Stupid, that’s what I thought after reading that a group of self-described “anarchists” took credit for “vandalizing the restrooms” at a handful of McDonald’s in Victoria, British Columbia.  Their “action” was meant as a statement in protest of the upcoming 2010 Winter Olympics, to be held there.  “We cemented shut the pipes, disabling the toilets in the bathroom stalls, requiring replacement at all three locations,” said the anonymous group.

OK, time-out.  I fully admit to engaging in similar behaviors, often more randomly than politically-motivated, when I was younger (not that I’m trying to sound old- I’m not even thirty yet!).  But there is no one- I mean no one- who experienced, read about, or heard about this “action” and had their positive, supportive opinion of the 2010 Olympics (or any other Olympics for that matter) changed towards the negative.  I’m going to suggest that means either one of two things: either the perpetrators of this “action” completely, utterly, and embarrassingly failed at their goal (to sway public support for the Olympic games to the negative by associating it with greedy, destructive, inhumane capitalism); OR, their goal was not at all what they claim it to be.  These kind of pranks, while having their rightful place in the worlds of adolescence as well as good-ol-mischievous fun, are not an explicitly “political” act.  This kind of stuff- which I’m fully willing to admit to have engaged in, often, in the past- really has no effect, as far as I can see, on the body politic and the revolutionary potential of the moment.

Now, there is something to be said of the explicitly rebellious potential of a deteriorating social order, and to the degree that this sort of pranksterism takes place, I think there’s a rightful place there.  But these “anarchists” claimed to be acting in protest of the Olympics, and to their point I see no positives.  They have likely succeeded in only three, insignificant things: they have reinforced in their own minds the superiority of their radicalism, their power and individuality, and their intelligence in comparison to the “unenlightened”.  Also, they have added to the confusion and misinterpretation of what is possible from an “anarchist” society.  Finally, they have given me something to write about on a sleepless Tuesday night.

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