Wanted: Cranky Political Agitators

I would very much like to get a bunch of people together to run as a Rhino-style team in the Vancouver elections. I specifically want to find people who are willing to address issues which often go completely overlooked in municipal elections.

This is something of a departure from the more traditional Rhino approach of conventional-style satire (think absurdist plus Air-Farce). And I think this change is a worthwhile one.

I now have the time to do this.

If you know anyone, send them my way.

Why Rhino?

Dec. 17th, 2006 09:24 am
People ask me "Why The Rhinoceros Party? Why Doubleplusgood? Why The President's Choice?"
(The also ask me "why not?" Why not run in the municipal elections? Why am I running seriously in the student union elections?)

1. I can foster debate.
Since I don't expect to be elected, I can say things that other candidates can't. I can directly attack other candidates or their parties in ways that I think are simply stating the obvious, but which are often considered taboo. I can whip out social policy platforms that are shocking, ridiculous or unpopular, and sometimes people will pay attention, consider my points, and even demand them. Did you know that there is strong defederation sentiment at SFU? Did you know that we banned Llamas on campus? Did you know that there is a rumour floating around SFU about actually installing a gondola? I ran on these platforms in 2005, and one (albeit the most farcical one) has happened, one may soon come to pass, and another could be in the works.

2. I can act as a protest vote.
To my knowledge, no country has "none of the above" on the ballot. And Candadian election returns usually don't include spoiled ballots. A crank candidate can make up for this. If people vote for the jester, or if, as has happened in Quebec, they do so in greater numbers than a mainstream party, this sends a strong message of non-confidence, and it shames parties or candidates who have it coming.

3. I want to give people something to believe in.            ("people" includes myself)
I like, and perhaps need, stories, and how the world can be laid out in oversimplifying narrative. I need the Archetypes, and the sacred struggle; and I think other people do too.

I grew up believing in the potential of our electoral system, and while I think that we need many reforms, I don't think that my optimism was, or is, inherently naiive. Politicians can be honest, upstanding, brilliant virtuous people who advance bold new social changes. They are probably fucked up in other ways (you'd be fucked-up too if you were repeatedly told that your greatest virtue was a veneer over dishonesty) but they can still be good leaders. The stories can be true. There are honest politicians: I have met them. In fact, there are a great many people who would or do make honest politicians. The problem is that politics is a cruel game, and honest leaders don't want to get their hands dirty, either in terms of doing dishonest things, or by simply touching something this filthy. And so they lose, drop out, or don't get involved in the first place.
I have very high standards, but will also put up with a lot of certified organic crazy to reach them.
But the dishonesty and cruelty in politics vary with time and place. Since they vary in predictable ways, something must be affecting this change. What is it? Maybe it's when the public holds leaders accountable and refuses to believe someone who lives by the creed "this is how the game is played: it is how things have always been and will always be." If this is the case, and I think it is as I can see no other cause that explains why ballot stuffing and voter intimidation are de riguer in one locale and unthinkable elsewhere, then it is possible to create such a change.
I remember praying, give me something to believe in.
There are times when honest and informed (as well as eccentric and/or personally dysfunctional) people come out to lead, and have a shot at being apointed to power, especially on scales too small to attract the more competent among the big bastards. This is why I will remain with COPE for the forseeable future. And this is why I am running seriously in the SFSS elections alongside some other good candidates. Both have good people, good leaders, running for office. They are the True King, and I am obliged to serve them.
And she has started talking about pseudo-Jungian archetypes, and things get crazy.
What of other times, when there is no great hope, when competent, honest people aren't running for competent, honest parties with a hope in hell of winning? I can not serve as a Knight if there is no True King, nor can I give you the True King myself, but I can deliver the Trickster, and mock the pretenders to the throne. (or, in the BC elections, I can attack the symbiotic dyad of NDP shortsighted incompetence and Liberal obtuse selfishness)

This is what I believe in. This is why I am here. This is why I do what I do.

See you on the campaign trail.
People ask me "why Rhino" and I have to answer that I don't really know the answer m'self, but Im interested. My primary interest is in the provincial election - those are the most Gong Show of the three scales. But I can see federal and municipal potential.

Federally, we need to get the party recognized, so I'm signing people up. I still have forms.

Municipally, I have a uh... 'vision.' It involves Sam "Runs over the poor in his wheelchair" Sullivan's suspiciously more generous (and totaly unregulated) donors in a lake of alligators, with the people who played power games with Vision and COPE serving as chum to arouse the reptiles' interest.

I mean something serious by this: I can't stand the NPA and I really like COPE... at least siginificantly more than I've ever liked any other non-fringe political party, but, even after the Wal-Mart, the end of housing for the non-rich, the broken transit promises, and even during considering scrapping the ethical purchasing policy,  people just don't seem interested in municpal politics, let alone serious municipal alternatives. It feels almost as if Rhino is the only way of getting some bloody participation on the local scale. So be it.

Given that participation is somewhere around 25%, that leaves a goodly number of potential converts.

Here's my idea: Vancouver has the Work Less Party, The Naked Garden Party, the Sex Party and so on. Why don't we see if we can get everyone together and form a whole slate of nuts? Not just for the election, but for any municpal meeting?

If you know anyone in these parties, send them my way.

Also: Capri Hall, October 14th. Work Less party Masquerade. $10 to get in; $5 with costume.
This Thursday (Agust 3rd), the Brain-Squeezing Night movie will be Strange Days. Again, it's a fine movie, and pleasantly cyberpunk.

I cannot find my copy. If you have one that I colud borrow, could you give me a shout or leave a comment please.

Also: I am also very much interested in showing up at schools at clbus days to pester students about the wonders of politics - COPE and/or The Rhino Party. If you are in school, I would very much like to talk to you about using your studentuniony privliledges to arrange something along these lines.
How does this read? Any improvements you'd suggest? I'm planning to see if I can get this published.
Also, I still have Rhino membership forms.

To the Right Honourable Mr. Stephen Harper,

     I am concerned by your statements to date regarding the violence between Israel and Lebanon. Israel's bold, explosive-centred, approach to peace-making is a fine example of outside-the-box thinking that will doubtlessly only win them the friends they need in the Middle East. As part of our commitment to Israel's Right to Exist™ and Middle Eastern stability overall, I see no reason why we cannot lend the aid of our military forces.
     Ideally, we should demonstrate our moral support through imitation, the most sincere form of flattery. Should we see a repeat of the 1970 October crisis - if a terrorist organization that might compromise our right to exist is believed to be operating within Quebec, and the police's polite requests for their surrender go unheeded - I think it is our duty as a peace-loving country to systematically level the suspect areas, after, like Israel, dropping warning leaflets on target areas. Leafletting is important, as it makes the subsequent deaths of the unaware, incredulous, slow, illiterate, those working night shifts, and those who die from disrupted infrastructure, stray bombs or inadequate leafletting, to be within the bounds of international law.
     This would only be one-half of leading by example. Should the United States find, or strongly suspect, a terror network to be operating in Canada, we must defend the USA's right to exist (or perhaps that of the real or imagined terror cell, depending on who has the stronger case) with all the gusto we can muster while one side obliterates areas they believe to be harbouring the leaders of the other.
     I'm sure you'll agree that all of the above is well and good. Still there remains the question: how can peace-talks between Israel and the as-yet unresponsive and diffuse leaders of Hizbolla be expedited? I suggest that Canada do its part to facilitate their participation by providing the services of its fine reserve of mediums, channelers and necromancers, as due to the efforts of the Israeli military, post-mortem communication may be the best way to reach the leaders of Hizbollah at this point.
     This leaves the question of domestic consequences. No need to worry. I believe that your support of Israel's actions will draw nothing but support from Canada's Arab voters, who will be pleased to have yet another telling example to counter the stereotype of “it's Arabs who bomb other people.”

Your Humble Servant,
Graham Fox,
President, Rhinoceros Party of British Columbia

The red elvises were a lot of fun. See my flickr for photos and lizard-on-a-stick.

At the club, Ryan complimented me on my attire. I really apprecate this: I have trouble with some social things (a good quality in a politician, much like like wearing totalitarian regalia and crossdressing), and really benefit from reminders. Examples: "Good table manners, but you never wipe your mouth when you're done." or "Your shirts are all huge." or "I like it when you bow, I feel acknowledged."  - These sort of things, the keep-doing-this, stop-doing-that and don'-worry-about-the-other-thing I really benefit from and always appreciate.

I am reading a book on behaviour modification and One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. I hate it when books have the movie picture on the front, especially here, where Jack Nicholson has the wrong colour of hair. Can you imagine if they did this for Shakespeare? Look! Leonardo diCaprio and Claire Danes stare out at you from the cover of Romeo and Juliet!

The hidden storm that is the terminus of a romantic relationship is mostly over. Mostly. Still blowing now and then. I need to learn to talk to poeple about this sort of thing. Hell, I need to learn how to have emotionally close conversations as a matter of course.

I am filled with optimism, confidence and a sense of mild confusion.

My plan with the Rhino party is to concentrate on making a local presence and let Brian "Godzilla" Salmi run the federal show. I think a meeting is in order.
It seems that another time for Rhino / Gay Pride would be preferable. Given the warm weather, perhaps it could be either on wreck beach, or at a time so as to be of convenience to people who are coming back from their midday activities when things aren't so bloody hot indoors. Comments?

Also: having the week off, I'm planning to spend a lot of time at the beach, or other interesting summer places. Comment if you'd like to meet me there.
If anyone wants to come to the aforeposted gay pride banner meeting at my place on Monday, could you RSVP please?

Pink Rhino

Jun. 24th, 2006 11:38 am
Okay folks, as I said before, it's time to organize a Gay Pride marchy thing; more specifically, a humourous banners-and-pickets gay pride paradey marchy thing. The goal is to create something that most, semi-informed people will find humourous or daring. If, say, ICBC, finds it offensive, that's fine, but I'd rather not have people charging out from the crowd to stop us.

Where am I coming from? I'm looking forward to a federal election and a Rhino Party presence in the federal election, and so will use this as a means to practice facilitating things. I will probably be making a Rhino banner and calling this a Rhino-coordinated event, which, as you can tell from this LJ post, it is. That said, you don't have to be in the Rhino Party, or agree with the Rhino Party to be involved with this. Anyone can come. Just be willing to be satirical.

So, Monday 3rd of July. Noon. My house (which is also Jhayne's house).

Tell your friends. Message for directions.


Jun. 18th, 2006 10:34 am
Hey, don't forget Commerical Drive today: noon 'til six.

In other news, Gay Pride is coming up again. Anyone want to have a banner thingy?

Option A - Korean Movie Monday

    We're no longer in touch with traditional North American social norms, so fuck who you please, just don't recreate the river scene from Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and we'll be happy. Or if you do, film it.

Option B - Rhinoceros Party
    The only party with not only supports gay rights, but backs this "Homosexual Agenda" that the relicons are harping on about. That's right, we want more queer people, and we'll convert your children to do it. We'll do anything it takes, we'll even introduce them American football and Xena.
    It's a matter of statistics and probability. Think about it.
    If you're gay, you'd like there to be more gays right? That way you'd have more options and might not have wound up with that bloody head case from Moncton who had not so much issues as the complete series backdated to June of 1953... but I digress. If you're a lesbian, you'd like there to be more lesbians, ne? That way, the line outside The Mix would have more people with whom you could hook up, and less "Area Couple Looking for Hot Woman Willing to Experiment." If you're bi, you'd like there to be more bisexuals or homosexuals of your own sex, and you'd like the bicurious people to be a little less curious and a little more bi. (These statements are uncontestable fact. If you disagree, you are wrong.)
    Transsexuals gunning for The Swap, wouldn't you rather live in a society that encouraged you to sort out that you'd like to be the other sex while you were younger and the new hormones would do more and the old ones less?
    What if you're heterosexual? Wouldn't you rather that questioning people got their orientation sorted out sooner rather than later? I mean, do you want to be in a relationship that ends with "I love you honey, but you're the wrong sex for me?" No. (Again, your opinion on this topic must agree with me or you're wrong, wrong, wrong - see above for proof).
    Besides, there tend to be more gays than lesbians, so if there's more of this 'queerness' floating around, the ratio of women who are interested in men to men who are intereted in women will tend towards more of the former and less of the latter. That's right guys: less competition; more single chicks. "Okay Graham," you say, "that's good for straight and bi men, but what about heterosexual women?" I'm glad you asked that question, allow me to illuminate.

Option C - Take to the spirit of many entrants, like the real-estate agent whose float consists of... a car with her name on it.

    I suggest we carry a banner that reads, "Amalgamated Sweatshops and Landmines Inc. wishes to express its heartfelt support for your local event and/or cause. See our web catalogue for more!"

I think I'm leaning towards B, but there's no reason these couldn't be combined.
On the page "http://www.cbc.ca/bcvotes2005/riding/008/," I am listed as an "IND" when this was not actually the case. All BC elections candidates must register either as a representative of an official party, an independent, or a representative of an unofficial party. Candidates in the last category are to explicitly register as such and not as independents. (e.g. If three MLA candidates band together but can not or do not form an official party, it is quite clear that they are not to register as independents and I believe that they are not to claim to be independents)

As a "BC Rhino" candidate, I registered as a representative of a non-official party and, to the best of my memory, my name was on ballots and some elections materials as such; without either official party affiliation or independent status. That is to say that, on the Burquitlam ballot, the "party affiliation" cell next to "Graham 'Evil Genius' Fox" did not read "independent," as would have been the case had I run alone, but was simply left blank as is the rule with elections BC when dealing with candidates from non-registered parties. It was also my understanding that I was at no time to claim to be an independent candidate (or a member of the BC Liberals or Greens or another party for that matter), much as Harry Bloy or Carly Irene Travers were not to claim to be independents or members of another party.

Could you amend your page to reflect this please?

Graham "Evil Genius" Fox,
BC Rhino Party



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