you out
Why don’t you live the words
That you put in my mouth
May love overcome and justice roll down