Nailed Nuts, Rioting Pu$$ies & the Blazing Politics of Attention: A Public Service Announcement

Sarah Palin / Ted Cruz / Rand Paul / John Boehner / Paul Ryan /unnamed-4

Bill O’Reilly / Rush Limbaugh / War on Christmas / OBAMACARE / Drone Drone Drone


This is important!  No, serious!  There’s an injustice going on!  And I’ve only got 1,000 words with which to tell it.

Fine, dammit to hell.  Let’s try a new (tactless) tack. 

HEY, YOU!  Yeah, you!  I’ve just stapled my scrotum to a Planned Parenthood billboard that I set on fire!  NOW WILL YOU PAY ATTENTION?!

Still not interested?  Sigh. 

Dear Political Activists (Red, Blue, Doesn’t Matter):

In light of our sadistically-revised Newsfeed algorithm, please pay $20 now to “boost this post” on Facebook, and we promise that either (a) everyone will listen to your cause, or (b) you’ll be out 20 bucks.  (We’re leaning toward B.)


Mark “Drowning in Krugerrands” Zuckerberg

Welcome to the 21st century, where the stakes for your short-span political attention have finally risen to the point of no return-on-investment.

It wasn’t too long ago that in order to get your attention, all God had to do was cast Russell Crowe in a godawful biblical deluge epic.

Now even He’s scratching his omnipotent head.  Or was—until Papist of the Year, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, came along.

Now, unless your name is Pope Francis, it’s nigh on impossible to get you, dear reader, to pay attention to worthy causes.

Just ask Mohamed Bouazizi.  Never heard of him?  Trust me, you have.  Yet odds are you’ve already forgotten the immolating father of the Arab Spring.

It’s likely you’ve forgotten about Tunisia, too, Bouazizi’s native land.

(Cue strategically-placed advertisement algorithm keywords.  Of course, anyone who has ever heard of Star Wars, Tatooine, Sand People, Han Solo, Jedi Knights, the Force, Luke Skywalker and Jawas has seen Tunisia.)

On December 17, 2010, Bouazizi decided he had had enough of tireless toil on our Little Blue Planet.  After a uncivil encounter (and that’s being kind) with a female police officer, Bouazizi “returned to the elegant double-storey white building with arched azure shutters, poured fuel over himself and set himself on fire.”

Less than one year later, Tunisian dictator Zine el Abidine Ben Ali was deposed, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak had resigned, Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi was dead, and the political state of North Africa and the Middle East would never be the same.

All sparked by a can of petrol and a match.

Have you got what it takes for the cause you believe in?

Looking for a little less inflammatory attention?  Try Russian protest band Pussy Riot on for size.

Heck, just their name alone in this article’s title would have been likely to trigger an ad ouster.  Yes, the same Internet that can’t get enough of cat memes has zero tolerance for indolent pussies.

On February 21, 2012, fed up with Putin’s plutocratic Russia, Pussy Riot invaded Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow and turned the iconostasis into a stage.  Following their arrest, several “alleged” members of the band were held without bail—as if these women were serial killers or war criminals—then sentenced to two years in a penal colony for having “crudely undermined the social order.”

In that case, someone give George W. Bush an infinity of strokes with a wet noodle!

And while you’re at it, lock away the producers of NBC’s live version of The Sound of Music in The Hague.

Good news, though.  THE ORTHODOX CHURCH IS A HARD PENIS.  Sorry, that’s just a Pussy Riot lyric, but I felt compelled to include it in order to get you to keep reading.

Where were we?  Oh, yes, the good news:  the Russian Supreme Court recently found that the Pussy Riot case should be heard again.

It remains to be seen, but we’re all holding out for free pussy.

We’re nearly 700 words into this article, and the only hope remaining to maintain your attention is either (a) to send you to a British link about an attractive blonde Fox News anchor who thinks Jesus was Caucasian, or (b) nail my scrotum to Red Square.

Thank God Pyotr Pavlensky already thought of the latter.

Damn, things must be superlatively awful in Russia.  Surely we could send them some emoticons or Twinkies or PlayStations.  Something.

In protest over his country’s “descent into a ‘police state,’” Pavlensky literally nailed his balls to the pavement—cobblestones, to be more specific.

Pavlensky might be on to something.  After all, just the Guardian article alone received more than 30,000 Facebook shares.  And the power-grubbing political scions of the Soviet Union cleaned up their act immediately.  Well, maybe one of those statements is true.

Pavlensky is a global master of political attention-getting:  he once sewed his lips shut and wrapped himself in barbed wire—which I should add not one single U.S. citizen ever considered doing whilst our military went about killing more than 100,000 Iraqis for no good reason.  Hell, no one even barbecued himself or herself on Iron Chef America or played annoying rock music in the National Cathedral.

(Another cheap ad algorithm ploy:  There’s a gargoyle of Darth Vader atop the National Cathedral!  Google it.)

Just 126 words to go.  Do I have your rapt attention?

What I have to share will literally save lives:





That is all.

Listen, there have been less entertaining Public Service Announcements.

And, odds are, the next time an ambulance, fire truck or police car is responding to an emergency, you’ll remember to do the right thing and get out of its way.

After all, it’s not their fault that most of us—myself included—can hardly be bothered anymore with screaming sirens and flashing lights.

We are all very, very busy people.

Arik Bjorn

Arik Bjorn lives in Columbia, South Carolina. He was the Democratic Party / Green Party fusion candidate for U.S. Congress in the 2nd Congressional District of South Carolina. Visit the archive for Arik’s campaign website, and check out his latest book, So I Ran for Congress. You can also follow his political activities on Twitter @Bjorn2RunSC and on Facebook. And be sure to check out more from Arik in his archives!


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